As a start-up business you have to make the most of every potential avenue of business that you can.

E-commerce accounts for a large percentage of the annual retail market and as technology improves year on year the potential to make a name for your business with an online shop has never been greater. When comparing to the costs of owning or leasing a physical property it could make things much simpler in terms of your overheads. You will require procedures in place to deal with the storage and delivery of your product, but this would be the case if you were only selling via a shop front anyway.

If you’re still unsure about selling online there are three other benefits to consider:

Widen Your Audience Potential

If you start a business with a physical office or shop front you have a limited sphere of influence and limited numbers of potential customers. Depending on your advertising budget and how aggressively you market via traditional means you could be restricted to your high street and surrounding areas, your town or maybe region. Obviously this can have its benefits in terms of allowing you to steadily grow but an online shop can make a massive difference from the outset.

Looks and Feel Like a Bigger Company at a Lower Cost

Whether you’re using a website, social media channels or a combination of both to sell your business online, you can build your brand and reputation online without customers and potential customers ever having to know you’re not as big as a large national company. That’s the beauty of having an online shop, there are costs involved but it levels the playing field and at a fraction of the cost it would take to compete with the big boys offline you can gain a foothold online with hard work and perseverance.

Make it Easier for Customers to Purchase

A physical shop front gives you that face-to-face customer service that is difficult to replicate through an online shop, however there are advantages to going online. Firstly, there is no restriction to when your customers can purchase from you – you can have an online shop open for orders 24 hours a day, with special offers available to online customers. It’s easy and straightforward to make a purchase online and you can also offer online chat support or links to your contact telephone number during working hours should a potential customer wish to speak to someone over the phone.

Starting any business is a massive undertaking and requires careful planning, a strong and structured finance plan and the willpower to succeed. The choice to have an online shop is one that can benefit smaller companies and start-ups as it provides benefits that can level the playing field with bigger companies and a chance to build your reputation and a trusted client base.

You can also join our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” which is packed with help, resources and articles to get you started. Use it to get tips, advice and start building your network! 

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