Let's kick things off with some wise words from mister Albert Einstein, shall we?
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
In the context of business, the mentioned intelligence can be interpreted as the ability to make informed decisions that benefit your company.
And one of the smartest decisions that you can make right now is to take your offline business online by creating an online presence for it.
The stats kindly back up this claim. The number of people who order products and services online has steadily increased year-on-year, and it is predicted that in 2020 the number of digital buyers will reach 2.05 billion. That's about 26% of the whole world's population or in other words – every fourth person you see on the street.
So, to reach the audience that you don’t have access to in regular offline circumstances, you have to step up your game and make your company noticeable on the web.
You may now be thinking: “But what if I’m a firm believer that my offline business doesn't need to be found on the Internet?” Well, then let us try to convince you otherwise.
If you keep reading, we'll also give you extra inspiration in the form of 6 offline business examples that you wouldn't expect to profit online.
WHY you should turn your offline business into an online one
Having an online business doesn't mean that you have to leave your offline business behind. It just means that by making the decision to take your business online, you help your chances of making additional sales. And who wouldn't want that?
So here are the 5 reasons why you should consider making this decision:
1. Improvement of prospects
Let's be real here – most of the people from around the world have made at least one purchase on the Internet, therefore, there's quite a chance that some of the previously mentioned online shoppers live in the city, region, or country where your offline business is located.
So why not try to reach this potential and unexplored clientele by offering the best that your offline business has?
For example, let's imagine that you are a tutor who tutors English to several students at the same time in a physical location. As you know, certain rooms can only fit a certain number of people, meaning that your audience will be limited by the amount of space available.
However, if you record video lessons and sell them via your online store you'll be able to:
- Reach people from all over the city, region, or country
- Tutor an unlimited amount of students
- Make more money by teaching more classes
All of this can be achieved thanks to the Internet and technology, so why not use these possibilities for your own good?
2. 24-hour availability
It's difficult for businesses to be available 24/7. This, nevertheless, doesn't apply to businesses that are available online.
For example, unlike a brick and mortar business, an online store can be open all day, every day; thus, your customers can purchase and find information about your products or services whenever they want to.
With that being said, imagine what effect having an online store that's open all the time can have on your offline business. We'll give you a hint – data shows that it can improve your sales figures 3 to 4 times. Not bad, right?
3. Lower maintenance costs
On average, renting business premises in Europe in a prime location can cost you up to 1.5 thousand Euros per year for just one square meter (!). In comparison, maintaining an online store with, for example, the Mozello Premium plan will cost you 144 Euros per year. There’s some food for thought for you.
An online business doesn't require a physical location. Having a well-built website or e-commerce store is basically all you need. This means that your operating costs of running an online business are significantly lower than those of maintaining a physical presence.
Another bonus for having a business online – it reduces the need to cover staff expenses. All you need to do is to pay a monthly fee for using an e-commerce platform or for maintaining your website.
After all, you can invest the saved funds in advertising or product development, thereby continuing to improve your business perspectives.
4. Mobility and flexibility
An online business doesn't tie you to a certain location – it gives you the freedom to manage your business from any place you like.
Imagine, you're running your business in Europe while sunbathing in the Caribbean. All you need is a decent internet connection and a computer or a mobile device, and you're good to go.
5. Online business isn't as affected by external circumstances
Your offline business profits can be affected by various unexpected factors – environmental, governmental, economical, etc.
However, as your online business is located on the Internet, these circumstances are likely to leave a significantly smaller effect on your business in comparison to the resultant situation if your business has a physical location.
Take the current virus situation as an example. Several governments have issued a lockdown order, therefore, if your offline business has a physical location, your customers won't be able to visit it during this period. But if your business is available online, then it's reachable despite lockdowns or any other limiting circumstances.
WHAT you need to turn your offline business into an online one
The answer is – a website.
This is the most important part! To take your offline business online, the main tool you need is a website or an e-commerce store where you're going to sell your products or services.
Our advice to you: choose a website builder that is easy to use, that doesn't have a long setup time, that you can easily customize without explicit IT knowledge, and that is cost-friendly.
Mozello offers all that and more. All you need is just a few minutes of your time, and your online store will be ready for all the products and services that you want to offer to your clients.
Here's a short video guide on how you can create your online store:
6 traditional offline businesses that you had no idea can be turned into online ones
Now that you have your website, you're ready to make some sales. But if you're still not convinced that your offline business can thrive online, don't worry. We'll inspire you to think otherwise by listing 6 traditional offline businesses that you wouldn't expect to prosper online and hopefully you'll be able to reconsider.
If your business is connected to the beauty industry, think about what products you can offer to your clients for them to order from you online. For example, nail care kits, hair coloring sets, and home SPA treatment sets. You can even offer your clientele online consultations on how to use the sets and kits they buy.
For example, a beauty salon Olive and June offers a manicure kit with everything that's necessary for maintaining the beauty of your nails. The box includes manicure tools, nail polishes, and hand care products. In addition, on the salon's website, there's a video tutorial on how you can use this kit at home.
Source: Olive and June
Freelance travel planners
In times when traveling is postponed, travel planners are hit especially hard. Therefore, if you're a freelance travel planner a good strategy to use to get through these difficult times is thinking of products and other services that would, for example, bring people on a trip down the memory line.
As people love to look back at their travel adventures and share them on social media accounts, perhaps your travel agency can offer photo presets – also known as custom photo filters – to make those #throwbackthursday posts as vivid and memorable as possible.
You can even start a social media challenge where you invite people to edit their old travel pictures with your presets before going on new adventures.
Nothing can beat freshly made and delicious food that is delivered by your favorite local caterer to your doorstep. So, if you run a cafe you can make all your client's dreams come true by selling your most delicious dishes online.
This idea applies to any small businesses that sell homemade or homegrown goods (for example, bakeries, cafes, or berry farms) – you sell a selection of your products online and deliver it to your customer.
Take an example from Reizenberga Siļķe kažokā – an online store owned by a globally awarded bartender. In his shop, you can choose the homemade dish you want to enjoy, order it, and wait for your personally-made food to be delivered by the store owner himself. His personal specialty? The classic Russian layered salad called ''Dressed herring''.
Source: Reizenberga siļķe kažokā
Even though you cannot perform a full-blown photoshoot online, you can encourage people to take photos and then offer to professionally edit them.
For example, one of your services could be helping out your client to find a job. How? By offering professional image processing services, so that your client's LinkedIn image would look just right.
Who said that you couldn't offer to plan a party for two? Especially when you know everything that your clients would need to make it into a success!
If you are a party planner and you want to explore the possibilities online, think about offering your clients “party kits,” meaning all the necessary items that people would need to organize an event at home. Examples of this are balloons, tools for face painting, party decors, etc.
Online workouts are not the latest thing that has come around the block. However, if you are a fitness trainer you can take your skills and share them with your clients in a unique and individual way.
Let's imagine that you're a yoga teacher. You can easily film your class and upload it to your online store. You can also go the extra mile and offer individual classes and consultations for your clients where you can cover all the subjects that you have knowledge about. For example, the best diet plans, exercises, or meditation tips.
What you should remember is that you need to demonstrate (and sell) what you’re good at. This applies not only to fitness trainers but to every offline business out there.
Technology and digitalization bring new possibilities to businesses all over the world. That's a fact.
Now is the best time for your physical storefront to adapt to the online environment. However, remember that there's no need to leave your offline business behind to become an online-only company.
Just keep in mind that more people prefer to shop online than they did a year ago. And the number only continues to grow. Therefore, now’s a great time to jump on the trend and make something out of it for your business, even if at first it doesn't seem to make sense to do that.
We hope that this article has inspired you to try out your chances online, and hopefully you'll see the positive results of this decision.
Create your online business with Mozello now!