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Click and Mortar — The Ultimate Guide To Taking Your Offline Business Online

You own an offline business like an Esthetician's office or an Accountant practice. 

You’re not just great at what you do, you’re passionate about helping people! 

But you’re working too hard

You feel tied to your office.

You sleep with your cellphone within reach. 

You haven’t had a vacation in years.

Your friends and family hardly see you.

Your love life’s DOA.

You want more time and more freedom.

You want to create a lifestyle-based business so that you can work less and start making passive income.

You have friends who are killing it online but you’re confused about who to listen to and where to start! 

It all seems so complicated! 

Maybe you’ve even tried to take your business online before and failed because you didn’t understand the technology or hired the wrong people. 

If you found yourself nodding along as you read that, you’re in luck! 

 This article is going to teach you how to take your offline business online even if you’ve tried and failed before! 

By the end of this article, you’ll know EVERYTHING you need to know to take ANY offline business online even if you currently don’t know the difference between a landing page and a sales cart. 

Ready to get started?

AWESOME! 

To make this post easier to digest, we have broken it up into 5 sections. 

You can read the post in its entirety or you can skip to whatever section is most relevant to you right now. 

Table of Contents:  

  • Section 1: What Does Click and Mortar Mean?
  • Section 2: Where to Start
  • Section 3: What Do You Need to Take Your Offline Business Online?
  • Section 4: What if There Was an Easier Way?
  • Section 5: Conclusion

Let’s get started with our first section by defining what it means to take your offline business online.

Section 1: What Does Click and Mortar Mean? 

A click and mortar business is a business which combines physical location with an online presence. 

Click and mortar allows you to get the best of both the brick and mortar world and the online world. 

Some examples of click and mortar businesses include Kajabi Hero Adam Mitchell’s martial arts studio, Nicole Begley’s pet photography business, and Knit Stars, a yarn store turned online business. 

Here’s how to tell if your business is a good candidate for becoming a click and mortar business:

First, you already have a loyal customer database. 

Your customers love you and are EXCITED to do business with you year after year. 

They might even call you the best-kept secret in town. 

When you have a loyal customer base and their information like email addresses, and phone numbers it’s EASY to make your brick and mortar business a click and mortar success. 

You should consider going click and mortar if you want to go from local to global. 

Kajabi Hero Adam Mitchell ran a small local martial arts school when he was asked by his sensei to teach a student halfway across the US. 

Using Kajabi, he was able to not only help that student but students all around the world. 

He was even able to establish satellite schools in places like Mexico and Israel! 

When you take an offline business online, you take it from a local business that can only serve your local area and help it serve a worldwide audience.

Going global allows you to get your message out and help as many people as possible.   

Going click and mortar is a great idea if you want to add additional services like a continuity program or coaching.

If you’ve been looking to add additional services like a coaching program, licensing and franchising, or creating an online course, taking your business online is the best way to reach the widest audience. 

Last but not least, going click and mortar is for you if you’re not afraid to learn some VERY simple technology. 

Don’t worry—we’ll show you how to make this super simple later on in the article if you can follow a recipe you’ll be able to learn this technology.  

On the other hand, your business might not be a good click and mortar candidate if: 

You like working 12 hours a day 6 days a week. 

Some entrepreneurs love working long hours day after day. 

They enjoy the “grind” and get a kick out of pushing themselves as hard as they can. 

These people also tend to boast about only sleeping 4 hours a night and working 16 hour days. 

Taking your offline business online is all about working smarter rather than harder. 

So if you want to be at the office all day every day it might not be for you. 

Our President, JCron, tells a story about a guy who owned a multimillion-dollar apparel brand that was wholesaling to Walmart and spent 12 hours a day folding T-shirts at his retail shop that brought in less than 1% of his total income. 

Some entrepreneurs feel like they aren’t working unless they’re at their business. 

If that’s you, taking your business online might not be the right choice for you. 

Taking your business online is not for you if you’re afraid of new technology and not willing to try. 

Look you will have to learn a little bit of new technology but we promise you that it won’t be very difficult.  

If you can tie your shoes or make soup out of a can, you’ll be able to take your business online. 

And the best part is we’re going to show you how later in this article. 

 Taking your business online is not for you if you don’t want more time, freedom and money. 

You might have thought to yourself “Who doesn’t want more time freedom or money?”

But you’d be surprised. 

There’s a big difference between what people say they want and what they do.

If we go back to the example of the guy who owned a men’s apparel brand, he would swear up and down that he wanted to be less busy and have more time, freedom and money.

Yet every morning there he was in the shop folding T-shirts, even though he had employees who could do that for him. 

A lot of people like to play business. 

But they aren’t really serious about building a real business. 

They’re comfortable where they are.

If that’s you, then creating a click and mortar business is not for you. 

The bottom line is taking your offline business online and creating a click and mortar type business is going to give you more time, more freedom and more money.

If you’re happy where you are working every single minute of your day, barely scraping by and missing out on dates, family time and vacation then, by all means, keep working in your offline business. 

But if you’re ready to build a business that works for you even when you’re not there, then creating a combination click and mortar business is not just the right choice, it’s the only choice. 

Why Combining E-commerce With a Brick and Mortar Business is the Only Choice

At this point having a website is not optional. 

Even brick and mortar businesses that offer no online services like doctors and estheticians use their websites to market and drive new visitors to their brick and mortar locations. 

Let’s look at some small business website statistics:  

Now can you see the power of taking your offline business online? 

The Benefits of Click and Mortar

  • Passive income. Taking your business online is a great way to create passive income or income earned with very little effort on your part. For example, if you create an online course, once you create the course and the marketing materials, it takes almost no effort to make sales. 
  • Get untied from phone/office. Do you go to sleep with your phone in your hand, wake up and immediately check email? Are you in your office, or store 6 days a week? Taking your business online allows you to get untied from your physical location and your phone. With an online business, you can use various customer support systems from web forms to chatbots to keep you off the phone and out of the office. 
  • Lifestyle. In his book, the “4 Hour Work Week” author Tim Ferriss talks about creating a “Lifestyle business.” A lifestyle business is, “a business set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle.” Creating a click and mortar business will allow you to begin to create a business that supports whatever lifestyle you want. If you WANT to be in the office every day you can. If you want to run your business from a tablet as you relax on a beach you can do that too. Taking your business online puts you in charge.
  • Growth. Expanding your business by opening new physical locations is difficult and expensive. But if you create a click and mortar business you can begin to sell to customers all over the world without ever having to create a new physical location. There is no faster or more cost-effective way to grow your business! 
  • Better Analytics and Marketing tracking. One of the struggles of having an offline business is trying to track your marketing dollars. When you take your business online it becomes much easier to track your marketing. Online analytics like Google Analytics and SEMrush can tell you exactly where your website visitors are coming from, how long they spend on your website, and how much they spend. This type of analytics and tracking makes it way easier to know what is working and what isn’t when it comes to advertising and marketing!  
  • Add new income streams to your business. When you create a click and mortar business, you open up an almost endless variety of new income streams for your business. You could add a coaching program, membership site, or online community. Or you could start drop shipping, create monthly boxes, or monetize your site with ads! The options are almost limitless! 
  • Better customer service. Taking your business online allows you to provide better customer service 24 hours a day 7 days a week for less than you are already paying. Online tools like chatbots, web forms and help centers allow you to answer any questions your customers may have 24 hours a day. 
  • Market and sell 24/7. The biggest advantage a click and mortar business has over a brick and mortar location is that it allows you to market and sell your products and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without you actually having to do anything! Imagine how different your life would be if you could make sales while you sleep, spend time with your family or whatever. 

Now that you can see why it’s so important that you create a click and mortar business, let’s move on to taking a look at how to take your business online.  

Section 2: How To Take Your Business Online

The first step to taking your offline business online is to identify your audience or ideal customer. 

As a business owner, you should already have an idea of who your ideal customer is but if you don’t check out this post by Digital Marketer.

Once you know who your audience is online, you’ll want to find out where they hang out online. 

What social media platforms are they on? 

Do they go to specific websites related to your industry?

What are the top blogs in your industry?

Are there any forums, Facebook groups, or online communities where your audience gets together?

Once you know who your audience is and where they are online you want to figure out what the purpose of your website and online presence is going to be.

Your website will usually have one of five purposes:

  1. Generate Leads. Your website is the best lead generation tool online. A little bit later we’ll take a closer look at 3 different ways you can use your website to gather leads from giving away a freebie to creating a high-value newsletter.   
  2. Drive visitors to your brick and mortar location. Another great way to use your website is to drive visitors to your brick and mortar location. This is especially helpful if you have a product that requires a “test drive” like a mattress or electric bike. By providing information on your website, like buyer’s guides or exclusive discounts, you can entice more people to visit your physical location. 
  3. Educate your audience about your business. Your website is a great way to educate people about you and your business. Do you have a proprietary process? How about award-winning customer service? Whatever your business’ unique selling point is, your website can help you express it. This education is crucial for those buyers who are comparison shopping or just entering the awareness stage of their buyer’s journey. Your website can tell visitors why you are the best at what you do. And why they would be silly to go anywhere else. 
  4. Establish your authority in your industry. Unless you’re a mysterious billionaire, you need an online presence in order to be an expert in your industry. In 2019 and beyond you must have a website to be considered an authority. Your website also gives you a place to list your accolades and accomplishments for everyone to see. 
  5. Make sales directly. Last but certainly not least, you can use your websites to make sales. Whether you sell a physical product or an in-person service, you can sell it online. Using your website to make sales directly allows you to make money twenty-four hours a day. Even while you are sleeping! 

Now that you have seen a bird’s eye view of how you can use your website with your brick and mortar business, let’s take a deeper look at each of these five purposes your website can help you with.  

Using Your Website to Generate Leads

Your website is your best online lead generation tool! 

When people visit your website for the first time you should have a landing page set up to gather their information. 

Learn more about using Kajabi Landing Pages to build your audience here.

3 Ways to Use Your Website to Generate Leads 

  • Use a freebie. The best way to get people to sign up for your email list is to offer them something valuable for free when they sign up. We call this a “freebie.” Your freebie could be a report, or tool like our Kajabi “Know Your Numbers” tool.  
  • Create a newsletter. A valuable newsletter is a great way to generate leads online. Make sure that your newsletter is professional looking, full of useful information and comes out consistently. 
  • Create a free online course. One of the best ways to generate leads is to create a FREE online course and give access to anyone who joins your email list. Our own Kajabi Hero Chalene Johnson used this strategy a few years ago with her “30 Day Push Challenge.” Chalene had over 75,000 people join the challenge in the first month, and continued to use the challenge to build her list for the next 5 years!   

 Now let’s move on to using your website to drive visitors to your business! 

Using Your Website to Drive Visitors to Your Brick and Mortar Business

If you have a more high-ticket product or service, you may want to focus on using your website to drive visitors to your physical location. 

This can be especially helpful if you have a great sales team or sell a product that requires some “test driving” like a used car or new TV.  

3 Ways to Drive Visitors to Your Location

  • Offer an online discount. This is an old marketing tactic used by car dealerships. Since car dealerships know that most people do research online before coming in for a test drive, they offer a special discount usually of a few hundred dollars for those visitors that come in and mention that they found the ad online. You can use this same tactic in any business from selling mattresses to cosmetic surgery.  
  • Offer video consultations. Another great way to drive visitors to your physical location is to offer video consultations. Now you might be thinking “How the heck does a video consultation drive people to my store?” Here’s how on this video consultation you’re going to learn all about the prospective customer’s problems. If you can’t help them, then you’ll let them know that and let them go on their way with a free consultation. But if your product or service is going to help them you can demonstrate that you understand their problem and tell them to come in for a demonstration. You can even offer an online discount as we discussed above. 
  • Create Buyer’s guides. Creating a buyer’s guide is a great way to drive more visitors to your physical location. Think of your buyer’s guide like a long-form blog post which sells your prospective customers on coming into the store. In your buyer’s guide be sure to include who your products and services are for as well as who they are not for, comparisons to competitors, and a discount for coming into the store!

Now that you have some ideas for how to use your website to get more shoppers into your store, let’s look at how you can use your website to educate your audience about your business!

Using Your Website to Educate Your Audience About Your Business

The first stage of the buyer’s journey is awareness.

In the awareness stage, the prospective buyer knows they have a problem. 

But they’re not exactly sure what the problem is so they’re in the process of doing research to figure out what’s going on and how they can fix it. 

That’s where your website comes in. 

Your website is a great way to show your prospects that you understand their problem and have a solution. 

3 Ways to Educate Your Audience About Your Business

  • Blogs. Blogging is a great way to educate people about your business. If you’re going to start a blog you have to be consistent. It does your business and your prospects no good to write one blog post every two months. You want to update your blog at least two times a week if not more.  
  • Articles. Articles are different than blog posts because articles are published somewhere other than your website. Some places you can publish articles include Medium, popular blogs in your industry and big publications such as Forbes, and Entrepreneur. 
  • Videos. Did you know that after Google, Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world? Creating videos is a great way to educate your audience about who you are and what you do. It can also help your prospects get an idea of what to expect when they come to visit your physical location. 

Now that you know how you can use your website to educate your audience about your business, let’s look at how you can use your website to establish yourself as an authority.  

Using Your Website to Establish Yourself as an Authority 

People want to know that the person they are buying from is an expert. 

Your website is one of the best ways to establish that you are an authority in your industry, no matter what you do! 

3 Ways To Use Your Website To Establish Yourself as an Authority

  • Credentials. Do you have an advanced degree, 30 years of experience or thousands of happy customers? Your website is a great place to brag about that stuff! Remember the people who find your website don’t know who you are or why you’re the best. So use your website to promote any credentials, experience, or proprietary processes you have! 
  • Testimonials. Testimonials are still one of the best ways to establish credibility online. Especially if you use video testimonials. When a prospect sees that a website has customers willing to go on video to discuss how great their experience was with you, your authority grows! 
  • Online Courses. A great way to brand yourself as an authority is to create an online course. When you create an online course, you instantly become an authority on that subject. 

Now that you know how to use your website to grow your authority online, let’s look at how you can use your website to make sales! 

Using Your Website to Make Sales

Last but certainly not least, you want to use your website to make sales! 

3 Ways To Use Your Website To Make Sales 

  • Sales Pages. Creating sales pages for each of your products and services is the first step to making sales online. There are a variety of different types of sales pages from static sales pages to video pages and everything in between. You can have sales pages for products that are delivered or services that are done in person at your physical location. 
  • Video Sales Letters. One of the most popular ways to sell products or services online is through the use of a video sales letter or VSL. In the VSL you will spend a few minutes going through the benefits of your product, as well as explaining things like pricing, refund policies, etc. 
  • Engaged Education. One of the best ways to make sales online is through what we at Kajabi call engaged education. Engaged education is the combination of an online course, coaching and community. To learn more about engaged education check out our president Jonathan Cronstedt’s speech at our Impact Summit in 2019.  

Now that you know how to start your online business, identified your ideal audience, found them online, and picked a purpose for your website, it’s time to move on to what you need and what you don’t need to take your business online. 

Section 3: What Do You Need to Take Your Offline Business Online?

Technology is one of the biggest challenges that offline business owners face when attempting to take their business online. 

Most offline business owners aren’t even quite sure what they need and what they don’t need to take their business online.

But that won’t be you after you finish this section.

Here’s what you ABSOLUTELY need to take your offline business online:  

  • A Professional Mobile-Friendly Website. A professional mobile friendly-website is no longer a business luxury, it is a necessity. AS of 2018, 52.2 percent of all web traffic is mobile so your website better be mobile friendly as well.  
  • Website Hosting. No matter what business you’re in, you’re going to need to be able to host your website somewhere. You’ll also probably need enough hosting to be able to post videos since most web searchers now expect to be able to watch videos rather than having to read. 
  • Website Themes. Your website needs to look professional! That means that unless you’re a professional web designer or a techie you’re going to need to use a website theme that is easy to set up and customize. Or you’ll need to hire someone to design your website for you. 
  • Email Capture and Storage. You want to be able to grow your email list so you’ll need to be able to capture email addresses from the visitors who come to your website. You’ll also want to upload your existing customer list and store those contacts in some sort of Customer Relationships Management (CRM) software. 
  • Email Marketing. You’ll need to be able to send emails to your list so you’ll need some sort of email marketing software with an autoresponder so that you can set up emails to go out whenever someone joins your list twenty-four hours a day. 
  • Secure Payment Processing. Even if you run a brick and mortar business you’ll want to be able to take payments online so you’ll need a secure shopping cart and payment processing service like Paypal or Stripe. You’ll also need to be able to integrate that with your website without too many hassles. 

In addition to those non-negotiables for running an online business you’ll also probably need: 

  • Social Media pages. Not only do you need to have accounts on the major social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, you also need to be able to integrate them with your website so that you can promote them to website visitors. 
  • A way to create an online course. If you want to create an online course you are either going to need to pay someone to do things like branding and course creation for you, or you’ll need to use a tool like Kajabi or Teachable that allows you to easily create a course with its system. 
  •  A place to host an online course. In addition to needing to be able to create an online course, you also need somewhere to host it that is easy to access and has an easy to use interface for your students.  
  • A shipping service. If you’re going to sell physical products, you will need to have your shopping cart connected to a shipping service like Endicia or USPS
  • Online branding. You’ll want your course to look professional and attractive so you’ll need a way to brand your course with your logos, colors, etc. 
  • A blog. If you want to write blog articles, you’ll need to have a blog on your website. If you are using a website creation tool like Teachable that doesn’t have a blog included with its functionality you will need to use a service like Wordpress to create your blog. 
  • Analytics. You’ll want to know where your website’s visitors are coming from, how long they stay, and how likely they are to buy. To learn this you’ll need online analytics like those offered by Google Analytics or Semrush. You will also need to be able to integrate those analytics with your website.  
  • Chatbots. Want to provide 24/7 customer support without hiring new staff? You need a chatbot! A chatbot is a piece of technology that allows a computer program to communicate with people just like a human would. In other words, the chatbot “pretends” to be a human being in conversation with a prospect or customer. Chatbots can answer all of your frequently asked questions for free 24 hours a day! Check out our Kajabi guide to chatbots for more info. 

Sounds Complicated Right? 

The truth is it USED to be really complicated to take your offline business online. 

A few years ago you would need to subscribe to and integrate 3-5 different online softwares in order to get everything to work together. 

And you had to be able to stitch it altogether or hire someone else who could

This caused two problems. 

  1. It’s expensive to have all of these different subscriptions! Paying for 3-5 different services a month adds up. Fast! Especially in the beginning. If you have tried to take your business online before and given up because of all the services you thought you need, keep reading very closely. In the next section, you’re going to learn how you can get all the services you need all in one place for less than $200 a month. 
  2. If one piece of the system fails the whole system fails. Your online system is only as strong as it’s weakest link. The other reason why it used to be super complicated to take your offline business online is that you had to figure out how to weave all of these different systems together. And to make matters worse, if any one of these systems goes down or needs an update your whole business could be shut down. Sometimes for minutes. Sometimes for hours or even days! 

Paying for and stitching together 3-5 expensive systems sucks!

But there didn’t use to be an alternative.

Until now.

Section 4: What if There Was an Easier Way? 

The solution to your technology problems is what is called all-in-one business software.

What is all-in-one business software? 

All-in-one online business software provides everything you need to create a complete web presence for your offline business. 

In addition to all the tools you need to create and host a website, all-in-one software also provides email services, community building, and more. 

All-in-one business software provides a little bit of everything so that you only ever need to use one system. 

And you only pay one flat price. 

Who should use an all-in-one business software?

If you are stuck trying to figure out what to do to take your business online and you want software that lets you skip the integrating and get everything you need all in one place, an all-in-one business software is the perfect choice for your business. 

Using an all-in-one business software like Kajabi is so easy! 

Even if you’ve already tried and failed at taking your business online before. 

It has NEVER been easier to create beautiful mobile-friendly websites, build high conversion marketing pipelines and use email marketing.

No tech experience or coding necessary. 

Using an all-in-one business software, you can get your business online and running in hours, not days or months! 

Check out our feature by feature comparisons of Kajabi with other all-in-one business software like Teachable, Thinkific, and Clickfunnels.   

Section 5: Conclusion 

For the past 20 years, taking your offline business online has been difficult.

The introduction of hybrid click and mortar businesses made it easier but there were still a lot of hurdles to get over like technology and having enough time to get everything done! 

Those days are done! 

Using an all-in-one business software you can now take your offline business online quickly and easily for one low monthly price. 

Creating a click and mortar business has NEVER been easier. 

In section one of this article, you learned what a click and mortar business is

A business which combines physical location with an online presence that allows you to get the best of both the brick and mortar world and the online world. 

Then you learned what kinds of businesses are good candidates for going online.

And which ones aren’t.

After that  you saw some statistics about small businesses and websites like these: 

  • At the beginning of 2018, nearly two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website.
  • Among small businesses without a website, 58% plan to build one in 2019
  • Small businesses cite cost (26%), irrelevance to industry (27%), and social media (21%) as key reasons behind their decision not to have a website. 
  • 83% of the small business owners with a website feel they have a competitive advantage on those without a website.

And you learned some of the benefits of click and mortar businesses like:

  • Passive income. 
  • Get untied from phone/office. 
  • Lifestyle.  
  • Growth. 
  • Better Analytics and Marketing tracking. 
  • Add new income streams to your business. 
  • Better customer service. 
  • Market and sell 24/7. 

In section two, you learned how to identify your audience and find them online then we looked at the five purposes of a website in a click and mortar business which are:

  1. Generate Leads. 
  2. Drive visitors to your brick and mortar location. 
  3. Educate your audience about your business. 
  4. Establish your authority in your industry. 
  5. Make sales directly.

You also got 15 examples of how to use your website for each of those 5 purposes. 

Section three looked at everything you need to be able to do in order to run your business online.

Things like:

  • A Professional Mobile-Friendly Website. 
  • Website Hosting. 
  • Website Themes. 
  • Email Capture. 
  • Email Marketing. 
  • Secure Payment Processing. 

In addition to those non-negotiables for running an online business you’ll also probably need: 

  • Social Media pages. 
  • A way to create an online course. 
  •  A place to host an online course.  
  • A shipping service. 
  • Online branding. 
  • A blog. 
  • Analytics.  
  • Chatbots. 

A few years ago you would need to subscribe to and integrate 3-5 different online services in order to get everything to work together. 

And you had to be able to stitch it altogether or hire someone else who could

This caused two problems.

  1. It’s expensive to have all of these different subscriptions! 
  2. If one piece of the system fails the whole system fails.

But luckily for you, all-in-one business software like Kajabi now exists to help you do all of that in one system for one low price! 

In section four we discussed what all-in-one business software like Kajabi is and what it allows you to do. 

All-in-one online course business software provides everything you need to create a complete web presence for your offline business. 

In addition to all the tools you need to create and host a website, all-in-one software also provides email services, community building, and more. 

How Can Kajabi Help You Take Your Business Online?

No matter what kind of business you run, Kajabi can help you take your offline business online! 

At Kajabi we have helped thousands of digital entrepreneurs just like you take their offline businesses online!

Need help?

Sign up for a FREE 14-day trial of Kajabi and get a FAST START call with one of our AMAZING customer support team who can walk you through setting up webpages, uploading your customer list and setting up automated emails! 

 

Take your ENTIRE business online over the next 14 days.

Have a Fast-Start call with one of our team members. 

Build your website.

Upload your contacts.

Send some emails.

Create a pipeline.

Go through our training. 

Watch the videos in our help center. 

If at the end of the 14-day trial you don’t feel like Kajabi is the easiest best way to take your business online, simply send us an email asking to cancel and you will not be charged. 

It’s really that easy! 

What do you have to lose?

Sign up for a FREE 14-day trial of Kajabi and take your offline business online TODAY!