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Six Steps To Convert Your Storefront Into An Online Business

In events not seen since the Great Depression, the U.S. economy suffered a massive shock due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  A record number of businesses shut their doors both temporarily and for good.

Now, as we enter the post-pandemic age, many businesses have reopened and are beginning to thrive, yet there is still much uncertainty to deal with.

To survive, many brick-and-mortar businesses pivoted their operations and launched their businesses online with great success. This was in response to customers, who had never shopped online before, that became part of a massive wave of those shifting their shopping entirely online. 

Why Shift Your Business Online 

With the dramatic shifts in consumer shopping habits, it makes financial sense to have an online presence. Physical stores do allow customers to interact with employees and with the products and services, yet, a brick-and-mortar store still has limitations. 

First, having a physical store limits your customer reach. With an online presence, a business can not only reach beyond their local neighborhood, but they can also reach customers on a national scale, even on an international level, depending on the type of business you operate. 

Another advantage? Your business never closes. No need to shut down operations during the holidays or after hours. That means your business can operate 24/7, all year long, generating revenue regardless of the time of day. 

How To Shift From Brick and Mortar To Online Store

In order to make this strategic transition from a physical store to a profitable online company, follow these actionable steps:

1. Purchase A Domain Name

Purchase a domain name by searching the name of your business via a domain buying platform. Ideally, it would be best to choose a domain name that matches your business name. For only $15 to $20, you can purchase a domain name that is effective for an entire year. 

2. Develop A Website

Choose a platform on which you will host your content. If you plan to sell physical products via your website, consider signing up for an e-commerce platform like Shopify. All you need to do is create an account and start building your website and begin selling right away. 

3. Create A Design That Matches Your Brand

Choose a professionally designed theme and add customizations. The design must reflect your brand’s personality and it must be easy for customers to navigate. 

4. Choose What To Sell

Begin by adding your “top-selling” and lightweight items to your e-Commerce website. Determine what your customers ask the most about or request the most. This enables you to seek out new products that will boost your sales.

5. Get Your Legal Obligations Situated

Depending on how you plan to run your operation, you may have additional legal requirements to consider as an online business.

When it comes to selling products online, you will need to get the following: a business license, a DBA (Doing Business As) license, register for an EIN (employee identification number), and have a privacy policy on your website.

6. Write Content On Your Website

Your customers won’t be able to visit you in person, therefore, you need to create good content in order to educate, inform, and develop trust with your customers.

Feature your content on key pages of your website such as your: home page, about us page, and Product/Service page. This will help customers understand your story and get familiar with your offerings. 

You Can Make It Happen

There have been many reports during the pandemic about businesses that completely transformed their business model from a physical store to completely online with much success. This is proof that it is a real possibility. 

By following these aforementioned steps and even reaching out to these businesses with success stories, you can glean hard-won wisdom to apply to your own operation.

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