If you are looking to be an entrepreneur, you have two main types of businesses: a traditional brick-and-mortar business or an online business (e-business). But, which is actually better to start?
When I say you could start a “traditional brick-and-mortar business”, I mean like a McDonald's franchise, a flower shop, an iphone repair business, a gym, etc.
When I say you could start an “online business”, I mean selling ebooks on Amazon, affiliate marketing, online courses, membership sites, selling advertising space, etc.
If you want to start a business, there are many options, but first, you need to decide if you want an actual store / building, or just start a business on your computer.
I've found that there are 7 key differences between these two types of businesses and I've broken them down for you in the infographic below.
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In a traditional business, you have to have office or lease space to operate. You may even need an entire building, depending on your business' needs.
With an online business, you don't need to commute anywhere or lease any kind of space. You can work in your pajamas from the comfort of your home.
You can't do everything by yourself, especially as you get more customers. But, with a brick-and-mortar type of business, you will most likely have to hire employees. This will cost you thousands per month for each one.
With an internet business, you can use software to automate a lot of the work for you and make everyday tasks much easier. This helps you save money and not have to worry about human error or employees not getting along.
Inventory And Equipment
It would be a lot easier to have an e-business because you wouldn't need lease space, expensive equipment, furniture, product inventory, etc. Instead, you could get by with just a computer with internet.
According to the Kauffmann Foundation research in 2009, the average startup cost for a new traditional-style business is $30,000. If you instead stick with an internet startup, you get have your website and everything you need setup for around $50.
If you are a consistent reader of my posts, you know that I consider time to be our most valuable asset in life because we can't get more of it.
This being said, if you have a gym or store of some kind, you will probably need to be there all day during opening hours to keep things moving.
If you're running a business online, you don't have commutes, specific office hours, etc. and can easily get by on just a few hours of work per day.
If an emergency happens to your business, how safe is it and how fast can you get it running again? With a traditional brick-and-mortar business, you could lose everything if there is a fire, flood, robbery, etc.
With an internet business, almost everything you need should be accessible through the internet, meaning you could just login from other computers if something were to happen. This minimizes risk.
If you have a normal business, you may have trouble reaching more customers because of you being limited to a specific location and having specific hours that you are open.
If the weather is bad, you will probably get less customers. Certain people that might like your business, may not be willing to drive to it if it is too far away. You have to think about these things.
If you have an e-business, you can set it up to make your money from customers not only in your country, but around the world. And, unless the internet completely shuts down (which will probably never happen), your business will run 24/7.
There really is nothing like being an entrepreneur. You are in charge or your own lifestyle and don't have to rely on anyone else or take orders from a boss. You don't even have an income ceiling like you would at a job.
When comes down to today's opportunities with the way the internet has expanded, I don't think there really is any comparison between when it comes to the benefits of an online business vs a traditional one.
To make it short, they just save you a lot of money and time. Now, if you have the capital to hire employees, pay for lease space, keep stocking inventory, etc., maybe a traditional business could work well for you.
But if you're on a budget, starting with an internet startup is probably the best way to go for the reasons I mentioned above.
What do you think is better between a brick-and-mortar vs online business?
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