Getting started with your own business is always a daunting experience, filled with high peaks and low lows. It takes dedication, skill, and above all a positive mindset that is ready to adapt and change when needed. But this alone is not enough to ensure online success. A positive mindset can easily begin to wane when stressful situations and challenges are presented to you. Taking care of your overall well-being and general health is a huge part of running the successful e-commerce store you always wanted. So how can you cope when launching your own e-commerce store?
Create a solid business plan
Rome wasn’t built in a day. You need to make sure you are spreading out your time and giving yourself credit for small achievements. This will keep morale high and ensure you stay motivated. Start off with a good idea and grow it into an actionable plan; one that you can manage and maintain from the outset. Make lists and set small and achievable goals you can keep on top of to ensure you are moving forward.
How you can do it:
- Start ahead – begin by writing down your long-term goals and what you would like to achieve with your business
- Brainstorm an executive summary about your new online store and what you’re all about
- Decide on your store’s name and brand to give your company a voice
- Research – see what other stores in your niche are doing and what is working well
- Encompass this into your business model to give you some ideas of where to start
For more guidance on building a successful business plan, read our previous post.
Don’t do everything from scratch
Though it’s tempting to want to do everything yourself when you’re starting out, know that there is nothing wrong with using a helping hand. Most leading brands and top businesses use tools and platforms to build their websites and help with maintenance.
Spending too long on a single project can cause motivation to dwindle, so it’s important to get your idea or product on the market, fast. Test out your idea with a minimum viable product (MVP) that will help you gauge demand for your idea and keep risk to a minimum.
How you can do it:
- If you are going to be delving into the world of e-commerce, then use platforms that are designed for this. They can cut out half of your workload and still give you an incredible website that customers will want to visit. Shopify is an online store builder that allows you to host and build a functioning website you can manage yourself
- Other popular alternatives are WordPress or Blogger, which offer the choice of free or paid hosted sites
- Using the right platform can cut out tons of techy work on your end and means you can create a website to maintain yourself. This leaves more of your valuable time to focus on other things
- Not ready to commit? Sell on Amazon or Etsy to help you build up some capital and confidence
Keeping sane while running your own e-commerce store is all about knowing when to ask for help. Outsource small tasks to virtual assistants and leave challenging tasks to the experts. This will help to ensure you are the most productive you can be.
Manage your stress
This is especially true if you are already working a full-time job and want to start your own e-commerce store as a side hustle. With this hectic lifestyle, it’s important to take care of your mental wellbeing and give your body all the rest it requires.
How you can do it:
- Practice meditation and mindfulness to give your mind a rest
- Manage your time (just as you have work hours at your full-time job, give yourself work hours for your own business and try to stick to them)
- Don’t overexert yourself and make sure you are getting enough rest. You will be of no use to anyone if you are overworked and overtired; productivity is always lower at that stage
- Make lists of small goals and work towards them to boost motivation
- Use tools to help you make the most of your time. There’s no point in writing out 100 emails and sending them individually when you could write one and send it out in bulk using MailChimp
- Manage your expectations – you will face challenges along the way that might slow down your progress, but the trick is not to let them deter you from your end goal
Plan and budget
Starting your own online business can be daunting and money is definitely something that people worry about. Money can be challenging, especially at the start of your new business venture because it will take a while to start earning revenue. With a strong and sensible budgeting plan you can eliminate money worries that will free up more time to focus on other important things.
- Create a budget and keep to it
- Keep track of your spending and find ways to cut costs
- Eliminate risks – drop shipping is a way to fulfill orders without ever handling your stock, so you never have to worry about unsold stock building up in a warehouse. (In fact, you don’t even need to worry about having a warehouse full stop)
- Pre-sales eliminate risk even further because you don’t send out any products until a later date when you have an existing market. This makes it easier to establish demand for your product, and again, not buy too much
Launching your own e-commerce store will have its ups and downs, so you need to make sure you factor in for this before you get going. You need to take the time to plan and do things as easily as possible. It’s not cheating: it’s actually being proactive and productive with your time. Take lots of breaks and make sure you are being gentle to your mind and body. Soon this will be reflected in your online store’s success.
Patrick Foster: Ecommerce Expert.
As a freelance e-commerce consultant and writer, I’m here to offer my advice to entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them grow. I write about digital, branding, marketing and sales on EcommerceTips.org.