So, you’ve decided to quit your job and start an online business. Good for you. Welcome aboard to the competitive and fast-paced world of ecommerce. You are probably imagining now a life without office politics, a life without nasty colleagues, strict deadlines, and basically, a life that is convenient with lots of free time.
However, you must know that majority of new entrants are guaranteed to fail in their business venture. They will be losing their investments and all their efforts will have been lost. The reason behind their failure is simple. They all started their e-commerce business for the wrong reasons.
Wrong reason: They think it’s easy. It is a common misconception that getting into ecommerce is all about setting up a website. They think they can set it and forget it. But you can’t put up a store in the middle of “who knows” and expect customers to visit and make a purchase. You have to learn to drive qualified traffic and use online marketing to attract targeted customers. They also think they can have drop shippers do all the heavy lifting like order goods, inventory goods, and ship goods. The truth is you will need a reliable team or staff to help you up with these aspects if you want to scale your business.
Right reason: You are well-equipped. Start an ecommerce store because you know exactly why you are doing it. You have a great business idea, a well-written business plan, and a realistic financial projection. Analyze your competitors and be certain that you have the necessary tools to compete and win. Put up an online store because you are willing to invest money and hundreds of hours for the entire process, because you know it is far from easy and you are well-prepared for it.
Wrong reason: They want to get away from “bad” people. Many novice entrepreneurs fall into this kind of trap. They leave the corporate world thinking they would be able to free themselves from the difficulties of dealing with a domineering boss, a nasty colleague, and dirty office politics. Although these reasons can be a good motivation to succeed in entrepreneurship, it is a bad reason if it is high on the top of your list. In ecommerce, you have to learn to negotiate with suppliers, talk with developers, establish a good relationship with your employees, and try to please your customers. Basically, you will be dealing with everyone involved in running a web-based store.
Right reason: You understand great customer service. Start an online store because you have a deep understanding for customer satisfaction, because you know how to treat customers, and because you understand that even in online shopping, customers expect great service. It’s not just about you, in fact it has nothing to do with you, your needs will fall to last place when you own your own business. Remember, the customers are your boss. They can be rude, arrogant, unreasonable, etc. So you have to be a people person with great communication and interpersonal skills.
Wrong reason: They are desperate for easy money. When you think of online business, do you associate it with get-rich-quick programs? This is a very misleading concept of ecommerce. Desperation for money is a wrong reason to become an entrepreneur. Desperate people make the worst decisions. They are mostly looking for short-term benefits but not planning for a long-term basis. Just like in a brick and mortar business, online stores also require plenty of hours in marketing. Money will come after a lot of hard work.
Right reason: You are passionate about entrepreneurship. Passion and hard work are essential ingredients in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Start an online business because you know that entrepreneurship is about fortitude. It’s about your ability to identify profitable opportunities and make the most out of it. Be an entrepreneur because you are certain that money is not your only motivation, because you know that your passion will inspire you to move forward during tough situations.
Wrong reason: They think it’s destiny. Some also have this belief that they are born to become an entrepreneur. Call it destiny. Call it genes. Call it serendipity. They just believe that they will succeed no matter what happens simply because it is written in the stars. Well, this may shock you but I have to tell you this. Most of the characteristics of a great online entrepreneur are not in born like patience, hard work, and persistence. Having parents who are into business does not guarantee that you are also cut out for this. In the same way that you shouldn’t pass up the chance to become an entrepreneur because you don’t come from a family of businessmen.
Right reason: You are willing to learn. Start selling online because you want to learn and you are willing to enhance your skills through training. Take advantage of books and seminars that will equip you with the right knowledge. However, the willingness to learn does not mean that you have to commit costly mistakes in order to experience the reality of ecommerce. One of the reasons why I wrote Ecom Hell is to let people know what to expect and how they are going to prepare for the challenges and obstacles.
Someone asked me recently, how would I consider my book Ecom Hell as a success? I replied that if after reading my book and they decided not to pursue ecommerce, I’d consider that a success because I just help save them countless hours of hard work, a bunch of money, and maybe even their life savings. Now if they decide to move forward then they know what to expect and that is success to me as well.
Written by: Shirley Tan