I remember in the early days of owning my first shop hearing about other owners owing their locations and thinking “that would be so amazing I could be my own landlord”. To be able to grow my business and not have to share my profits to a landlord who is building equity that they will never share with me. Yet he upfront cash for a down payment combined top of the cost of building out a store is not feasible for must start up retailer. So, most retailers are stuck in a lease to landlords. Who set their price based on the demographics of the people living in the area, the estimated traffic of their centers, and if your business does well they feel they deserve a piece of your profits. Is there any way a small retailer can own their real estate? I would argue that every retailer that has a website owns what can become very valuable real estate.
Website domain names are real estate online and your website is the building. And you can start an online store for pennies compared to building out and buying a physical location. Problem solved we own an online store no more landlords, not exactly. Your new online store may be full of inventory and doors may be open for business but don’t be fooled that your sales will just role in. It still takes an investment in your new digital real estate for it to build equity.
But unlike paying high rent to a landlord that promise high traffic in the online world it is easier to know how much your traffic will cost you. Buying the right piece of property so you get the highest ROI on your investment is easier with a good real estate agent that has knowledge and expertise on where to buy to get the best traffic for your business. The online world is just the same, digital marketers are the online “real estate agents” and some will be successful at finding the right “location” to get the best ROI on the traffic and some might have you buying a shack in the middle of nowhere because it was “the price is right”. But the right digital marketer can bring your site can more traffic than Twin Pines Mall and now your site becomes the location brands want to sell their products.