Brick or no brick…that is the question

I recently planned on attending a local black owned business crawl. Unfortunately due to previous commitments I was not able to attend. The good news…there is a November black owned business crawl scheduled. I’m glad this was not a one time event because I think it is a great way to show support of our local black owned businesses (B.O.B). The business crawl made think about whether we have different opinions regarding brick and mortar vs. online and home based businesses. This was mainly a result that the businesses listed for the October and November black owned business crawl were mostly brick and mortar businesses (with the exception of one business that was mobile based).

Some people believe a commercially based business presents a more “credible/professional” face. Having a physical location provides marketing legitimacy. I’m sure you have heard “location, location, location” because that could make or break your brick and mortar business. People are also more willing to trust face to face communication, therefore they will be more willing to patronize the business.  Additionally, people can receive their goods immediately. These are great advantages for the brick and mortar business owner. But there are some disadvantages as well. There are usually higher start up costs. As a result, you may not have the funds needed to begin your business. There may be a need to work longer hours. Prime location may not be available, remember location is key.

For our web based and home businesses location does not play a major part. You can actually work from home. Therefore, there are lower start up costs, so you could start a business sooner. There could be lower prices for merchandise or services because there is no need to maintain large inventory or pay for overhead costs. There is high marketing opportunity because you can reach a lot of people around the world. But like brick and mortar businesses there are some disadvantages. There is a lack of personal interaction. There are no opportunities for consumers to physically review the products prior to purchasing. And in the microwave age some consumers do not want to wait for their products.

It appears consumers still support brick and mortar businesses  more than home based and/or web based businesses according to some statistics. One reason is because there are some businesses that simply cannot be home based therefore statistically making that number higher.   Or people are still learning how to be technically savvy. Regardless, some people have definite preconceived ideas one is better than the other.

My thoughts…if you are getting all the services you deserve, if your core expectations are being met (please reference my article “No Support) then it does not matter whether the business is brick and mortar or home/web based.  Brick and mortar is not more important than the experience.  The goal of dealswithbob is to showcase all black owned businesses that offer competitive pricing, great selection of products and/or services, quality and customer service.  If you know a B.O.B that offers great customer experiences, please share so the community can show our support.

Thank you for reading, these are my thoughts, I look forward hearing yours.

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