Imagine this: you’re lying on your living room couch in your pajamas, it’s 11 am on a Tuesday and you’re in no hurry to rush to work. You’re all packed for the trip you’re taking to your favorite getaway destination tomorrow. It’s going to be a week of relaxing, enjoying the weather, and looking at the gorgeous scenery. You think back to those lifeless days when you worked at that bigshot firm, you would never have been able to take this trip then. Amidst putting out all the fires, handling your team, and galavanting across town on coffee runs for the boss, you never would have gotten the time. Of course, things are different now. Your business? Couldn’t have been better. Work-life balance? You could write a book about it Money? You don’t want to brag but…
Does this sound like fiction straight out of a fantasy novel? It doesn’t have to be. Covid-19 pushed people to start their businesses from their own bedrooms and if they became successful at it, so can you! All you need to do is keep a few things in mind before you decide to delve into the complex yet highly rewarding world of e-commerce.
We know it’s hard, that’s why we’ve come up with a list of some specific hurdles you should anticipate encountering as you start your journey. Mind you, there’s nothing on this list that you can’t overcome with some planning, smart maneuvering, and quiet perseverance.
Essentially, this is the first step of setting up your business. Finding out what you want to do will dictate the rest of your long journey. Knowing your niche will narrow down your focus so you can use all your resources and energies in the right direction. This can be difficult seeing as how there are a million possibilities to choose from.
When starting out, it’s better to target a small niche so you are not competing with the big players right off the bat. This can be overwhelming for a fresh entrepreneur. With a small niche, you’ll also find it easier to figure out your target audience so your marketing schemes are more effective down the line.
If you’re still unsure about where you want to start your business, tap into your own interests and passions. What gets you going? What gets you nervous and excited? Once you find that answer, you’ll know where your future empire is going to stand.
Most people keep this one for the end of their discourse but we think it’s important to cultivate this mindset from the get-go. Expect a rocky road and what you may find may be less daunting than that expectation. Most businesses don’t generate any profit until the end of their first year of business and it can be tough to keep believing in yourself, but once you find your best idea and you’ve ensured that there’s a real market for it, work towards your vision and don’t let it get away from you. If you persevere in the game for 60 days, many say that you’re through the eye of the storm.
The next step? Putting yourself on the map, and how do you do that? By making your own website of course. This can present a few problems that you should be aware of.
Designing a website needs an ecommerce development company that can bring your vision to life. This can only happen if you and your team suit each other, and as we all know, finding a perfect fit can be difficult. You will also need to keep yourself up to date with the latest technology so you can acquire the right tools to make a website that the consumers will want to use. This brings us to the user interface, which needs to be simple to use, aesthetically pleasing, and properly functional. The website should also fire up quickly and work across multiple devices with all the appropriate changes in design to fit each particular device.
Juggling multiple requirements can prove quite taxing, however, a website is how you will introduce your brand to the world, and for your business to be successful this introduction needs to be flawless.
This will by far be the hardest challenge you’ll face. Establishing a customer base is the backbone of any business and with online businesses, digital marketing is how you will need to acquire it. Prepare yourself by learning the skills necessary to market your trade successfully on the online platform; this includes learning how to rank your website on Google, creating engaging content with relevant keywords, mastering SEO, and online and social media marketing.
Alternatively, you can also increase your reach by partnering with other companies that have a stronger footing in the market. This will boost your credibility in front of clients and open bigger doors for the company. Once you work with someone, make sure to take their feedback and post it on your website for others to see. Not only will this validate your hard work but you will also find much-needed constructive criticism.
Remember, through your website, skill, and content you must show your future client that you are the person they need and that you have the most elegant and creative solution to their problems.
To be a successful entrepreneur you must know how to be a salesman first. Now, you must be thinking if you even have the right skill set to be a salesman. Don’t let that doubt strangle your ambition. It’s not about what you are right now, it’s about what you can become, and the key to becoming anything is self-confidence. Teach yourself how to use the resources you currently have at your disposal to bring about the maximum possible results with minimum loss. If you reset your brain to think like that in all situations, you’re already increasing your productivity by a large margin.
Make sure you know how to adapt and go with the flow. Not everything will work out the way you imagined it or wanted it to, and you need to be prepared to tackle every possible course with optimism.
Most entrepreneurs will cut costs on using office spaces and instead work from their homes. A brilliant idea in terms of managing your financial resources however, it may end up backfiring if you don’t discipline yourself. Your time is also an extremely important resource and should be treated as such.
Working from home might give you the comfort you need to be creative but it might just be too much comfort so that you’re not as efficient as you might be in a traditional work environment.
To overcome the issue, consider creating a separate study for your work instead of managing all your projects from your bedroom. Make sure you know where your time is going and how much of it you are spending on each task. Divide each day so that your most challenging projects align with the time of the day when you feel most productive and energetic, leaving the less demanding projects for when you’re low on fuel.
No one is immune to visions of grand success. When you dream a dream, you always imagine yourself in a crown. However, as an entrepreneur, it’s important that you manage your expectations. It’s not wrong to be ambitious, however, you are more likely to fail if you don’t train yourself to overcome obstacles.
Break lofty goals into more achievable steps on a ladder and you’ll soon see your hard work pay off without getting burnt out in the process. Keep your focus on your company’s present instead of tiring yourself out with thoughts of the future.
More specifically, users are always interested in an ecommerce company’s return and refund policies. Shoppers online will tend to not shop from your website if they find your policies unsuitable to their needs. Your company website should have instructions that are easy to understand for the customer, and your customer service should be friendly and forthcoming to generate the best reviews by consumers.
Delivery dates are another factor that you can use to your advantage. While it may be difficult to deliver orders in less number of days, it tends to keep customers coming back to your website.
Just like any conventional brick and mortar store, an online website also requires a strong wall that will keep it secure from any unwarranted cyber attacks.
The entire reason why anyone chooses to shop online and not in a physical store is to save time and energy spent visiting and shopping from these stores. Hence, any e-commerce website needs to be fast and cannot take any lags in operations due to a security breach of their website.
Young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs often do not take the security of their online business into account however, it is not a step you should skip. Make sure your cybersecurity team is well equipped to handle any online threat and that you have an alternate plan in place to mitigate any delays in the company’s services.
Your customer is your biggest asset and their complete trust in your company is non-negotiable if you want to succeed in the online business community. Building a customer’s trust can pose a hefty task but if you cover all your bases you will slowly but surely expand the number of returning customers buying from you.
The first and foremost thing a website user is worried about is their online security. To shop online they will have to input their personal information into your website. This includes their phone numbers, home addresses and credit card numbers. If an online shopper doesn’t feel that your website is secure and that their information is safe with you, they would not choose to purchase from your online store.
Shoppers also worry about hackers stealing their information. This can be fatal to the relationship between you and your customer. If a hacker does indeed steal your website user’s bank information, they can empty their bank account within minutes.
Other possible threats customers worry about are identity theft and unknowingly downloading malware onto their devices. We’ve all been through the woes of a virus ripping through our system and it won’t do any good to your business if this virus comes from your company’s website.
Ensuring a customer’s privacy and security is step one in building a long-lasting trust between your company and a shopper.
If you’ve read this far, we know you’re serious about your business idea. Keep your morale up and don’t let the challenges get to you, there’s a working solution to each hiccup you may face along the way.
Know that others who’ve set up their online business empires have faced and overcome the same kind of hurdles and that if they can do it, so can you!
Learn to learn on the go and enjoy the most epic ride that is setting up your online business. We wish you all the success in the world!
Promatics is an ISO 9001:2008 certified offshore web and mobile application development company with a strong team of 100+ highly skilled IT experts delighting SMEs across USA, Europe and APAC. Our services and solutions help clients to achieve tangible business value and remain competitive in today’s evolving marketplaces.