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10 Dos and Don’ts Of Launching Your Own E-commerce Business

10 Dos and Don’ts Of Launching Your Own E-commerce Business

Like everything else these days, business also has gone online. The traditional ways of doing business are slowly losing their charm and the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs are jumping on the new wave of online business – because if done correctly, adding an ‘e’ to your commerce can take your business to a whole new level.

Not just with entrepreneurs, the new way of doing business is also leaving its mark on consumers. According to UPS study, 70% users said they prefer their favorite retailer online.

Taking your business online though, is trickier than you’ve imagined. It takes time, patience and durability to pass through hurdles and run a successful e-commerce. If you’ve decided you want to leave your mark in this burgeoning digital economy and are resolute in your desire, then these 10 basic do’s and don’ts can help you a great deal.

1. Do give your time to make your site look good

The number of entrepreneurs testing their luck in the digital world is too damn high and giving your business a pleasing professional look is a must if you want to stand out among myriads of players who are playing the same game.

Yeah in an ideal world the content should matter more than cover but when the competition is too high, little things decide the tie and the design of your site is one of these little things.

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There are many guides on internet which can help you with the design of your site. Website builders are great tools to help you with designing by reviewing your competitors.

2. Don’t just assume people will find your site

Do good things, sell unique products and people will find your business one way or another. This concept of business might work in a Disney world utopia but unfortunately, it does not work in real world anymore.

The internet is simply too big for a random viewer to stumble upon your site. You should work on planning ways to get more direct traffic. Social media reach can aid your business a great deal in terms of publicity. Good SEO also helps public reaching via search engines

3. Do work on building a concrete platform

It’s obvious that you learn the details of the art through experience but you cannot always cross the bridge once you reach the river. Having the correct features planned and doing the risk analysis always helps.

It’s tempting to be courageous and just go out on the battlefield but you have to make sure you have readied your weapons and prepared a decent backup plan. Some mistakes are costly to fix so make sure you do the best you can to prevent them from happening.

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You have to take care of technical issues like finding the right hosting solution, managing the scalability of your website and security along with other non-technical issues such as scalability of business, customer support and market penetration right from the beginning.

4. Don’t waste your time trying to sustain the company single handedly

You are founder, marketer and leader of your business. So basically, you are a one man band. But if you’re spending your entire day trying to bring everything into balance, then note this is an idea that’s not worth pursuing.

If you want to launch a successful ecommerce business then you should be able to do the main work in the least time possible so you can focus on other aspects like growing and scaling your business.

5. Do set budget aside for tests and trials

The hardest thing for an entrepreneur to do is admit his product is really not that great. Though you might passionately like the idea you’ve created, there is no guarantee that it will work.

If you wait months, or even years to find out the actual performance of your product, it might just be too late. Do surveys, sell samples before going mainstream and test your product thoroughly before you decide to invest your time and energy on it.

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Conduct surveys or try selling samples of your product before spending blood, sweat, and tears to launch a company online. Even if your product has legs, you should always test and refine first.

6. Don’t put features above strategy

It’s easy to be quickly overwhelmed with your efforts. It’s good if people of certain demographics are giving you good reviews but you can always paint a bigger picture.

There are always voids in market which need filling and always room to innovate something new. If a month has passed and you are still trying to refine negligible design elements, then you are stuck in the vicious loop of feature-bias. Focus on more important aspects, the ones that actually increase the output not just the appeal.

7. Do listen to your customers

People are entitled to their opinions and they are opinionated. So you’ll receive all kinds of comments about your business. Yeah, reacting on every single one of them is nothing more than a waste of time but you should definitely acknowledge their opinions.

Your customers help you point out frailties that you otherwise would have ignored. Evaluate their suggestion and work for a remedy. If you listen to your customers, it also develops a bond of loyalty and trust.

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8. Don’t inaccurately measure your success

E-commerce is not rocket science. It’s seasonal. It has its carnival and its droughts. Compare year-over-year, not quarter-over-quarter, as ecommerce is highly seasonal.

Comparing your July traffic to your June data does not give a clear picture of your progress. You should set aside a statistically accurate interval and compare your metrics. Compare July to July, winter to winter or year to year if you want an accurate report of your progress.

9. Do your best to efficiently manage email lists

If you have done your homeworking designing a fantastic site, then growing your email list as soon as you launch an ecommerce is a must. It’s one of the best ways to boost traffic later on.

Add email lists as a key-performance indicator when you’re measuring success. If you ignore this part, you might find yourself sunk in a rabbit hole trying to pay your way out through advertising, sponsored content and other paid outlets.

10. Don’t give up quickly

It’s easy for entrepreneurs to get frustrated if their idea does not work but many of them fail to realize that it often takes time and patience to thoroughly test out an idea and success does not come overnight.

If you believe you truly have a million dollar idea then you should be willing to risk anything for it. You should not hastily desert a project because it’s not working well for the time being, because it just takes relentless hard work and there is always a silver lining. Who knows – you might even get lucky!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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