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Should I open an online store? (common question being answered by Professor Devin)

Technology has made doing business remotely in cyberspace very attractive. To be quite honest, depending on the type of industry you are in, it can be lucrative. However, what the online market has done is made it very appealing to budding aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to get into business. There are tons of solicitations out there on working from home and making money while you sleep. They are very appealing, especially to the high-ambitious, skeptical, cash-strapped entrepreneur.

But here is what you must assess. As you are reading this, beauty supply stores are opening and growing. As you know, the majority of them are not from people of your community. So what does this say? It says that the strength, control and money-making avenues still lies in the brick and mortar houses. (Just look at your own behavior. We will address that in a moment.) Now, I would be the first one to tell you to have an online presence, but that should complement your brock and mortar, not replace it.

The issue remains that those who can pull off the brick and mortar experience are those who are knowledgeable, competitive, rational and have strong personal discipline. That’s just the facts. This business still has the customer “touch-and-feel” experience. In addition to that, people want the instant gratification that comes from last-minute and emergency purchases. Yes, online your market widens but so does your competition and fulfillment problems.

What is happening among us is some of us are getting doubtful and subconsciously cowering. And this is appeasing the competition. They love it. They love making themselves seem more powerful than they are and making us seem more weak and hopeless than we are. This false atmosphere causes us to deflect to a space that “seems” easier for us to earn a living. We would consider opening an online store but continue go against our own business model and shop inside brick and mortar stores.

The industry isn’t quite there yet where we can instantly earn full-time revenues online. It isn’t quite there yet where people prefer to shop in that manner even when the prices are cheaper. The majority of people prefer to spend more to get it right now. Possibly, you are one of them too.

To be taken seriously by distributors you must have one or both of two things: be buying in bulk and selling in mass or have a brick and mortar. The latter will earn you credibility. The former will prevent you from acquiring key supplier accounts. When it comes to acquiring accounts you must look at it like this. Products aren't simply available loosely in society. It may seem so, but they are not. They are strategically placed by their manufacturers. This allows them to control the value by controlling the supply and controlling where the products are placed. It is an intentional and brilliant tactic that many novice manufacturers overlook and new retail owners can’t understand. This in itself puts online store owners at a disadvantage.

My last point is I know the true dynamics of the in-store operations and what happens online. My stores did both. The time and energy it will take you to earn significant income online will put you at the same expense, sometimes way beyond, of having a brick and mortar. The difference is it will take much longer in cyberspace. If you do it, do it in “addition to”.

Now, I can easily design a service to put up online stores but it would be misleading. We would be taking your money while we exploit your dreams. And at the end of the day, it simply doesn’t fit our mission to recapture the industry. It would only serve as a self-loathing tactic that simply sells false hope.

Look, I am billionaire-minded and as long as I am seeing billionaires build strip malls for retailing and fellow millionaires invest in putting up stores, I will continue to advocate for you to do the same. Don’t get doubtful, get disciplined. Get to the finish line and don’t become impatient or distracted. Learn how to filter the “tactic of subconscious” from the “tactic of substance”. One will have you cowering in fear and spinning your wheels while the other will have you gaining ground and building legacies.







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