Are you thinking about entering the promising but competitive world of e-commerce as a seller of goods or services? If so, get ready to work hard at finding those first few customers, gaining access to the money you need to conduct daily business, earning a degree, deciding what tasks to outsource, and being patient. The best place to begin is with your creditworthiness.
Work on Your Credit
Many first-time business owners don’t have the capital resources to sustain an ongoing company’s day-to-day operations. The reality is that they often resort to using personal financial resources to fill the void until profits flow. For that reason alone, it’s essential to bring your credit score up as high as you can get it before launching an e-commerce concern. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that e-business is cheap. While they enjoy lower routine expenses than traditional companies face, the costs of a successful e-store can mount quickly. Be ready to spend most of your excess funds on advertising, promotion, IT outsourcing, security, customer service, and financial record keeping. Even micro businesses that conduct all their selling online regularly spend a large percentage of their expense money on the effort to build up a solid, long-term customer base through advertising.
Get a Degree
Of course, you don’t need to hold a four-year college diploma to run an e-commerce operation. However, the most successful entrepreneurs have degrees and use the relevant knowledge to move ahead of competitors. Education is not free, and that means entrepreneurs must be ready to cover the expense of a diploma in addition to tackling the coursework. A simple way of paying for college is by taking out a student loan through a private lender. A unique advantage offered by private financial institutions is flexibility. But student entrepreneurs also get access to low-interest rates, reasonable terms, and generous borrowing limit
Know What to Outsource
The concept of e-business includes not having to pay the expensive overhead for office space, shell out huge payrolls each month, or maintain showrooms or opentothepublic stores to make sales. That’s a significant benefit of the digital business entity, but owners must know what functions to outsource. No two companies are identical, but many e-commerce sellers pay IT pros to build websites and customer service response systems. They also hire accountants to deal with every day financial recording, taxes, and payment processing. Likewise, e-commerce owners regularly hire someone to promote, advertise, and handle client acquisition.
If you create a business plan, you’ll have a much more realistic idea of how long it will take to become profitable. But even the best made plans don’t always pan out. That’s why e-entrepreneurs need a hefty dose of patience along with the precision and financial planning needed for success. What’s the definition of patience for an e-commerce owner who’s just getting started? Think in terms of quarters or three-month segments. As each ends, do a review to see if you’re hitting your sales, income, and profit targets. If not, you’ll be less apt to hold unrealistic expectations for the next quarter.