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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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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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