For purposes of this article, an offline business is one that operates from a physical location, selling in person, by mail or by phone – in other words, a traditional bricks-and-mortar enterprise. Your business may or may not have customers walking in, but it essentially does not sell over the internet. However, such businesses are becoming scarce with each passing year.
To many business owners, the process of putting a business online may sound too risky or too complicated. However, there are good reasons why you should have started selling online yesterday; and here are four of them.
Improve Your Brand’s Image
This should be the main reason to look into how you can take your small business operations online. This is a very critical factor since without an online presence through a blog or a website; prospective clients on the internet will start wondering whether you are serious about your brand image. Today, businesses in all industries and of all sizes are in a pursuit to establish an online presence that will prove profitable.
24/7, 365 Availability
Some businesses like grocery stores, gas stations and food restaurants, can easily manage to run 24 hours, a privilege not enjoyed by others. However, once you implement an E-Commerce business website, your prospects and current clients can read all about your products and services, and even place orders any time of day or night – on regular business days, weekends and holidays. Imagine what this will do for your business, especially if you are open 3 to 4 times longer.
An Expansive Global Market
Your traditional brick and mortar store sets serious limitations in terms of the number of individuals who can visit at any time. On the other hand, a website guarantees you that you could have thousands, if not tens of thousands, of visitors in your online store at any given time – with the proper online marketing strategies. Such exposure would see information on your products and services reach a virtually unlimited number of people who are already interested in your business niche.
However, there is a huge difference between getting thousands of online visitors and actually having them. Online business requires the same thing your offline, physical business requires; proper marketing. You can use online marketing strategies like content marketing and social media to increase traffic to your online store.
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Work and Live from Anywhere
Are long cold winters getting to you or is the constant heat and humidity affecting how you work? Fortunately, if your business is online, you can virtually work from anywhere you want – as long as you have an internet connection. In fact, many people live in one continent, have their business website hosted on another and a warehouse that processes the orders is yet in another!
The world is getting smaller and it is time you take advantage of this. If you like it, you can even move to South America or the Caribbean, where you will enjoy low living costs, as you carry out your business online.
Apart from a few exceptions, having internet access reduces the need to “be there.” Live wherever you want, enjoying your life to the max as your business adapts to your lifestyle – not the other way around. Some notable exceptions to this work-anywhere-rule are professionals like lawyers now serving Orlando area for example, who need to be at a particular location to perform their duties.
In addition to all these benefits, running your business online helps you realize significant cost savings. Comprehensive online product and sales information will make it easy to process and fulfill purchase orders.