small business online vs brick and mortar

Should I Start my Small Business Online or in a Storefront?

Should you dive into the world of running an online business, or would a more traditional brick and mortar storefront be the better choice for your small business? Below are some of the pros and cons of both options.

Starting a Small Business: Brick & Mortar vs. Online

small business brick and mortar vs online

Brick and Mortar


  • A storefront in a good location acts as its own marketing campaign, encouraging walk-in traffic.
  • In a disconnected world, people appreciate the value of an in-store experience where they can interact with you, your employees, and your products.
  • Despite the surge in online stores, studies indicate a large percentage of shoppers still prefer to make their purchases in a store.
  • Studies also show that shoppers spend more on average in a brick and mortar store compared to shopping online.


  • You’ll face much higher upfront costs than you would with an online store.
  • Your store traffic is limited when compared to the reach of an online store.
  • Additional factors and costs such as store upkeep and finding the right employees can be challenging.
small business brick and mortar vs online

Online Store


  • Reach a much wider audience! Being online allows you to attract customers across the country or across the globe.
  • An online-only store means a much more flexible work schedule. Work from home, or anywhere you can find a good Wifi connection.
  • Your online store is always open, meaning your customers won’t be limited to your hours.
  • Online stores have much lower startup costs than a brick and mortar store.


  • Running an online store means you’ll have to actively market your business in order to get traffic.
  • If you sell products through an online marketplace such as eBay or Amazon, you’ll face reduced profit margins due to listing and sales fees.
  • People are wary of online scams and may opt for a physical storefront where they can interact face to face with employees.

Surratt & Thompson, PLLC, is ready to help your small business in Winston-Salem get a strong start. Our team has the tools, connections and know-how when it comes to legally backing your business. Contact us today with your questions and concerns about corporate law and we will show you how we can help your business grow!