Thursday, 4 October 2012

What not to do when starting an online business

When setting up your own online store, you have an idea of how you want the business to be and various targets as to what defines success over specific periods. While many people like the idea of giving it a go and learning from the mistakes in order to make a more efficient and successful business, there are a number of things you should look to avoid doing right from the get go in order to help your business start on the best possible footing.

Jump Straight In

The excitement and adrenaline you feel when thinking about getting your ecommerce store up and running encourages you to try and get your store open and selling as soon as possible. However, this eagerness to get out of the gates often leads to you overlooking a number of significant aspects that result in your business not achieving the success you would have hoped for. In order to ensure you are giving your business the best possible success, sometimes it's better to control your excitement and think rationally about every single aspect of your business. Being prepared and making sure everything aspect of your business is to the standard that you require, ensures that once your business does open, you won't be surprised by any serious issues that have been overlooked and you will be able to hit the ground running. 

Spread Yourself Too Thin

When you decide to set up your own business you have these dreams of your business being a huge success making you a substantial amount of money each year (it's okay, we all have them.) These dreams encourage you to believe that in order to have your business achieve these levels of success, they need to be marketing yourself and selling across as many different platforms that you can possibly think of in order to create high levels of engagement and sales. While this is true, when you first start your business, it may be better to concentrate on one or two channels such as your ecommerce and eBay store, rather than spreading yourself across many. Spreading yourself too thin means that not only will you create substantial amounts of work for yourself as you will need to monitor, market and handle orders across all platforms, the time it will take you to handle all of these tasks will mean that the interaction with your customers will be fairly limited, damaging not only the relationship with that particular customer, but also your entire brand image. Selling on one of two channels to begin with allows you to focus all of your efforts on making those platforms a success, creating a strong brand image through go levels of customer satisfaction and high sales figures. Once you have established long term success across these particular channels, you can then look to branch out and expand your business across new platforms. 

Not Fully Considering Your Location

If you are running an online store, you may think that the geographical location of your business in not important as you can literally sell your products from the comfort of your own home if you wish to do so. However, if you do wish to open up a bricks and mortar shop in addition to having an online store, you should look to place your store not only in a place that is not only business with people each day, but is also as close to the centre of that specific as possible. This will allow you to increase your brand awareness not only from the people travelling past your bricks and mortar store each day, but also your centralised location will result in high search engine awareness through the maps feature in various search engines. 

Not Looking Closesly At Your Margins

When setting up your store, obviously to begin with the costs you are spending to set up your business are going to massively outweigh the what you are generating from sales. However, the problem some people have is that they believe the key to making your business a success is to just throw money and it and wait for it to achieve a high number of sales. This often leaves many startup businesses with a huge deficit that they cannot make up and it forces them to close the business. When setting up a new business you need to keep a very close eye on exactly what you are spending and making each money. For a new business, rather than spending money to set up your ecommerce store and marketing your brand, you should look at what cost effective methods are available for your business (such as a free ecommerce store from us here at eSellution.) This allows you to reduce the costs you have giving your business the best chance of achieving both short term and long term success.  

Not Considering Your Demographic

Depending on what your business is and the products you have for sale, your target demographic is going to be different. The problem some businesses have is not considering what their target demographic is and instead trying to target their products to anyone and everyone. The problem with that is that you are unable to create a marketing campaign that is aimed and a specific target audience, instead you opt for almost a blanket effect. The problem with this is that as your message needs to be generic in order to appeal to everyone, you are essentially doing the opposite of what you originally wanted as this generic message results in you engaging very few people, resulting in a very low click through rate and low ROI. When setting up your online store and setting up your marketing strategy, you must consider who your target customer base is and what specific message you want to project in order to engage these customers and turn them into buyers.  

Using Basic Templates

Following on from the idea of business owners wanting to get their online store set up and selling as quickly as possible, especially if you sell on marketplaces such as eBay, you may not care about the look of your store and just want to get it up and going. While it is important to take advantage of possible sales as quick as possible, the look of your store is going to play a major role in enticing a customer to purchase from your store and also in helping project your store's image. Using a generic template, such as those available on eBay, seemingly groups your store in with all other stores using the same template making it difficult for you to stand out from the crowd. When setting up your store, you should take the time to develop a unique and appealing layout. The more original and appealing your store is, the more enticing and memorable it will be to the customer. While many web design companies charge a large amount to have a unique website created for your store, when you sign up a free ecommerce store from eSellution, you will get an appealing layout for your website absolutely for free. 

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