6 Common Hurdles That Could Be Holding You Back from Starting an Online Shop
It’s never been easier to set up a business. But despite the availability of various resources, many people are still holding back when it comes to starting a business. The main reason here is fear.
Fear of going bankrupt, of making mistakes, and of not having enough skills and experience to finally venture out on their own.
These are legitimate fears but these won’t help you start your own business. Most people are scared of starting an online shop and even though they really want to become entrepreneurs, they end up giving in to fear.
It’d be helpful if you realize that you’re not the only one who’s scared. Hundreds of others are afraid to but it didn’t stop them from taking action and starting an online shop. Furthermore, it’d be advantageous if you have an idea of the challenges that you’d need to overcome so you can better prepare for the battle ahead.
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No Idea What to Sell
Identifying what product to sell is the first and most important step. It becomes easier if you consider what interests you. What are you passionate about? Consider those things and you’ll have an easier time finding a product.
You have two options: sell your own product or sell others’.
Selling your product will take time because you have to create it. The advantage here is you get 100 percent of the sales. But then you’ll need to take care of shipping, inventory, and support.
Selling other people’s products (called affiliate marketing) can get you started right away but you only get a commission. You’re only paid a certain percentage but your job ends once the customer makes the purchase. All you need to worry about is generating traffic to your online store and getting people to buy.
The Internet is home to lots of free resources to help you find the right product to sell. Google’s AdWords Tool can give you a pretty good idea of what people look for. Go to Amazon and check out the best-sellers. Or you can purchase niche-finder tools.
Lack of Technical Skills
An online business will require you to be savvy with the computer. You must know how to navigate the Internet because that’s where your business will thrive. Your knowledge of the web (or lack of it) will influence your success.
The lack of technical skills holds many people back. There’s an easy solution for this: YouTube. This site has tons of video tutorials on almost anything. You can also look for niche blogs or reach out to mentors. Hiring experts is also an option.
The amount of information present on the web makes it possible to get accustomed to most applications and software you need. You will also find products that take care of all your needs—from setting up the online store, inventory tracking, order placement, shipment of goods, payment processing, and even accounting.
Don’t be intimidated by the competition. Even though you’re new to this, it doesn’t give them much of an edge over you especially if you’re dedicated to learning the curve. The good thing about online stores is the Internet offers an equal ground. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have (or lack) or how much capital you have as long as you play by the rules and stay focused.
No experience in marketing? It’s not a problem. Again, the Internet has that all covered. If you know how to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (which is very likely) then you’re on the right track. Social media is a familiar topic to even the average Internet users and exposure to sites like Facebook will definitely help in effectively marketing products.
If you’re worried because you don’t have experience in the traditional marketing methods, know that your familiarity with social media is enough. According to a 2013 industry report, created by Social Media Examiner, 86 percent of marketers put a huge importance on social media. The number was up from 83 percent in 2012. You should, however, still try to learn other marketing tactics.
Finding the Right People to Help You out
You may need to hire a person or two to help you out. Even with small businesses, finding the right staff can be hard. There are many factors to consider other than having the right skills and credentials. You also need to make sure that they’re dedicated, genuinely concerned about the business, and will be in it for the long run. In small groups, personalities matter. That’s why you also need to find someone you feel you can get along well.
Dealing with Support
You need a dedicated support staff to handle all inquiries and refund requests if you sell your own products. Affiliates, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about a thing because the seller will take care of it.
There’s no reason to delay starting an online shop these days. Because there are so much help available, you don’t have an excuse to not take action now.