“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” — Herman Melville
Starting your own business can be fun and exciting, but it can also be a lot of work and even more research if you’ve never done it before. Please subscribe to our magazine, each month we will post useful tips on “How To Start A Successful eCommerce Business”. We will post valuable information that may help readers answer some of the basic questions they find themselves asking when trying to start a new online business.
A lot of Entrepreneurs today are driven to the idea of online business because it can reach a very wide audience and have a very low startup costs. There is very little need for large financial loans to cover the upfront cost of real estate, equipment, and employees. So if you don’t have a lot of money, but strive to start your own business, eCommerce may be right for you! Some of the largest and most dominant companies of our time such as Amazon and Facebook started off as nothing more than an idea, with little to no money….. and now businesses are crumbling around them trying to compete. If you’re looking for inspiration check out this article by Vivian Giang in the Small Business Open Forum on how these companies got their start, all from within their garage! Don’t be discouraged if your first idea doesn’t pan out, I myself tried a series of different business ventures each one taught me a valuable lesson about business. Whatever you do, make sure it interests you! If you don’t like what you’re doing how are you going to get others interested in the idea? And 9 out of 10 times people lose interest in ventures they are not passionate about.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you get started:
What is your business model?
Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C), or are you unsure? Do you want to offer a Service, or do you want to Sell something? These questions may seem unimportant however, both identify who you want your customer to be, and each will require completely different marketing strategies. Customers will always find you if they need something you have, where as you have to find the customer if you want them to buy what your selling. Keep this in mind as you move forward. To learn about the different types of business models check out TutorialsPoint.com.
What is your business concept?
Is this something that has been done before or are you breaking ground on a completely new and innovative idea? If you are doing something that has been done before what makes you different? How do you stand out? Who are your competitors?
Who is your Target Audience?
Find Your Niche! By determining which part of the market you want to sell to you can begin to narrow down your scope and start to devise a plan for your overall look and feel to capture that audience and then later on how to market towards that audience. Keep in mind just because you target a specific demographic does not mean that later on you can’t expand your scope to capture a larger audience.
Ok now that we have taken your idea and helped flourish it into a business concept you are ready to start thinking about branding and site development. When thinking about brand we are talking about business name, logo’s, business cards, and flyers, but initially to set up your eCommerce site you are going to need site graphics. There are plenty of sites that are willing to design customized logos and graphics for your new business such as Vistaprint and Fiver for relatively low cost. See what works best for you. Another option, if you are really creative, and have a pretty good understanding of technology is download Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop the Adobe Cloud platform grants users a 7-day free trial. There are tons of great tutorials available on YouTube! If you choose to keep going after the 7 days they have plans as low as $20 a month. If you plan to have many customized product designs this may be a viable option over paying for each and every graphic.
We covered a lot in this article from creating a business model, determining your target audience, and finding your niche all of which will help you to build a good foundation for your business. Keep in mind that everything discussed in this article can be an article in itself and that this is just a brief overview. Please tune in next month for more!