Starting Online Businesses

The Marriage of Brick, Mortar and Online Ventures

Written by Brenda Stokes for Gaebler Ventures

We live in the day and age when the brick and mortar business and the online venture becomes one in the same. So how does this marriage become one that works perfectly in sync?

The brick and mortar business is the oldest form of business with the online venture still being more on the new side.

It is possible, however, to marry these two different methods of doing business to create one major business operation. Many businesses around the world are doing it and they are finding much success.

The type of success that they are finding is in the way of increased revenue. This is achieved through a wider customer base. Take into consideration how a brick and mortar business has a physical location within a specific community. This means the business can only serve those within the community and anyone who visits the community. By creating an online presence, you are opening yourself up to the entire world. That's if you want to expose your business to the entire world.

How to Build an Online Business

Building an online business is not the simplest of tasks, but it's not the hardest either. Some believe that doing so is going to cost them so much money that they will have difficulty achieving a return on investment. This couldn't be further from the truth.

If you have experience building websites or you can learn quickly, it is possible for you to build your website on your own. If you cannot build it on your own, you can hire someone to do it for you. You don't have to pay a significant price to make this happen. You can shop around and find web designers that will design your site for a price that you can handle.

You can then specify what you want your business website to contain. This can consist of a catalog and shopping cart to make online shopping easy, email opt-in lists, and ways in which customers can contact you. Contact information is especially important because many customers and potential customers will look to the Internet for contact information before turning to the phone book for that information. That is why you definitely want a business website.

Once the business website is up and running, you are able to then market the site through your physical location and through various avenues online. You can use social networking, build links throughout the Internet to your website, use eBay to market your products and link people to your online store, and so much more. There are various means of advertisement that you can use to market your business domestically and even internationally. This expands your customer base significantly.

Sustaining a Business Online

Once you have your business online, you have to continue the marketing process. Yes, one campaign will draw some people in, but you have to continue marketing campaign after marketing campaign. That way you keep the interest of those who are already customers and bring in new customers at the same time.

One way to keep your business website traffic flowing is to offer specials. These specials can be used online only or a customer can print a coupon and bring it into your store. You may also want to offer something free. Perhaps free samples to the first 100 visitors in a month or a free eBook. Only do what your budget will allow. In the end, your online presence will pay off.

Brenda is a graduate of California State University and a professional writer covering a variety of business topics. To learn more about Brenda, check out her website at The Digital Inkwell.

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