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Greetings, I currently own a website for my products at Essanteorganics.com/abdullahmuhammad. I believe that I need a brick and mortor in order to have customers inquire more about my products, and hopefully recruit other wholesalers. My question is how and where can I receive funding to do this? I also need help incorporating my entity, and help with logistics. Thank you for your time.

Veteran

Abullah Muhammad Little Rock, AR

My website is Essanteorganics.com/abdullahmuhammad

18 January 2019 3 replies Small Business

Answers

Advisor

Jeremy Serwer Woodstock, CT

Hello Abdullah,

I'm writing to offer some counterpoint to Mr. Eastman's view that Internet and brick & mortar retail stores seem mutually exclusive. Not at all. And particularly in the cosmetics/personal care category.

The most successful Internet or brick & mortar retailers today are those who are combining both, known as "omni-channel" retailing. Many retail store chains have very successful websites, and numerous Internet originated retailers in recent years are opening retail stores. Which ones are successful in both depends on the product category.

For apparel, cosmetics, personal care, and a number of other categories, "see/touch/feel/try on" can only be done in a retail store. Yet, ongoing, those same purchases once decisions are made, can be done on the Internet. Conversely, many Millennials (and younger) folks today are surfing the net for products and ultimately buying in stores (2/3 of Millenials shop this way today).

All said, however, retail stores need capital for start up, personnel, and solid know-how of running retail chains. It's logical, but not a no-brainer for the the first-timer.

The latter is my particular expertise, though my clients are quite successful in both Internet and Store retailing. Do contact me if you want to discuss further.

Good luck! Great website.

JS

Advisor

David Eastman Gresham, OR

Hello, Abdullah

First of all, thank you for your service. I left the Navy--Avionics Technician working on P-3 Orion Anti-Submarine Warfare planes--as a second class petty officer and so understand your position.

If you look around at the dynamics happening in small business commerce in our country today there are two influencing factors forcing brick and mortar businesses, out of business. The first one is the internet. It is so much easier to search and buy online and now, with services like Amazon Prime, products are delivered to you free. The other factor influencing small businesses are the big box retail stores like Walmart and Costco. Why go to a mom and pop grocery store or a furniture store or a cloths boutique when you can go do all that at one location?

I think that you would have higher value, more profit and a more viable business by staying online and promoting your products more aggressively through click advertising--think Google ads--, online stores--think ebay stores, through social media, word of mouth and even co-marketing with another company with complementary products.

I have managed, consulted with and launched over 27 start up businesses--yes, and many became brick and mortar--but lately they have all chosen the path of having an online business. I am currently helping to market an at home self-diagnostic test company and all their business is done online except the testing of the kits.

So, look into enhancing your website as a marketing tool, talk to an SEO specialist to ensure the meta tags you use on your website are valuable to the search engines in use today, talk to a social media marketing expert and sell, sell, sell.

Thoughtful regards,

David F Eastman, USN veteran

Advisor

Tom Hodge Chicago, IL

Hello Abullah. I saw your question and looked at your website (very well done!).

The incorporation process will depend upon Arizona law. The most popular business form these days is a single-owner LLC. This entity is pretty easy to set up and inexpensive compared to other types of businesses. Also, for this type of entity, you do not have to file a separate IRS tax return as everything flows through to your personal return. The biggest drawback is you must be the sole owner of the business.

If you have more than one owner, you can set up an LLC with multiple owners, or a Partnership, S Corporation ('small corporation') or C Corporation (a large corporation). Each has to file an annual federal tax form with the IRS and all have pluses or minuses.

For funding, most funders will require a good credit score (usually at least 720 credit score) or collateral. If you don't know your credit score, set up a free account on Credit Karma (the most used free service).

I'm not sure about the logistics question but I have clients who run similar business models (different industries though) and I could possibly put you in touch with them.

If I can provide more info, just let me know - I can reach via email at: tom@thehodgegroup.com.

Best of luck in your business.

Thomas C. Hodge
President

Hodge Group LLC

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