My recent venture into e-commerce entrepreneurship has been an incredible ride. I entered into the venture knowing it wouldn’t be easy but it was some of the more simple things that tripped me up in comparison to the more difficult aspects that I was sure would take your girl out.
If you are thinking about starting an online business here are a few of my tips and things you need to consider before venturing out. I’m not an expert by far but had I thought out some of these items prior to starting I could’ve saved my self some time. Some things you won’t know aren’t useful until you try them but taking a few minutes to think out these simple things may save you a bit of sanity.
PICK YOUR PLATFORM
There are so many platforms out there, all have different fees, features and attributes. I’m not an expert by far on helping you pick one but this post really helped me decide on going with Shopify.
While there are other cheaper alternatives there are things that I thought I would need once my store got larger like reporting and integrated apps. After a whole lot of not knowing I finally pulled the trigger on Shopify and I haven’t regretted it. When making the decision on a platform consider what features you will need once your venture grows instead of where you are right now. I would rather grow into a platform than have to adjust when the risks and costs associated are more involved.
DECIDE WHAT YOU NEED YOUR WEBSITE TO DO BEFORE IT IS BUILT
All platforms and templates are different. If you are not able to have someone design the website for you, and you are going for the DIY look, plan as much as you can before you start to build. If you will be offering products that come in a number of colors and sizes try drawing a mock up of what your website needs to say and do. Think through the what ifs and have someone else check your options ensuring they make sense to someone not connected to your vision. You want your site to be user friendly and asking someone for their opinion may help you catch something you would’ve missed.
JOIN E-COMMERCE GROUPS | LISTEN TO PODCASTS | ASK FOR HELP| FIND YOUR TRIBE
Just posting your products to Instagram and Facebook and hoping the sales will roll in is not how any of this works. Strategy is a large part of growing a successful online business. Tap into USEFUL groups. Do not just tap into these groups and suck out all you can, be active. Bring your expertise and questions. Entrepreneurship is a difficult thing and connecting with like minds in a supportive setting will boost your morale and force you to keep going when you want to throw in the towel.
DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE
More than likely you will find your audience will evolve past who you thought they would be or they may turn out to be completely different, the key is to start somewhere. Starting an online business doesn’t give you the luxury of hoping your ideal customer will walk by and stop in like a brick and mortar business. You will have to go find your customer, grab their attention and get them to buy. If you don’t have a clue who you are looking for it will be very difficult to market to them. Be open to redefining your audience if you find something doesn’t work but have an audience in mind before you start. One thing we highly recommend doing as your audience base grows, is investing into a business telecoms system such as Gamma Horizon. This will help your audience see that you are a professional business with professional systems in place.
ARE YOU A BUSINESS OR A PERSON
Stick with me. With the growth of online business and Etsy shops if you look closely you will find that often Etsy shops are marketed as small businesses with a mom or creative individual at the helm. They tell us about their families and share a peek into their lives. This somehow makes us want to support them because of the personal connection.
On the other hand some would rather have their business be seen as just that without the personal aspect. There is nothing wrong with either, however I suggest you decide what it will be when starting. I believe this affects how you will market and plays a part in your strategy and what your online copy and other business correspondence will look like.
Experience is the best teacher, I enjoy connecting with individuals who are honest about their entrepreneurial journey. I hope I have offered you a little something to think about or gave you a starting point. If I can be of any further help shoot me an email or leave a question in the comments!
See you tomorrow….cause NaBloPoMo!