Browsing Tag

online business

Internet Marketing

Online vs. Offline Businesses

June 8, 2008

After ‘interning’ at my dad’s shop for the past week, I really can see the differences between running an online business and an offline one. And all the more I can convinced that it is really important for offline businesses to explore the opportunities that are available online for them to expand their businesses and to take them to the next level.

Firstly with a offline business, I have to:

1. pay the rent

2. be/hire someone to physically be there to man my business 

3. be subjected to environmental influences on my business because of conditions such as weather, season and time

4. make sure that I take lots of efforts to gain customers/drive traffic to my shop

5. manage the business by manually taking care of things

However, by bringing my business online, I can subject my business to a lot more opportunities that may not be available to me offline such as:

1. 24/7 operation of my shop online – with a website that is fully furnished with all my products, information and check out system, I can enable my shop to operate 24/7

2. advertising to millions of people through different means – i can explore ways to advertise my business to people of different countries and some ways include, visiting websites/forums that are related to my business and contributing my knowledge and ideas there to gain awareness for both what I do and my business

3. automate all proceedings from purchasing to after sales service

4. stand to earn extra revenue from advertisements on the website

5. reduce the costs of rental etc. to only the costs of webhosting and a domain name and perhaps a script to set up the shopping cart etc.

and frankly, the list goes on…

Online businesses are actually providing conveniences to the internet user community by bringing them their shopping experiences from the malls to the comfort of their homes! Now, people can literally shop in their knickers if they want! It’s amazing at how the shopping experience can be digitised to fit into the computer and the internet and bringing people the joy of not having to rush for that fitting room or to queue those long queues that seem to never end. It also saves people the time and energy of having to travel out of their homes to get down to the busy shopping mall.

It’s good to consider how your offline business can be translated onto online medium! 😀 Well, think about it if you are an offline business owner and I hope I have enlightened you in some ways! Do drop me an email if you have any questions you would like to ask me personally! 😀

Internet Marketing

An Online Business Is TOO Risky!

March 14, 2008

Before you start judging my statement and think that I do not practise what I preach about starting an online business, let me clarify my title. That’s actually my parents’ initial response when I started internet marketing online with Calvin. They think that an online business is too risky.

Then the thought arises – what exactly is so risky about starting an online business?

1. There’s really not a huge capital being used. What I need basically are a domain name (SGD15/yr) and a subscription to hosting services (SGD 15/month).

2. I do not have an inventory of physical goods and services (that is if I am promoting and selling e-products)

3. I have 24/7 control of my business so long as I am connected to the internet.

4. I have millions of customers that are waiting from every single corner of the world for the opportunity to come by my website.

5. I can have flexible working hours.

I have been helping my dad at his shop (he owns an offline business) these past few days because he is currently short handed. I enjoy going to his shop because it is the place where I spent a lot of my childhood days at. His shop is a toy shop. Don’t think in terms of Toys R Us or Kiddy Palace kind of toy shop. His is a regular and cosy little toy shop that has existed for 2 decades (since the later 1980s).

His offline business is not doing too good because of the increasing commercial competition that exists almost everywhere. Cheaper goods can be obtained from countries like Thailand and China, and it’s really a matter of who has the product with the best price and located where consumers are. My dad’s shop sadly, isn’t at a very good location – far from the crowds and far from where all consumers are.

He opens his shop everyday except sundays at 11.30 am and closes by around 8pm. It’s a tough cycle that he repeats everyday without fail – rain or shine. The expenses of running the shop basically include electricity and water bills, the payment for the goods, shop space rental and I believe that it adds up to about SGD 2,000.

Now comparing his offline business and my online business, do you notice the stark contrast? In terms of the no. of consumers, the capital/costs per month and the need for a shop space to store the goods. For my online business, my shop is my website and my consumers are my web visitors. Given that the offline business is situated in Singapore away from the global consumers, the idea of location (whether offline or online) can heavily affect the opportunities for people to buy something from me.

Now, it’s something that I hope you, my blog reader will continue pondering over if you’re still thinking whether you should start up an online business or even just a blog for a start. There’s really not much to lose in starting an online business and the idea that it is too risky is certainly not supported. If you’re looking for ideas to start, you might want to check this out!