From 'clicks-to-bricks': What to know before making the jump

People do more online today than ever before. As such, many savvy business owners launched their business online.

Running a business online has many perks, but as this recent article notes, California business owners are increasingly expanding online business to brick-and-mortar stores. This "clicks-to-bricks" trend may be appealing, especially if you operate a retail business. However, before you make this decision, it is important to consider the requirements of such a move.

Location, location, location

You will need a space to operate your business. So, you must find a building or property zoned for your needs and decide whether you are going to buy or rent the space. In addition to features like square footage and location, you will also want to consider any unusual contractual restrictions in a lease or purchase agreement.

Marketing

The article discusses that another reason why business owners are opening physical stores is the increasing cost of attracting customers online. Between email lists, pop-up ads and other ad placements, it can be roughly 10 times more expensive to attract a new customer online than in person.

That said, you may be getting into unfamiliar territory in terms of advertising and marketing regulations. While many rules apply across platforms, there are some that relate specifically to online or physical marketing.

Logistics

Think also about the logistics of operating your store. For example, you will need to stock your store, which could require different transportation solutions than you already have in place. You will probably also hire employees, buy or lease point-of-sale machines and retail supply equipment, create a design, and partner with vendors to create the type of experience you want your customers to enjoy.

Protecting your expanding business

Making this type of move can certainly be exciting, especially considering the potential for growth. However, as we discussed above, there are risks and responsibilities that come with this type of business transition.

To better understand your legal obligations and to shield your business from costly mistakes, it can be wise to consult a business law attorney. With legal guidance, you can navigate the complexities of real estate contracts, regulations and logistical requirements more easily.

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