Brick and Mortar Businesses and the Internet: Expansion, Survival or Extinction?

I want to share with you what happened this week when speaking to a small group of brick-and-mortar business owners and employees at lunch.

As everyone talked about what they did, there was a feeling that this is what it must have been like at a meeting of blacksmiths right at the time cars were first making their appearance.

Denial for some. Business as usual.

Others exploring the options for changing their businesses to reflect that horses would no longer play a key role in transportation…

…and yet another subset knowing that changes needed to be made but not what to do.

The Internet is doing that to brick-and-mortar biz. As you’ve seen, competition is no longer the guy across the street. The entrepreneur in South Africa, Singapore, or India is just chomping at the bit to take your clients.

And where there is fear and uncertainty, con artists move in and pluck the money from the ignorant. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just nailed some hucksters who were sellingweb services franchises.

You can find my take on franchises versus licensing in these two blog posts:

Licensing Agreements Can Grow Your Business” and

Franchises – Consider Doing Something Different For Your Business

 

Ten years ago, virtual mall scams were the rage. Some things don’t change. Business owners who don’t know their way around the Internet are easy prey.

On the other hand, technology opens up a global market of potential clients that you never had before, i.e. there’s greater opportunity too.

Whatever you do, don’t be the blacksmith who has the narrow focus on how to capture a larger share of the dwindling market of horses to shoe within trotting distance of your shop.

Get out there and compete. If there’s a way to do it online, then do it.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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