For a lot of people, starting an online e-commerce business seems like a pretty simple way to become one’s own boss and start earning money on one’s own terms.
However, although it’s possible to make a good living selling online, it is nowhere near as simple as so many people think.
If you’re thinking about starting your own e-commerce company, here are a few things that no one will ever tell you about the process, that you should know before you proceed:
#1 You can’t Start Selling Online with No Money
A lot of people seem to be under the misconception that you can set up an online shop on a shoestring budget. All you need is a basic website and a little bit of stock to get you started, right? Wrong!
If you want your online selling operation to be effective, you’re going to need full service ecommerce solutions to ensure that you not only have a website but one that functions perfectly, can handle payments and make the experience flawless for your customers.
You’re also going to need to pay for hosting, servers, bookkeeping, lawyers to ensure that everything is legal, space to store your stock and a million other things I could spend all day writing about.
So, although it can be cheaper to start selling online than it can set up bricks and mortar store, it is by no means a cheap way of getting into the business.
#2 The Competition is Huge
What those people who espouse online selling as the answers to all of your prayers rarely mention is that unless you come up with a truly revolutionary new product to sell, you will be competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other companies, many of whom are much well known and longer established than yours.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it, but it does mean you shouldn’t expect to become huge overnight – you’ll have to work at it.
#3 If You Build It, They Will Come
Another common misperception is that if you build an ecommerce store, the customers will simply flock to you and you will barely have to lift a finger ever again. This simply isn’t true.
If you want to get even a single customer, you will need to employ some serious SEO services, a very good social media strategy, and a complex marketing campaign, and that’s just the start of it. It’s perfectly possible to gain customers, but you have to work for it.
#4 You Can Do it On Your Own
If you think that you can set up an online store without any additional help whatsoever, unless you’re a genius with more than 24 hours in your day, you’re living in a dream world.
As I mentioned above, you may need the help of e-commerce platform professionals, SEO experts, marketing professionals, social media managers and so many more professionals, just to get things off the ground. You will need help, and you will need to budget for it.
I hope this helps you to feel more realistically about selling up online. I also hope it doesn’t put you off – if you’re willing to work hard, you can make a real success of it.