Saturday, January 25, 2020


Offline vs Online Businesses: The Benefits/Drawbacks.

December 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Money, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) During a time where Social Media can be the difference between success and failure for any business, can an offline based business run, successfully, without an online presence? If your business is exclusively online, does it need to have an offline presence to be successful? Depending on the industry and what is being sold, whether a product, service, or a digital product, will ultimately decide the answer to both questions. Below are the different types of business, some of the benefits of offline versus online businesses, which business type is most beneficial, and the pros and cons of both exclusivity.

Building an online business without an offline presence is easier than the reverse. The type of business you have does dictate how much easier. Depending on what type of business you have an offline presence can be very beneficial for your business. There are four different types of businesses, service-based business, merchandising business, manufacturing business, and hybrid business.

Types of Businesses

A service-based business is centered around you providing a service to and for someone else. This can be a makeup artist, hairdresser, coach, trainer, etc. It requires you to be there to do it and is often considered to be trading time for money.

A merchandising business is all about products. The type of product doesn’t matter it’s all considered merchandising. Products can be shoes, hair, courses, shirts, ebooks, etc. The two different types of products are physical and digital. Any business that sells either is considered to be a merchandising business.

A manufacturing business is one who purchases items abroad or locally for the sole purpose of putting them together to make something new, that is then sold by a merchandising business. The company that actually collects the raw material to make products, that are eventually sold by the merchandising businesses, is considered to be a manufacturing business.

A hybrid business is any combination of the above businesses within one business. Most online businesses are considered to be hybrid businesses because they usually offer both services, like coaching, as well as products, like courses. The term hybrid business is not one often used but is the perfect description for most businesses today.

Offline Business

The primary benefit of having an offline business is the ability to create a connection with your surrounding community, encouraging brand loyalty. When someone has to physically go to your business it allows you the opportunity to impress and obtain a customer for life. One thing that we know is that if someone is treated well they will not only patronize your business repeatedly but they are also free advertisement because they will tell anyone who asks. So although the level of customer service needs to be higher it’s definitely worth the extra training.

The types of businesses that are most beneficial offline are both service and merchandising, although hybrid is becoming a lot more common. A restaurant is one service business that benefits from being offline primarily because you can’t really have a virtual restaurant. Your restaurant can be delivery-only by providing food through delivery apps only but it’s still considered offline even if customers can’t physically come in.

There really aren’t any pros to being exclusively offline because potential customers often google offline businesses beforehand to check out reviews. A con to being exclusively offline is that you can only reach the people in your immediate circle of influence and depending on the type of business that limits your income potential. When exclusively offline you can’t really market to people that might be vacationing in your city. You would instead have to try to catch them while they are already there by whatever means of offline marketing you’re using.

Online Business

The three most beneficial aspects of having an online business are lower overhead costs, reach, and location. When you have an online business you do not have to worry about rental space, stocking up on product (although beneficial if you do), and paying utilities to run your rental space. Since you don’t have to pay for these three things it increases the capital you have to put into marketing, ads, training, etc. You are also able to reach more than just the people nearby when you have an online business, which increases your earning potential. Often considered the most beneficial part of having an online business is the ability to work from anywhere you want, including home.

The type of business that is most beneficial online is the hybrid business. When you have an online business there is a certain level of freedom that you want to have as a business owner. Considering that a purely service-based business online, although it can be very lucrative, would not allow one to feel the freedom that is often desired when starting an online business. A hybrid business allows for one to still be able to be of service but use products both physical and digital to offset the times when they are working on building the business, spending time with family, etc.

There aren’t any cons to having an exclusively online business because the connection that is often built-in offline businesses can be done so online by going live with your audience via social media. One pro to building an exclusively online business is that you are able to make a business around anything that you love and make it both a product and service business by training and then selling your product/creation.

The type of business that one has does determine how affective their offline versus online strategies can be. One must be aware of which platform is best for their business and implement the strategies accordingly. It doesn’t have to be either-or, it can be both and you just have to decide which scenario is best for your business.

Staff Writer; Sister Victoria X

One may also follow this sister over at; SVX.

 

 


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