Every professional job holder wants to establish his or her own business at some point of time during their job. Mostly, whenever they feel saturated at their job; they wish or plan to establish business. Because every one wants to enjoy liberty, creativity and luxury of doing business. But sadly, most of the time this aim become lost cause for them. Either they stuck in vicious cycle of pre-feasibility perfection or they don’t have the courage to trade temporary loss of fixed salary forgone, while establishing business from scratch.
I am a Certified Accounting & Finance Professional with post qualification job experience as Senior Manager. But I quit job for my e-commerce business, which I co-founded with my 2 other friends, with small savings. Now this mother store; not so mature, but admittedly gave us experience and lessons of resource management that no business management book has ever gave to us.
Here is six simple key steps or a check list, to start your own e-commerce business while maintaining current job:
Check availability of in hand products
Whenever anyone asks me from where to start; I always recommend them to start with products or resources in hand. I’m not talking about stack of cash, rather talking about easy to arrange and manage product or service, you want to sell. It may be your relative doing physical retail, or anyone in neighbor or some local vendor in your locality, or any friend doing business as usual but not selling online. Re-look and deep-look into your contacts, may be sometime friend’s friend can help. Arrange products, don’t stack much into purchase. Start humble by taking calculative risk. As new businesses always take time to pick up, therefore, don’t stuck cash into extensive purchase. Rather, play smart by maintaining balance between marketing and purchasing.
Define market & choose right courier carriage
Recommendedly find specialist niche in the market, but if you can’t find any suitable niche, then at least define target market, to whom you want to sell. Read them, analyse them from web sources, analytics and inquiries from friends who are already in such business.
Secondly, for COD choose right courier companies, as you have to trade off between expensive carrier charges, efficient service and coverage area. Sometime, low cost option can damage your customership with late shipments and low coverage areas. Choose wisely!
Focus more on doing rather than pre-planning perfection
For professionals and specialist, blessing of knowledge can be a curse for them. As their search for perfection mostly waste them in unnecessary deep details, that they become victim of their own wisdom.
Get fair idea from sources mention above, but don’t stuck in deep studies pre-plannings or feasibility studies, as these perfection sorting techniques can delay your entrance in already competitive and ever evolving market.
Build policy led professional e-commerce website
This is the most neglected and misconceived part, as people believe; selling on other sites or on social media pages are online selling. Yes by sales point of view this is online sale, but mind it these won’t help you to build your own brand.
If you want to make long term sustainable brand with reputation and on which you can depend your livelihood at some point of time. Then I recommend, to build policy based supported with good return policy e-commerce website based business.
As this will provide you primary source analytics, trends, own secret customer database, brand reputation and good will. Own store is just a like a physical shop. People tends to trust more on such presence based stores rather than on casual seller with no own presence.
Proper campaign & customer supportive service
There has to be proper campaign consideration along with product sourcing. As only this marketing expense can run your e-commerce business. Becuase e-commerce businesses are highly marketing driven, as organic things either too much competitive dominated or time taking. Therefore, keep proper budget at least to run 1st business cycle.
You can automate all things in your supply chain, which is recommended, by knowing current job requirements. But one thing I always suggest; if you can then keep customer service to yourself. As no one, at least in initial stages can care your customers or potential customers well as you can do. With this, you also directly can access customer trends and requirements based on their inquiries. Spare time, use office breaks, reply swift and be supportive to your customers.
Focus more on vertical expansion rather than horizontal junk
This point I added, specially due to my own mistake. Vertical expansion mean specialization in few products by enhancing solutions in particular category or range. Whilest, horizontal expansion mean broadening product categories.
Horizontal expansion will require more funds for purchase also enhanced budgets for marketing, as every product line define their own target market, hence separate campaigns and parameters for sell.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to focus on few line items with more solutions in their range. Say you want to sell men casual wears then increase solutions in such wears, which will build your reputation of specialist brand. Expand slowly with addition of complimentary solutions, like you can add men undergarments along with casual wears.
At last, only thing to take note of is that define your passion and step out of your comfort zone, if you want to build side by side asset Alongwith salary secure job. These small baby steps and such pain takings will be your pride some day.