Life is unpredictable. Who could have imagined that the entire world would go on lockdown? Businesses and corporations had to stop or rearrange the processes to adjust to emergency conditions. Online business vs offline business dilemma has become more urgent. Some have discovered new opportunities and benefits. There are alternative ways to do business. Some just need a backup in case something like this happens again.
Online Business vs Offline Business
There is no single correct way to make a business successful. The situation differs from niche to niche, from company to company. Everyone has different goals and financial capacities. Thus, the pros and cons of online and offline businesses are rather general. Nevertheless, let’s consider the basic points.
Innovation vs Tradition
For those who started a small business long ago, going digital might seem rather like a complication, not an opportunity. Brick-and-mortar businesses are a tradition for many places and entrepreneurs. For many, enhancing those companies with the online version or switching to online completely is like killing the original vibe.
Wider Audiences vs Face-to-Face Interactions
Consumers often check prices and selection online just to stop by the store later. Thus, they can see and touch an item before ordering in, try on clothes and footwear, etc. While online deprives of such interactions, it allows entrepreneurs to find more clients. Offer delivery, and your shop can become popular in the whole country, not just in your neighborhood.
Lower Expenses vs Enhanced Experience
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store or decide to go with delivery instead of a restaurant, the logistics changes completely. You need less space to operate. Consequently, you pay lower rent and utility bills. There is no need to think a lot about interior design. On the other hand, forget about holiday decorations, seeing friendly faces of loyal customers, and coziness that comes with a shop or a restaurant.
Scalability vs Awareness: Online vs Offline Business
Online business is usually much easier to scale. In the best-case scenario, you just add new website pages and update SEO settings. Brick-and-mortar business is easier to recognize and remember. Of course, you can come up with amazing web design, but customers will still choose to attend a nearby store they see every day. However, if we are talking about digital marketing agencies or outsourcing companies, this won’t be an issue.
Tech vs Non-Tech Jobs
If you have a store you need assistants. You run a restaurant, you need waiters. If you switch to delivery, you need people who can process orders and communicate with customers online, as well as someone who supports the website.
Starting an Online Business
Digital marketing agencies, design agencies, development and QA companies, consulting services, and many more niches can shift to working remotely quite easily. Face-to-face meetings are not essential to communicate efficiently. Even if you need to meet clients, rent a co-working space for an hour or two. If we are talking about retail and catering, it will require significant logistic changes.
One way or another, the first step to any online business is launching a website. Users can make a free website with Weblium. It is an AI website builder with over 200 templates and over 500 customizable blocks. There are some significant advantages it can offer compared to other website builders.
- You create a website on your own (no specific knowledge or skills required), but the professional support team is available 24/7, answering all your questions and providing backup.
- You can create a website for free or subscribe to one of the paid plans with extended functionality. All essential features are already available in the free package.
- There are templates for different categories. Each is unique and created specifically for its niche.
- The designs are adaptive. They look good on all screens and devices. No additional settings or extra payment is required.
- The templates are optimized for SEO and easily consumed by crawlers. Besides, there is a list of settings and integrations for the management of website efficiency.
Starting an online business is not a panacea. Still, it opens new opportunities for entrepreneurs and provides more flexibility during the crisis. There is no need to shift to online instantly and completely. Always pay attention to the highlights of your business but remember that online is always about an enhancement. Don’t be afraid to adapt changes on the way to this enhancement, it will be worth the effort.