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Connect The Dots

Online or brick-and-mortar? Tough question. But if you have a clear picture of your business, you already know the answer.

This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The smartest thing I've done in business is shutting down my store and going exclusively online. Now I have a really neat business. I love it," says Sherry Rand, 54, a Salisbury, Massachusetts, retailer whose online store sells one thing and one thing only: gear for cheerleaders. You want pompons in any style and color? You want megaphones for leading cheers? Then you want to know about PomExpress (, where Rand has conducted e-business in the two years since she shut the doors on her brick-and-mortar operation.

"Online, I don't have to carry the great overhead of a store, and--from a quaint town in northern Massachusetts--I'm selling globally. We get lots of orders from Europe, where cheerleading is really picking up," says Rand, who adds that she herself was a cheerleader through grade school and college. In the years afterward, she sold cheerleader supplies as a manufacturer's rep until she opened her own store. Now that she's operating solely on the Web, she says, "This is a great niche, and, on the Internet, I can conduct business wherever I want to be."

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