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Start your business idea online before setting up a physical storefront
Whenever someone has a business idea they tend to think of how much it would cost for an office and all I think of is how much their lease will be even if they're not profitable. You can't really break a lease that easily and if you're not as successful as you had hoped, you might not be able to pay the bills, and that's going to create an entirely new set of problems other than your business going down the drain.
I always urge people to start off small and use websites or blogs to test their markets before they decide to take the full plunge and set up a retail shop. Most people don't think of doing this because they're not tech-savvy, they think websites would cost more than a storefront, or various other reasons until I explain how much it would cost compared to a $3,000+ per month lease agreement with a property owner so you could set up your own physical store.
Online Businesses Have Lower Startup Costs
If you compare an online startup with a physical store just opening, you will quickly realize that the online store takes much less time and investment to get going. You can start your own digital storefront for less than $100 a month, and that's if you have all the bells and whistles, and a physical storefront will be thousands for the lease alone!
A digital storefront consists of your domain, hosting, design, branding, and marketing which would be cheaper than your lease if they were combined. You might even become so successful online that you won't want to spend the pointless money to have a physical storefront that will likely die after a few years lol.
It's Easier to Run a Digital Business in the Beginning
If you start up a digital business that sells goods you will likely be on Shopify or WooCommerce since they're the two big players in the eCommerce game. A Shopify store is around $30 a month and allows you to use every single system in order to make a sale, do some marketing, manage everything, and please the customer at the end of the day. WooCommerce does the same things as Shopify, sometimes more, but it takes a little longer to set up since it isn't done for you after you pay for it.
Digital businesses' are easier to run because you can sit at home and be on your laptop or desktop to do all the necessary work. You don't even have to call or talk to people over the phone now that there are live chat scripts and auto-response bots that can handle 99% of the incoming inquiries lol.
Less Risk Involved With Websites
When you start a retail store you will need to purchase all of the products you're going to sell. If those products don't sell, you now have to store them somewhere and wait for them to get sold, and that's a big burden. With a digital storefront, you can drop ship products anywhere in the world and never have a single product in your home or stored in a garage waiting to be sold. All you have to do is purchase the website's domain, pay for the hosting, and purchase a couple of plugins that will automate the majority of your tasks so you can get started selling.
The risk involved with a physical storefront isn't just how much your lease is, it's how much money you have to invest in the products you're selling, and that alone can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. If you have a website storefront, you could spend $30 to $300 a month and have a professional store ready to sell to anyone that comes across your website.
Utilize Freelancers Instead of Employees
The power of online businesses is that we can dip into a huge pool of talent called digital freelancers. We can cherry-pick who we want to work on specific tasks related to our digital business and know the work is going to get done quickly and efficiently. If you run a physical storefront, you have to interview people for the positions you're looking to fill, and that means you probably don't have the best talent walking through your door for a job and they might not do what is needed.
If you want to start a business I would highly suggest you think about going the digital route before you start your own physical store. Your financial investment will be much lower, there's almost no risk if you do it right, and you could actually be more successful online than your storefront ever could
Thanks for reading!