Starting a business needs a physical set up, and manpower, if you want to start it offline. You will need to incur additional costs like, decorating your office, staging the interiors, spending on getting the office furniture and supplies etc. You will also need to recruit a few people who can manage the office. All this needs a lot of capital investment. If you are able to create a proper business plan and find an investor who will fund your venture, then, you can go for the offline business.
If you are bootstrapping and you are short on cash and do not need loan sharks peeking into the your business process and run the course of your business as per their wishes, then you can go for online business, as this does not need a physical establishment. You have to be a net savvy person and someone who has a deep insight and knowledge of digital marketing to get started. You will need almost negligible amount of capital when you start a business using the online platform.
You only have to take care of the logistics and product development part when you start an online business. You still have to register your business and have a business structure just that, the cost that incurs for an online business is far less. If you have FMCG products to sell, then you can start an online business easily and you will also be able to find a market for your products online. Getting users to buy your products is not a very difficult task if you know how to go about creating an online business.
Pros and cons of online and offline businesses?
Whether you want to start an online business or an offline business, both of these options have their own set of advantages and pitfalls. When you want to start an online business, you will need to have a very deeper knowledge and understanding of how the digital space works. You will need to have banking payment gateway systems in place. You will need to have a proper customer service that takes care of grievances and feedback. You might not need a lot of people to get started, you can start with a small investment, but you must be a devoted netizen to start an online business.
The biggest disadvantage of an offline business is that you can only have a local reach of customers, and also the capital investment is very high compared to an online business. This option is good if your target customers are only local customers. If you have products that have a great market value, then you can start an offline business as you will find many customers in your local market for your products.
How to decide whether to start online or offline?
The easiest way to decide if you want to start an online or offline business is your budget and the capability to invest. If you have a good amount of capital and funds made available to you, you can start an offline business. If your business requires a lot of man power and you provide local services, then you will need an offline business. You don’t need to have a web presence if you do not serve customers beyond your city or town. However, having an online presence will only add to the advantage of getting a maximum reach to your business. Though, this is an option that is entirely up to you.
If you are running low on budget, or if you want to start a business with lesser resources and capital, then online business is for you. You can also start an online business if you want to operate from a warehouse. You can also make all your transactions online. You will reduce the paper work, time to commute to your office, if you ever had a physical establishment, and also fix appointments online, when you take your business in the digital space. This kind of business can save a lot of time, money, and resources. So, while learning how to start a business in India, also learn about money and resource.