You Bought an ECommerce Business: Now What?
There are over 12 million eCommerce businesses currently operating, but of those only about 650,000 are making over $1,000 per year. That’s a lot of very small businesses, but that doesn’t mean it’s that hard to make this business model work. It’s young and still growing, and many businesses in the sector aren’t taking advantage of the marketing and advertising opportunities that will really help them grow. The key to a successful company is laying the groundwork ahead of time. That means starting by buying your domain and getting the legal documents to register your business in order.
As you advance into planning for your launch, keep in mind that your business is essentially going to work like a store, except that customers use a computer to access your product instead of traveling to you. This means you can’t rely on foot traffic patterns, you need to learn to harness a new kind of traffic. Online and offline marketing are the key, and your strategy for financing the company needs to take into account the expense of successfully making a large footprint with advertising and online marketing strategies.
You’ll also need to have a plan to maintain inventory, and to take advantage of seasonal cycles. You’ll also need infrastructure. eCommerce platforms provide you with secure payment processing options, digital storefront space you can customize, and a variety of add-on tools to inform your marketing analytics and sales reporting. Finding the one that fits your sales niche and approach is a vital first step to getting an advantage, because the better your tools fit your purpose, the more you will be able to get out of them.
Depending on your size and options, you may want to look at order fulfillment to outsource your logistics and labor, or you might need facilities for that operation and capital for a labor force. Either way, the expense of fulfillment will involve supplies, shipping, and someone’s labor. That needs to fit into your plan for expenses and overhead too. For a lot of small businesses, outsourcing fulfillment to focus on optimizing the storefront is the best solution.
Putting together a business plan that covers all your needs and looking at your cash reserves will help you understand your needs for financing before your launch. From there, eCommerce financing solutions can help you get the working capital you need to cover all your costs while you scale up your operation. Starting with the right working capital is your best path to a sustainable operation giving you a steady return on your investment.