The virtual world has started to dominate the business economy. Websites have taken the place of many physical locations worldwide throughout a wide variety of industries, and the reality is that it’s changed the way business is done. However, brick and mortar locations are still very viable as a component of business for many entities. There’s something to be said for customers being able to see, feel and experience what a business does with their very own eyes.
If you’re a business owner that operates primarily in the online sphere, but are looking to launch an actual branch or storefront for your business, there are certain factors to consider. Doing this can be a great idea, but you have to be efficient about it. Some ideas are listed below for you to consider if and when this transition happens.
Be very intentional with location
If you’re opening a brick and mortar location, you need to be extremely intentional. The last thing you want is to commit financially to a physical spot, all before realizing you picked the wrong location. In a world dominated by virtual business, a physical store or office can be very effective within your target audience, but it has to be placed correctly.
Actionable: If you own a hypothetical surfboard company, and you only operate online, you can benefit. A storefront that people could walk into and buy your product would boost your revenue and branding. However, you probably wouldn’t want to open the satellite brick and mortar location in Montana. Even if the equipment was hypothetically made in Montana, you would want to invest in a more efficient location like Huntington Beach, California. Yes, it would be astronomically more expensive to open this office or storefront in Huntington, but the business would be limitless and indefinite. Your target market could walk directly from your business to the ocean. This principle can be applied across all industries, just with a different foundation.
Understand the scope of what you’re trying to accomplish
This idea is unique to each business operation, but the bottom line is that it’s only worth opening a brick and mortar location if you understand the scope of what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you taking the chance opening a storefront to save your business? Are you thinking it could potentially help you dominate the market? Are you just doing it because you can, as more of an investment?
Actionable: If you’re opening a physical location, the costs will be multifaceted and unpredictable. This makes the scope and goal of what you’re trying to do much more critical. For instance, if you want your brick and mortar location to grow internally on location, you need to make sure the space is large enough. You would never want to underestimate your potential and overshoot your physical parameters. Avoiding this is part of understanding scope. Similarly, you don’t want to rent out a huge office or storefront, all before realizing the lease is too expensive for its return value. You’ve just got to maintain business prowess and plan accordingly.
Make your office efficient
Whatever space you do end up deciding on for your brick and mortar location, it needs to be efficient. It needs to be well-spaced and utilized in the most effective way possible. Even little things like providing storage lockers that serve as dual-purpose shelves can make a huge difference. Wasted space in a physical office or storefront isn’t in your best interest, especially when you need to capitalize in the early stages of the transition. Creating an environment that impresses at first sight when the customers walk in while also utilizing the resources you have and no more than you need is the goal.
Actionable: Be resourceful and don’t spend money where you don’t need to. For instance, if we’re talking about the same hypothetical surf board company, consider making benches out of broken surf boards that can’t be sold or rented. It will make your store front classy and genuine without compromising the budget and wasting the broken surfboard even further. Little things like this go a long way.
Are you thinking brick and mortar for your business?
A Lifelong sports fan, outdoor lover and science fiction reader. James Anderson spends the warmer months in the great wild, camping, hunting and writing. Image courtesy Pug50