Becoming your own boss for some is a very appealing suggestion, but with the accepted economic environment is it possible or is it a gamble you cannot afford to take? First, let us take a moment and ponder an illustration that stuck with me from the book, The E-Myth, by Michael Gerber, written in 1988 and still holds true today. In a conventional business most employees have a skill, get frustrated, and feel they can do a better business than their supervisor. They give notice and create their very own enterprise but soon realize they do not know the other aspects of owning an enterprise and before long meet with disaster.
There are generally two types of businesses - brick and mortar (we include franchise in this article) and an online business. Let us look at the pros and cons of both types.
Brick and Mortar
Brick and mortar, also established as a traditional business first of all is very expensive. Not only will you have start up costs but overhead costs such as rent/lease, taxes, inventory, utilities, advertising, business license, insurance, and employees.
In the mid 1990s we had a retail location in a very affluent outdoor mall in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was the initial stages of the cell phone industry with pagers still in full demand and with the internet in its very early infancy. Most individuals back then who needed a phone was the business person.
We had a very successful wholesale business and decided to encompass a retail location to our business portfolio. Prior to opening our store, we were very aggressive in our homework. We spent months doing our demographics once we decided on where we were going to open our store. Even though we were diligent we faced many challenges in the course of action. We had controversy with the city to have our blueprints approved because we needed a restroom in our location. As our location was not spacious we could not build a handicap bathroom as it would have taken up too much space. We then had to place footprints on our plans to our neighbors where our customers could use their facilities. This was after we had to contact their corporate office for permission. That was a standing joke between our two businesses for years.
Soon after we opened the two carriers determined to give away the free analog phone. The digital phone was coming on the scene and were quite expensive. If the customer wanted a free phone they only had to pay the sales tax at around $30 - $40 depending on the style of phone. The digital phones were ranging from $400 to $700 per phone plus monthly rates that were exceedingly outrageous.
We worked over 60 hours a week each, seven days a week. We were only closed on Christmas. Yes, we hired employees but before long comprehended we could not leave the store as we had to baby sit them otherwise things would not get done. It was not that we employed the wrong employees it was the fact that they needed supervision. Many times situations arose and they had to contact us on how to resolve the circumstances. It soon became evident we needed to be at our store with our employees.
For a brick and mortar business location is very significant. Also, if you want the prime location, your lease will reflect your locale. Your location alone can decide your success or failure. Before you open your establishment you will need to make a determination what type of product or service you are going to provide. Do not spread yourself to thin as you certainly will fail. Also, you will need to set aside many hours for researching the market to know the psychographics and demographics of the market where you plan to establish your business. This will include to conduct surveys and interviews of both patrons and business owners in that area. The more data you acquire will help you in making the one step closer in achieving your success.
If your main reason for opening a brick and mortar business is getting away from the 9 to 5 work day you are only teasing yourself. You may never work so hard in your life as when you have your brick and mortar business. You will not only spend 9 to 5 but many hours at the job site not to mention the time you will spend thinking about it and many nervous nights.
Pros to a brick and mortar business
1. Customers may feel a sense of assurance and reliability that comes from a brick and mortar business. Especially if you, as the owner, is present and gain their confidence if something goes wrong. Many patrons still enjoy and feel comfortable by buying in person in a store. It also adds a touch of professionalism.
2. Those customers that are considered "walk-ins" is added benefit of an actual brick and mortar business. This is another important reason to pay extra consideration to your location. Your percentage of walk-ins will increase.
3. Many customers are still conditioned to seeing and feeling their potential product prior to purchase.
Cons to a brick and mortar business
1. A brick and mortar business in only opened a limited time per day and week. Your sales therefore only occur during your open hours and thus limiting your sales and profit. It also may not always be convenient for your customers thus losing sales.
2. A brick and mortar location necessitate startup capital and overhead costs and not to mention an investment of your time away from family and friends.
A business online is still hard work but in many ways easier than an established brick and mortar business. A false misconception is that you set up a website or Blog and immediately you are going to make a fortune. Not true. An online business still requires the market research for your specific target market or demographics. But now you are no longer bound to an established area or location. Whereas in a brick and mortar you need to actually have to do comprehensive legwork for your research whereas an online business you can do it strictly online - using social media, social networking tools, forums, etc.
In addition to, the startup capital needed for an online business is substantially less. Just the cost of marketing and advertising is so dramatically less for an online business. For an online business your advertising is significantly cheaper and sometimes depending on your strategies can be free. Your advertising can compose of making comments in forums, social networking sites, and chat rooms. You do no want to SPAM but make authentic comments and individuals will be attracted to you.
Also, your overhead costs are less. Your greatest expenses would be to invest in a computer and internet connection. You will also need a phone, either cell or land line. A website will also be needed, along with a web hosting site - we recommend HostGator and your own domain name - GoDaddy is what we recommend. Now you are ready for business.
As communicated earlier it is far less expensive and easier for an online business but it still requires hard work. You still need to conduct market research, hours at your computer, and to learn techniques that you may not know. The upside is you can do this in the comfort or your home and at any hour of the day or night. Believe it or not you can make money while you sleep or take a vacation if you set up your business properly.
Pros of an online business
1. Start up cost low; open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
2. The number of visits per day could be staggering. It is quite easy to create a buzz about your site and have people go to your website. However, turning visits into customers is another story.
3. You can create a nice residual income to support you and your family if you so choose.
Cons to an online business
1. Although the internet can be a gold mine it can also lead to a false sense of security. Remember both brick and mortar and online businesses require hard work and you need to have perseverance.
2. One disadvantage to an online business is no contact with customers. No guarantee they will come back to your site.
3. From time to time there are many distractions while conducting an online business. Know your niche and do not depart from from it. With so much out there it is easy to jump ship and look for another business. Consistency is the key is success.
Blogging and Your Niche
If you have tried to create a business online you know there are many aspects before you are in business - hire a web designer, create your shopping cart, and even set up PayPal account to accept payments. There is a simpler way a Blog and writing about your niche or even niches. What are you enthusiastic about? What do you know that you wish others knew as well? The definition of niche according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone.
We have used our niche of health and wellness and turned it into a business. We use a Blogging platform that has a proven system and ranks on Alexa.com global around 345 and 170 in the United States.
Creating and maintaining a Blog is very rewarding. We explore subjects of interest to us, write an article, create a video, and post to our site. It is that simple. Because of the Alexa ranking and the proven system of the platform traffic flows to our site.
If this sounds exciting click on the link and we will give you more information on how to can have a viable business in a matter of minutes.