In most things, getting physical is great. But, for anyone thinking about starting a small business, it might not have such a positive impact. In fact, as sales continue to move online and remote work becomes a standard, looking into things like shop rental or the expense of an office could see businesses altogether failing to get off the ground.
The fact is that, in the past year alone, online sales have risen to account for 36.3% of all retail sales. That might not sound like much, but it’s an extreme jump when you consider that, as recently as 2019, that figure was just 19.1%. Any new company needs to be ahead, rather than behind, that ever-shifting curve.
This is the primary reason for keeping your business online right now, but it isn’t the only benefit of doing so. Here, we’re going to consider why else getting physical might not be the best way towards business success in 2021 and beyond.
You’ll waste a lot of money
Right now, average commercial rental costs rest at around £2,175 per square foot per year, and that’s before you consider additional premises expenses like data storage, utility bills, and more. By comparison, remote, online businesses can get started for significantly less, and enjoy profits way sooner too. Even with things like product or data storage that you can’t manage at home, options like data center colocation or outsourced product distribution offer a fantastic route around. Even better, the third-party nature of services like these ensures you won’t ever need to think about utility bills or practicalities.
You’ll fail to compete
Even businesses that didn’t have an online presence pre-2020 have moved into e-commerce over the past 18 months. This includes small and large businesses and means that anyone who isn’t selling online right now will struggle to compete. This is especially the case as global business becomes big business, allowing even independent sellers to reach wider audiences. If you focus solely on local or passing trade in a physical setting, you miss out on those benefits and ultimately prevent yourself from ever standing above your competitors.
You won’t be able to attract the best talent
Recent studies reveal that as many as 78% of people would like to continue working from home most of the time, suggesting that physical business may also face something of an upcoming skills gap. This is especially the case as other companies take pains to offer flexible working options, and stand to attract the best talent off the back of that drive. By comparison, expecting new staff members to attend an office or spend their days in a physical shop could drastically impact your ability to attract the best. That, in turn, may see your business failing to thrive.
Physical business might not be dead in the water yet, but it’s quickly going out of fashion. As such, anyone hoping to take a new business far could benefit from stepping outside of those confines and enjoying the countless benefits of doing so.