Following on from yesterday’s blog post where we looked at some key factors to consider when starting a business on a shoestring, we’ve compiled a checklist to help you get organised.
Have a look at the key points to e-commerce success below:
1. Choose wisely! The more competitive the market the more money you’re going to have to spend on making yourself heard. Where possible choose ‘niche’ products that also lend themselves to online sales – visually exciting, affordable and appropriate to send by mail.
2. Be Open. Ask other’s opinions and advice and be open to criticism. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take on-board other people’s comments and feedback.
3. Where and How? Choose the right e-commerce platform for your product. Take into account the costs, commissions and exposure. Look at similar products that other companies are selling noting the product price, postage costs and on platforms such as ebay you’ll also be able to get an idea of the sales volumes by checking feedback.
4. Help! There are several free Mentor programs depending on your age and circumstances. Search online or ask your Bank for schemes or assistance in your area.
5. Free Apps. There are free or incredibly low cost solutions for modern businesses. Skype offer an affordable landline option, there are numerous accounting and invoicing options and Google run a suite of products aimed at businesses that are either free or of minimal cost.
6. Social Networks. PR can be free! Facebook can also be used for business, spread the word amongst your friends and ask them to do the same. Word of mouth advertising is always the most important and they don’t come any bigger than Facebook and Twitter!
7. Free PR. There are other ways to create a buzz around your products. Organising events whereby potential customers get to see, use and are informed about what it is your company sells are great ways to gain valuable feedback and create interest.
8. Go for it! At first glance the list of things to do can seem daunting but don’t be put off. Get organised, make a business plan and list all the things that need to be done and the priority attached to each. There is a wealth of information online from the government, HMRC, Banks and Forums so do your research and don’t be put off by all the red tape!