Transitioning Your Business Online

The Internet is providing your brick-and-mortar business an opportunity to serve your customers online. Having an web presence doesn’t mean that you will abandon your brick-and-mortar business, rather one becomes the extension of the other. Making that transition from a brick-and-mortar business to an online business can be a challenging task. Having an online presence is going to compliment your existing business, but it is going to require a real commitment from you and your employees. Whether or not your brick-and-mortar business becomes a click-and-order business, your initial goal must be to integrate your online presence into your existing business infrastructure. Wal-Mart, Staples, and many other successful brick-and-mortar businesses have made the transition. Moving online doesn’t mean abandoning your brick-and-mortar presence, rather it is to compliment it. As you develop your online presence you are all of a sudden in the convenience business. But convenience is meaningless if your customers can’t trust you. Trust and convenience doesn’t add up to anything unless your customers can find your site online. And, if you are too expensive all the trust in the world will not help you to close the sale. Planning Proper planning is everything! To improve your chances for succeeding online, you must have goals. As you map out your online strategy set measurable objectives. It’s not enough to hire a web developer to build you a site and hope for the best. Be clear about what the transition, or expansion, to the Internet means to your business. Make conscious decisions about expanding business into cyberspace, and consider its impact on your sales, marketing, customer service, and all other business processes. Bricks-and-Clicks Bricks-and-clicks is a business model that unites offline (bricks) and online (clicks) presences. Sometimes, referred to as click-and-mortar or clicks-and-bricks. This model has been traditionally implemented by brick-and-mortar businesses such as Wal-Mart and Blockbuster. Bricks-and-clicks is a popular system because it offers best of both worlds, online convenience without the shipping charges. With this system customers can order online and pick up at a local store at a later date. For example, you may have an accounting firm that creates a website to enable clients to upload payroll data for processing.