When choosing to take a business online, there are often many concerns that it is completely different and that it will be too time-consuming. However, is it really that different? In truth, the core components are exactly the same in that you have a product/service to sell, your website becomes the shop window, and the main goal is to attract people to your new store. With this being said, there is one main difference – your online platform can be seen by millions of people every single day compared to your physical shop.
However, not all businesses benefit from moving online so there are some key factors that should be considered. First and foremost, you have to consider your target market because this will tell you most of what you need to know about going online. For example, if you only operate in your local area and your service doesn’t apply to outside your particular town, there is no real need to move online.
Furthermore, you also want to consider the product itself because, for example, certain foods and drinks wouldn’t be appropriate on a worldwide scale due to religion and other factors. In addition to this, warm weather clothing may not sell well in Greenland nor would a winter coat in a country that doesn’t see temperatures below fifteen degrees celsius. Overall, you need to consider your target market and whether an online presence would benefit you or not.
Another point to consider would be shipping because you might be able to attract a wider audience, but can you get the product to someone in a different state or country? If you’re going to push your product worldwide, it has to be worthwhile as opposed to one or two products every now and then. Additionally, you may also find that there are different import duty levels depending on where you plan to send the product. Again, it may not be worth the effort of sending a product abroad if you’re going to lose most of the profit in various taxes and other costs.
In terms of services, do you need to talk to the client face-to-face? Can you subcontract work to an employee in a different country? Can it all be done remotely? If the latter is a ‘yes’, an online presence would be a fantastic platform for growth for you.
Ultimately, each case is unique and you need to know that it is absolutely fine to reject going online. Whilst some companies experience tremendous growth after going online, some fail miserably because of a lack of planning. If you’re considering this move, make sure that you consider all the costs and work out whether it is a good move for you or whether it would be largely ineffectual!