A Crystal Ball for Your Web Business
Are you considering launching an eCommerce website? If you are, you may want to take your crystal ball down from the shelf to shed some light on whether or not your business will fare well online. In reality, there is no magic to eCommerce at all, it is all about preparing, thinking and implementing your ideas and products using sound business techniques. Here are just a couple of questions to ask yourself before you get started:
1. Will you be selling a product that can be delivered economically and conveniently from the Internet? If you are unsure or answered "no" you should go back and do some more research until you can safely answer "yes" to this question. For example: if you are selling custom-made glass products that require expensive packaging and shipping costs, make sure you can still make a profit from your sales, after expenses, before starting up.
2. Do you have a desire to market to customers outside of your own geographical location and can produce a product that has a broad appeal? This was important for me when I started my eCommerce site. Although I live in a major metropolitan area, there are not many cities or towns outside of our local region. A website business has opened up global opportunities for my products.
3. Are there significant economic advantages involved with taking your business online? This is a key factor to whether your business will succeed or flounder. But, if you ponder questions #1 and #2 very carefully, question #3 should be smooth sailing.
4. Can you economically draw customers to your website? If there is any potential for your website business to require a lot of cash flow, it is with marketing. But, by careful planning and research you can find affordable hosting domains or marketing packages to reach out to the entire global markets. Or, you can do like I did and start on a shoestring (with less than $500 spent in the first year) and be willing to start a bit slower, do a little more leg work on your own, and yet still succeed as a viable online business. Make sure, however, that you are not directly competing with large companies such as Amazon. com, Priceline. com or the like as you would need a seven - or eight-digit marketing budget to compete on their level.
There is still a lot of room in eCommerce for businesses that are based on targeted niche markets built on shrewd, but solid business plans. Take the time to do some careful planning before you launch your web business to ensure that you will achieve all your goals and dreams!
Copyright 2005, Michele Webb. All Rights Reserved.