How Starting an E-Business Differs From a Storefront

For aspiring entrepreneurs, starting your own business can be a difficult challenge. Even with a comprehensive business plan, entering the retail industry has many elements that include product and demographic research, customer outreach and engagement, and effective marketing strategies. However, starting an eCommerce-based company has made starting a small business more cost-efficient than ever. Here, we will look at some of the major ways in which starting an e-business differs from opening a storefront business.

The First Steps of Running a Small Business

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Every small business owner has basic prerequisites to follow while preparing to set up a shop. Of course, writing out a comprehensive business plan is the key element in outlining your goals, realistic strategies, and goals for profit and possible expansion. With a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, the major question would be how much money you’d need to put towards real estate for your core location. Everything else, such as the product suppliers and market research, would come after you’ve found your location. However, new business models can realistically begin with online sales and services, making an e-business the ideal starting point for new entrepreneurs and merchants.

Not only does having a home office as your base of operations cut down drastically on overheat costs, but social media and mobile devices have made the workday even easier for today’s business owner. For example, using the Amazon seller app can help owners monitor sales, customer service and feedback, and crucial analytics (such as inventory management and shipment data) throughout the business day, even from a remote location. When linked to an official website and one or more social media accounts, and Amazon business can be one of the most successful ways for new business owners to build up their customer base and merchant reputation, solidifying a loyal clientele before expansion or a possible storefront location is even necessary.

Business Benefits for Retail and Service Providers

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You may be wondering how a small business owner who isn’t affiliated with retail can benefit from an online e-business structure. Well, even those entrepreneurs in various areas of the service industry can find incredible ways of using an online platform for finding their target demographic and crafting a loyal clientele. If last year’s pandemic has taught business owners anything, it’s that supply and demand for all forms of service are still needed, even in strange times.

For example, consider the beauty parlor and salon industry, which had to readjust all aspects of their business structure in order to remain successful during forced quarantine protocols and health concerns. However, even with this in mind, salon owners were able to use their creativity in order to flourish, retaining their clientele while keeping the health and safety of employees and clients alike as the main concern. The steps to opening a salon remain the same, yet it can pivot away from the location-based business model.

If you’re looking to own and operate your own successful salon as an e-business structure, as opposed to running a storefront location, you’ll still need the proper license. However, operating your salon via a website and social media word of mouth can be a good idea, as you can keep your client appointments through a “house-call and by-appointment” business structure, adding a touch of bespoke elegance and one-on-one personal touch to your business.

In fact, there are even business management tools available to small business owners with the salon industry in mind. For example, aside from a proper website with your salon’s name and service offerings, salon software can assist in keeping your client’s information and schedule, employee roster and contact information, and even the needed financial analytics for tax filings and beauty industry licensing deadlines.

David Freeman