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If you came of age during the 21st century, it might be tempting to look at business opportunity as if it could remain completely virtual as you expand around the world. After all, the first billion dollar virtual business was sold back in the 1990s and there really shouldn’t be a need in many industries for people to build out a specific retail presence.
Yet, while that may be logistically so in a lot of cases, there would seem to be dynamic in an industry where companies avoid bricks and mortar and then several years later add it.
Amazon is a good example. After building out distribution centers all over the globe that facilitate shipment from centralized locations, they are now adding bricks and mortar retail centers in the Northwest that allow people that order to come and pick up the goods that they are offering the same day that they order them
So instead of shrinking, they are expanding their bricks and mortar. At the same time, even though their move may work well, their competitors, Walmart and Kmart, who pioneered ‘in-store’ same day pickup of grocery and other products, have moved away from fulfilling goods at the same level in their bricks and mortar stores as they started out with. Of course, that could mean in some respects that Amazon is moving into urban areas with bricks and mortar just to have a location that they can use to compete with the other services. If so, it seems making a lot of money by adding bricks and mortar services is still a couple of years away.
Here are some ways that you can determine whether or not you should add a bricks and mortar presence or not in your firm:
Is revenue strong enough to add lines of credit?:
If you are looking at expanding and adding a bricks and mortar presence, you likely have the financial results that allow you to seek lines of credit that can help expand your business. One potential partner, Advanced Funds Network, is capable of providing you with additional credit power within a few hours of your online application. Their system of working with businesses large and small to give them the cushion that they need as they go through an expansion period has many years of success backing it.
The key for many businesses is to add enough lines of credit so that any eventuality that may come up during your expansion will be covered. If you feel confident that you have that coverage, you will likely do well with your retail expansion.
Are your manufacturing sites compatible?
It isn’t hard for many retailers that import on the West Coast to just get the latest goods from China or India shipped in. Alternatively, they can work with local manufacturing and distribution. But if you are a manufacturer that also sells retail, you have a unique opportunity to have your manufacturing sites located near the retail stores that you are operating.
In and Out and Maya Botticelli are two different food and restaurant companies that are able to augment their franchisors’ results because they locate their manufacturing and distribution right next to their bricks and mortar locations. Amazon has done the same thing with Proctor and Gamble, putting Amazon shipping centers inside the actual Proctor and Gamble factory instead of opening their own bricks and mortar facility.
A lot of which direction you need to go into optimizing results will be related to what type of products and services that you do provide. One thing is certain, if you can consolidate your retail near your manufacturing without compromising sales results, you will save time and money.
Deciding whether or not you should open brick and mortar retail presence or just continue on as an e-commerce company can take quite some time. If you focus on ensuring that your distribution or manufacturing is near your initial locations and that your company is in the financial shape that it needs to weather any potential downturns, you should be able to forge ahead and build out your bricks and mortar presence.