Monday, 6 August 2012

Build Your Business on Olympic Foundations

As the entire country is gripped in Olympic fever with team GB achieving no less than 16 gold medals in the first 9 days, it really shows how good preparation and strong execution can produce exception results. While the Olympics showcases the world's sporting elite, employing this attitude can also reap great rewards for your online ecommerce store.


When any athlete steps up to the start line, they have spent the last four years honing their skills and achieving peak fitness, to ensure that they can give the best possible performance. For any business owner, running your online store should be no different. The key to success with any store comes in great preparation. As we have touched on in a number of articles over the last few months, you need to ensure you identify a store that is unique, offers great service and has affordable prices. When deciding on what products to sell, you need to carry out extensive research to ascertain how many stores selling the same products are there already out there, will your products have a number of customers interested in buying them and how much should you be looking to sell each product for. 

Spending time preparing every aspect of your business is going to make sure you have all of your bases covered. In addition to identifying key areas and how to achieve the best success in each, you also need to come up with a number of different back up scenario plans. These are basically contingency plans to allow you to alter your game plan if you haven't achieved the desired results from the start. For example, if after the first few months of trading your sales and profit figures weren't as high as you would have wanted, your contingency plan may involve purchasing ecommerce software to help improve the traffic and sales figures for your store.

In business, like in any sport, doing as much work as you can during your preparation is going to make the execution phase not only easier but also more efficient, bringing the best chance of success for your store.


After carrying out extensive research and preparation to give your store the best change of success when competing against your rivals, next comes game day. This is when you open up your store and welcome your first customer. No matter how much preparation and planning you have carried out, if you make mistakes when it actually comes to running your store, all that hard work will have been for nothing. 

First and foremost, as explained in detail in one of our previous posts (eBay Store Owner's Guide to Success), every customer should be well cared for throughout the entire shopping process and beyond. Although this may seem like common sense, you will be surprised by how many businesses believe that their products are so good they will literally sell themselves, without the store owner having to make any real effort. While your products could be some of the best on the market, customer care and attention is what is going to bring them to your store and keep them coming back time and time again. This demonstrates what I highlighted earlier, you could plan out a great customer care initiative, but if you don't take care of your customers right from the start, all that preparation will be a waste of time. These first few customers are going to determine whether your store is a success or failure. If these customers have a great experience then positive opinions will begin to spread and your customer base will grow. 

While this example only highlights the need to prepare a strong customer care initiative, this same process should be applied to every facet of your business such as marketing, store template design and delivery. Covering all of your bases and leaving nothing to chance is going to ensure the best possible results when it comes to executing your game plan. Poor preparation is only going to leave your business at the start line with your opponents sprinting out ahead, and you still stuck in the blocks. 

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