On the show today we answer a great question from a listener who wants to bring his brick and mortar business online.
What should he be thinking about? What are the common roadblocks and challenges? What are some unfair advantages brick and mortar businesses could take advantage of?
Our answers to those questions on the show today. If you’ve got a local business you definitely want to pay attention to this one. Enjoy!
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“Take your brick and mortar business online with these terribly important questions”
Questions to ask yourself:
If you run a brick and mortar business and you’re thinking of taking it online, you’ll definitely want to listen to the whole show today. Below I’ve put together some notes for you to keep track of what we talk about.
You sure you need to do this? — Why not expand the reach of your current methods or add more items to sell?
Do you know exactly who you want to sell to? — In Patrick’s example he’s selling directly to restaurants in Memphis. When you go online will your current customer target shift? Consumers and chefs are two very different targets, requiring different kinds of marketing, calls to action, etc. You’ll need to identify your target market early on.
For each item you’re going to sell, how much do you make in profit after production costs, labor and shipping? — This is about pricing and scale. Can you make money if you’re only selling X amount of Y product per month?
Get a website up! — it’s not a question. This needs to happen first. Squarespace, Shopify, Gumroad, Etsy, Big Cartel, StoreEnvy, WooCommerce. Pick one and get your site up. Don’t worry so much about platform. Get started and figure it out as you go.
(Find some more info on this in our domain name advice and platform guides.)
Can you try a pre-sale first? — Why not try this out and see if you can drum up some interest? Gumroad has this feature and makes it real simple to test for interest.
Where are you? — Location matters! Local marketing is a much different thing, even though you’ll be selling nationally and maybe internationally, don’t short sell your local presence.
Who could you approach to mentor you? — You’re going to have to crack a whole bunch of new nuts. Approach a few people who’ve been there before to help you anticipate the sticky stuff!
What’s the story about your package/product? — It’s not just a cup of coffee, it’s a fair trade farmer’s livelihood. It’s not just vegetables, it’s microgreens from a family farm. Don’t bore me with it, but make sure I feel the story as I quickly peruse the product.
What existing sites/communities could you partner with? — Marketing is going to be one of your hardest problems.
What shipping material will you need? — This is a real expense and a real part of fulfilling these orders. Spend an hour figuring this out.
What exactly are you going to sell? — can you organize things into packages? are they totally individual?
The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business
Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.
One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »