Starting any business can be a daunting affair, but e-commerce is particularly difficult as there is no face-to-face customer to interact with. In order to plan your launch and growth, consider the following tips.
1. Know your market
It’s crucial for a start-up to have an idea of their market. With lean marketing budgets, you want to have an idea of the demographics of your target market, how big your market is and how best to market your products to them.
2. Know your competition
Unless you are selling handcrafted or exclusive products, you probably have competition already doing something similar to what you are doing. Follow them, see what they do, and what works and doesn’t work for them. Look for weaknesses and openings you can target with your own business.
3. Know your suppliers
Inventory management is very tricky for new start-ups still trying to gauge market interest, but it’s better to have too much stock than not enough. You lose customers who come to your site but can’t buy the products they want. Find reliable suppliers that can keep you stocked up and deliver quickly to respond to spikes in demand.
4. Know your goals
Having goals is very important to help define business success. Making money is obviously a requirement, but where do you see your business in five years? Or ten years? And how do you intend to get there? This is also applicable on a smaller scale. For example, when you’re running marketing campaigns as a new start-up, you need to be clear what your expectations are.
5. Know your limits
As a start-up, it’s likely you have both limited funds and manpower. Deciding how to split your money and time efficiently is crucial and part of this is admitting what you can and can’t do. Be realistic about what you can achieve with your current resources and plan ahead accordingly.