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      Small Business  »
Locations

Unless you contain your business to your home, you may need office space, warehouse space, manufacturing space, retail sales space, and more.

Offices

Office space may be required to house employees, meet with clients, and to add "brick and mortar" legitimacy to your business ("10 Main Street" sounds much more business-like than "10 Maple Street" or "PO Box 10"). Read more about your options in our article on office suites.

Stores

A store provides a location for displaying and explaining your product or service, taking orders, making deliveries to your customers, and providing customer service. Today's businesses develop a strategy that combines two approaches to reaching their customers. Each has its advantages and disadvantages:

  • physical stores - having a storefront with a real address may be cumbersome, but it allows customers to touch your products and you to make a personal appeal. On hand inventory allows the customer to make a purchase and walk out with the produce. Store fronts also imply a permanency not found in Internet stores.
  • web site and online stores - many new businesses begin online because Internet stores are quick and inexpensive to set-up. There is no negotiaing lease space and the outfitting of the store is electronic. In many cases, you can open your "virtual" store and be selling products in just a few minutes, and the store can be open around the clock, every day of the week, without the hassle of hiring a staff. Online stores also allow you to reach a vast audience by electronically eliminating the distance to your store. However, selling online does have its drawbacks, including restricting your potential customers to those with Internet access, higher charge card transaction fees, product delivery costs, and dependence on technology.

Keep in mind that many small businesses operate without stores and rely instead on "mobile" stores (pushcarts and vending trucks, for example) or on outbound sales people that visit potential customers at their home or place of business (such as door-to-door sales).

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