Thrilled that you’re finally starting your own online shop? Here are a few tips that could prove useful to you as you begin to build your business from the ground up:
1. Let go of the assumption that sales would just automatically start to pouring in the minute you put up your site.
Having an online site ensures that you have online visibility. This adds to the credibility of your business. Any business that can’t have its own site might even be perceived as shady. That’s why many shoppers are wary to trust businesses that don’t have online presences. With web-based solutions and platforms that offer easy-to-use systems, owning a site is now the norm.
However, having a site doesn’t guarantee sales and conversions, especially not if you don’t know anything about what you’re doing on the site. Is the content optimized for mobile? Do you offer online credit card payment options for your customers? Do you have a long list of product pages that need to be trimmed? Or maybe your checkout process is too long? You’ve got a lot to learn to improve your site’s performance. It would be great if you already know a few things before you got started.
If you don’t and you think your time is better spent elsewhere, particularly in planning marketing campaigns, then why not hire someone to take care of these things for you? Just make sure to check the output every step of the way so you know they’re getting the vibe, the tone, the character you want for your brand.
2. Don’t expect to earn money right away.
You’re not going to get rich, not right away, maybe not even after a few weeks. So don’t expect your money to return to you twofold or triple-fold. That’s not the way this works. However, if you’re patient and you’ve got passion for the business, then there’s a bigger chance that you’ll find yourself succeeding one day. It’s a long road to success though so you’ve got to be able to last that long.
Make sure you have plenty of money, not just for capital, but to take care of your living expenses along with your emergencies, while you try to get the business off the ground.
3. Don’t do everything.
You can be the boss, the mentor, the occasional comedian providing your team with much-needed comic relief. But you can’t be the editor, the writer, the designer, and the strategist at the same time. You can’t be everyone and you can’t do everybody’s job. You shouldn’t even try.
Do what you’re best at. If that means you have to spend a good amount of your time every day developing campaigns or thinking about how to come up with creative ways to use Scrapebox, then do it. That’s your core competency. Don’t lose that by trying to be everything that your team needs. Learn to delegate. Learn to trust your team, if you have one. If you don’t, then hire somebody, even just one person to help you out.
4. Don’t quit—at least not yet.
Starting your own eCommerce site is tough work. There are plenty of growing pains to overcome. There are days that you’ll be too busy to even look in the mirror, and days when all you’ll want to do is sleep. But you wanted this, you said yes, you committed to this project. So even when you feel you’re at the lowest point of being an entrepreneur, when you think the business isn’t going to go anywhere, that’s when you’ll have to remind yourself not to give up, not to quit. Give the business a chance. Don’t pull up stakes until you’re absolutely sure. And even then, you should still try and talk yourself out of it.
There is, however, a difference between having a bad day and not being fit for the work at all. If you know it’s just a bad day, then distract yourself until it goes away.
5. Don’t work for more than 12 hours every day.
If you have to do 12 hours of work or more just for the business to survive, then you’ve got to know that the set-up you have isn’t going to be feasible in the long run. If you can, hire a person or two to take over some of your work or better yet use a reputed software like Shopify, if delegation is the problem. If it isn’t, find a way to develop a process that allows you to shave as much time off that 12-hour time frame as possible. While the idea of working hard is commendable, working smart is a better option. If you can revise your process so that a lot of the work can be automated, or if you could use templates, that would create a more efficient and happier you in the end.
Guilty of doing a few items on the list? No worries, you’ve got plenty of time to get these bad habits out of your system and make a change for the better.