by Mark Potter
The location of a brick and mortar business often determines whether the enterprise succeeds or fails. Online business owners often believe themselves to be free of address-based issues. However, the location of an internet enterprise can still affect its success.
Why Online Business Location Doesn’t Matter
- Customers can only judge a business based on their personal experience. If they never see your physical location, they can’t use it to form a negative opinion. Online businesses should instead be concerned with maintaining a polished online presence – including a killer website and streamlined social media profiles.
- Certain types of online business use very few resources, and therefore have minimal space requirements. Indeed, they might not need a physical location at all – as long as they have access to an internet connection, website owners can run their businesses anywhere.
- In the offline world, opening a business next to your direct competitor is a recipe for disaster. Many an independent coffee shop has vanished due to an impending Starbucks. Online businesses have nothing to fear in this respect – battle will commence in the SERPs instead.
- Traditional businesses rely on customer foot traffic to turn a profit. As a result, physical location is of the utmost importance. In comparison, ecommerce companies rely on website visits and clicks. They should therefore invest in online marketing, rather than a prestigious address.
Why Online Business Location Does Matter
- Brand image is an important marketing tool. The location of a business can affect this precious reputation, whether online or offline. A New York-based startup is likely to appear more exciting and dynamic than a company based in the countryside.
- Hiring is made considerably less stressful when there are a large number of candidates to choose from. Therefore, talent acquisition is significantly easier for city-based businesses. In comparison, a company in an inconvenient location may need to offer a generous package in order to attract the best talent.
- Speedy delivery is an important factor for online retailers, so ecommerce website owners need to take transport links into account. Although it’s possible to run a site from most locations, courier and postal services tend to take longer in rural locations.
- Initially, many online-based businesses consist solely of the founder. However, as the customer base grows, so do the company’s space requirements. Ensure you’ll be able to afford larger local premises in the future, or risk having to navigate a costly relocation.
Opening a shop or restaurant without first researching the local area would be unthinkable. In comparison, most internet business owners pay no attention to their location. However, from resource availability to brand image, location can still play an important role in the success of an online enterprise.
This article was written by Mark Potter of Namecheap.com, a leading ICANN accredited domain registrar and web host.