Here at Digital Edge, you’ll never hear us bemoan the advancement of technology. The last two decades have seen the role of computers and the internet develop beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings, and this can only be a good thing. From robots capable of carrying out complex surgery to the advent of apps for every eventuality, our burgeoning technology has made our lives easier, more enriched, and more exciting.
One of the sectors that has been most heavily impacted by the growth and rise of the internet, and ever more complex technology to accompany it, has been commerce. Without an online presence, retailers today have no business. They lose out on sales, their customer base drops, and they seem out-dated, old-fashioned, and out-of-touch.
However, could it be the case that without an offline presence the same is true? Although there are thousands of successful emergent online businesses, is a good, old-fashioned place to call home still a fundamental part of running a profitable enterprise? Here are three reasons why we think it is…
#1: Face-to-Face Networking is Important
Although video call technology has revolutionised the way we conduct business, there is still an argument to suggest that face-to-face networking has an important role to play in the world of work. In the virtual sphere of video calling we simply can’t carry out those all-important little gestures: a handshake, a kiss on the cheek, and so on. Everything feels slightly forced and false, like a film set constructed for the duration of the call, with every person having a set part to play. Often, clients prefer to see company players in their natural environments, without a computer screen to get in the way. The perfect place to do this is onsite, where you have the peace and quiet you need to get down to business. Indeed, meeting clients in person can go a long way towards reinforcing their trust in you, as well as ironing out any issues immediately and cooperatively.
#2: Image is Important
Although an office block has its practical uses, it also has an aesthetic role to play in helping to craft the right image for your enterprise. Clients like to see where you work, and premises in an exclusive part of London, for example, can go a long way towards helping them to trust you and believe in your success. Although many small businesses would argue that they don’t have the funds to secure a suitable location even if they did rent somewhere, there are lots of ways to work around this. Companies offering virtual office services or meeting room hire are a great middle ground between renting and maintaining a purely online presence, providing the chance to hire exclusive meeting rooms for those times when you need to make the perfect impression.
#3: Having a Base is Good for Team Morale
Another advantage to consider relates to how closely your team is bonded. Although online businesses can still interact via the internet, this is very different to seeing each other face-to-face on a daily basis. The latter is, of course, far better for building not only productive working relationships, but also friendships, and a shared commitment towards seeing your enterprise prosper.
It seems that, despite the indispensability of technology in a digital world, there’s still a lot to be said for an old-fashioned, offline presence after all.