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  1. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Business Owner Entrepreneur

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    A lot of businesses have entered the market these days to reach out to customer with different channels. While starting up your own business, it is important to understand the structure of operations that you want to use. Brick and Mortar, Brick and Click and E-commerce are the three kinds of structures of operations in order to commence business.

    Let’s discuss each of them in detail in order to understand it in a best possible way:

    Brick and Mortar: It is an offline business or the traditional way of doing business, where a business is commenced at a physical place where people come, see or browse through products and buy them as per their wish. People in Brick and Mortar business are able to provide better customer service than any other type of operation structure. An example of a brick and mortar is the local grocery store such as Harrods. This method can bring visibility and a sense of trust, however, it also brings a disadvantage of being too costly.

    Advantages of Brick and Mortar or Offline business:

    Offline business brings a sense of trust in customers as it shows that the owner of the business is financially stable enough to have a shop or a store. It also adds an element of professionalism making it quite popular amongst customers.

    Customer would rather like to see and feel products before spending money on them. This is done usually when the product is Jewellery, electronic items, clothes etc.

    Customers would simply walk in to the store if they like something being displayed on the showcase or if they have been told to go to a particular store due to its collection. Offline business increases the chances of customer walk-ins which ultimately lead to higher amount of sales.

    Disadvantages of an Offline Business:

    The only challenged faced by offline business is the cost involvement due to infrastructure facilities and human resources. It not just requires a lot of money but also requires continuous supervision. Any commercial space would cost a lot along with the salaries of the staff involved.

    Online Business/ E-Commerce

    A lot of people are making money through online businesses through various ways such as content based websites, product affiliation marketing and selling products. Today, there are great strategies in place and one of the most accredited one is the E-commerce strategy. Many people now understand the importance of doing business through web. With time, people have been able to build trust in online business and due to that, it has become the most amazing business practice invention. The online business is easy to start, however, it is difficult to succeed in a long run.

    Advantages of Online Business:

    Visibility is the most important advantage of Online Business as it is able to project itself globally and not just locally. It is visible to people all around the world once the website goes live.

    It is cheaper and economical to start up the business online. The monthly costs are less than $25.00 per month along with whatever the marketing budget has been set. It can be anything from $25 to $100,000 per month. Many online businesses are spending millions every year in order to promote their websites.

    It is easier to get customers to the website due to tools like SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The more visitors to the website, the more customers can be created into visitors through customer service etc.

    Online business gives a lot of options for start ups. They can choose to create website on service based business, content based websites, selling affiliate products etc, selling books, clothes, electronics, scrap etc.

    Online business is open 24 hours a day and sometimes it is even 24/7 welcoming income flow all through the year. It is an important advantage of an online business. Internet gives great opportunities to reduce costs and maximize profits and that’s the reason more and more companies are shutting down their offline businesses and getting into online businesses.

    Disadvantages of an Online Business

    There are many people who want to become rich quick and when it comes to starting up a business, online business comes to their mind. Millions of people have made a lot of money through online business but the essence of becoming rich is through hard work. The most successful internet entrepreneurs have two things in common, first, they are strategic in their work with analytical mind and second, they worked hard during the time of start up.

    The other disadvantage of having an online business is too many distractions. It is easier to get lost in the options available to entrepreneurs. It is important to select something which is profitable and unique. It is advisable not to hop from one business to another.

    Brick and Click

    This kind of a business is a blend of Brick and Mortar and E-commerce where the successful business can be taken to an offline business or vice versa.

    Advantages:

    Through this modal, the brand gets solidified. For example, you started up your online store of books and once it became visible and created its name, you can then think of opening a store physically. This only expands your business and market share.

    If you are not able to sell something online, you can sell it offline so that the customer is able to see and feel the product.

    Closing:

    Last but not least, when you have bad weather and you work from home it is also an advantage. Many more are obvious with both too. If you have any to share you may use the comments to do so. Check out what I am talking about below in the images. Got 30 inches of snow where I live and almost all businesses offline are closed while online never does.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    setupdisc and Davis Adusu like this.

  2. Vinaya.Ghimire

    Vinaya.Ghimire Entrepreneur

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    I have a Brick and Mortar business and I am thinking to start an online business. My offline business is a dairy farm, I had been doing this since a year, but I formalized it by registering with the local administration just couple of months ago.
    I am not certain about what kind of online business I should do.
     
  3. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Business Owner Entrepreneur

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    If you decide to add on an online business then think about what you are passionate about and love doing and then make your business revolve around that. If you need help brain storming than post here for help!
     
  4. Bonyi

    Bonyi Entrepreneur

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    Very true and enlightening indeed. I like online business cause it gives you opportunity to work on different sites from around the world from one location.
     
    William Clements likes this.
  5. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Business Owner Entrepreneur

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  6. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    This is really true, and a well done write-up on this William. I've noticed that even when you have a strictly online business, you always get a few clients who want to go to a building or office location, and it can change the perception of things a lot to them positively or negatively if you work from a home-office setting rather than a brick and mortar location or suite they thought. Most people still understand that the professionalism is there, but I remember when starting how you would always get at least a few people who devalued the provider or offerings simply by appearances when it was not as "corporate" of a place or setting as they envisioned it to be. It's like it changes what you offered despite it still being the same quality and exactly the same product. The moment you upgrade the office space, location, or appearances everything is "new and improved" to the consumer when nothing really changed at all but the place and style you present it with. It's interesting to say the least whenever that happens.
     
  7. Vinaya.Ghimire

    Vinaya.Ghimire Entrepreneur

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    I have been writing online since many years. As I grew as an online writer, I discovered that there are various ways to make money online. Good think about online business was it needed less money to start an online business compared to offline business. For example if I wanted to have a clothing store, I need to spend hundreds of thousand dollars, however, I could start an online clothing store just for less than $1000.
     
  8. ctfranklin28

    ctfranklin28 Entrepreneur

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    Offline businesses bring the human dimension back into customer-business relationship. With a brick-and-mortar store, you can engage in the tradition of shopping (aka "let's get out of the house"), interact with employees, and personally engage with a business in a way that you can go online.

    Online businesses offer convenience, speed, and control. Customers can order what they want, when they want, without the "hassle" of dealing with other humans.

    These factors are similar, but change when you analyze the "offline vs online" debate from a business owner's perspective.
     
  9. deniafe

    deniafe Entrepreneur

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    I agree that visibility is the most important advantage of an online business but I don't agree that it is Easy to drive customers to a business website via SEO. It has becomes very difficult these days, especially with Google constantly changing their algorithms.
     
  10. ctfranklin28

    ctfranklin28 Entrepreneur

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    I will agree with you on that. SEO is not an easy game to win! That is due to a lot of factors: We don't control the game (Google does), too many factors that impact SEO, too much competition, etc.
     
  11. Kia Adams

    Kia Adams Entrepreneur

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    I would have to speak up for online businesses. They offer far more privacy than offline ones. Granted offline businesses usually reap more profits than online enterprises, the latter still brings enough opportunities to make a fortune. Also, it does not necessitate a lot of resources, monetary or otherwise, to launch an online enterprise.
     
  12. ctfranklin28

    ctfranklin28 Entrepreneur

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    I will partly agree with you. Online businesses seem to offer more privacy for the customer, but that comes at a price in the era of Big Data. Customer purchases are often tracked and the data used for advertising or marketing campaigns (Think about Facebook's remarketing campaigns.) I also can't leave out the ever-present spam that threatens the privacy of everyone's inbox.

    I will also partly agree with you about the ability to raise funds quickly, as evidenced by the rise of Amazon, Silicon Valley (and its clones), social media, and bloggers who can command big sums just from a website. That is great if you can tap into that wave. Otherwise, it's a competitive fight to the top.
     
  13. Jack Benoit

    Jack Benoit Entrepreneur

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    Businеssеs саn usе bоth оnlinе аnd оfflinе mоdеls. Fоr еxаmplе, nеwspаpеrs hаvе built оnlinе pоrtаls thаt inсоrpоrаtе multimеdiа аnd intеrасtivity tо еnriсh thе rеаding еxpеriеnсе. А bаnk's сustоmеrs саn viеw thеir ассоunts, trаnsfеr funds аnd pаy bills оnlinе, but thеy саn аlsо gо tо а brаnсh tо mаkе а lоаn аppliсаtiоn оr tо withdrаw саsh.
     

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