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Is Owning an Ecommerce Business Right for You? – Four Fundamental Questions to Ask Yourself


By: Catherine Perry

Are you thinking about an ecommerce business as a next step? If you’ve never owned and run an ecommerce business before, you are probably thinking that you don’t even know what you don’t know, right? There may be many questions that you don’t even know to ask! There certainly are many aspects to running an ecommerce business—marketing, inventory selection, order processing, blogging, optimizing for the search engines, and so on. There are a lot of hats to wear and a lot of different tasks to do. Through our years in this field we have seen many people who put the work in to become successful at ecommerce. What did they have that you may or may not have?
These might be some of the questions you are thinking about:
  • How much time will I need to devote to it?
  • How much time will it take to become successful?
  • Can I learn everything I need to know?
  • Should I get help with such things as SEO and social media marketing?
  • What IS SEO exactly?
These are all great questions and aspects of the business that you should think about. While doing your research and due diligence you will uncover many skills that are important when starting a business.
But, as we started thinking about what questions we would recommend that our clients answer before beginning this endeavor, we came up with different ones. Based on our experience of working with hundreds of clients, we have four fundamental questions that we think you should answer for yourself when you’re considering owning an ecommerce business.
And, guess what…these questions don’t have anything to do with your skills.

“Why am I making a change?”

Most people who are thinking about going into ecommerce are doing so as a career change or choosing this route to enhance their lives to give them more freedom and flexibility from the standard 9-to-5 job. So, a fundamental question to ask yourself is the “why.” Why do you want to make a change? Is it to have something you build and call your own, or is it just to get away from a terrible boss?
Purchasing an ecommerce business is a job change, a profession change and a life change. Owning an ecommerce business allows you flexibility and the opportunity to run the show, but it can also be an all-consuming effort. When you’re faced with working many hours to get orders processed, develop a campaign and market through social media and blogs, your “why” really gets tested.
Successful entrepreneurs are people who are fully committed to their business ventures.
If the reason you are looking at owning an ecommerce business is strong and you are committed, you will be successful!



“Do I want to own my own business?”

An ecommerce business allows you to be your own boss. By being your own boss, you call the shots. This can be a wonderful thing sometimes—and sometimes it can be a not-so-wonderful thing. It may be great to you if you like being the decision-maker. As the “boss,” you make all of the critical and non-critical decisions for the business. Do you like making the decisions? Do you like figuring things out by yourself and making them better? Do you like developing processes and systems? If so, you may do well as “The Boss.”
But, by the same token, this can be a not-so-wonderful thing when you make decisions that turn out to be wrong. The buck stops with you! Consider how you will feel when things don’t go well based on decisions you have made. How will you handle these situations? These are fundamentals that you should think about. It is important to remember that in order to be your own boss you must be dedicated to your ecommerce, work hard to get it off the ground so ultimately you can reap the benefits!

RELATED ARTICLE: Show Your Independence – Be Your Own Boss!


“What am I passionate about?”

It has been said that when you make work from your passion that you will be successful. This is because your passion drives the effort so that all of the hard work is fed from the passion. You don’t necessarily look at it as “work” in the classic sense because you’re excited about the end result. If you can tap into that passion, then you can withstand the tough times to get to the great times.
In Entrepreneur’s online article “10 Commitments for Excellence in Business”, contributing author Sherrie Campbell, a psychologist, author and speaker, says “When passion is present, success can result. And the more success you experience, the more you will increase your passion. In this way passion rewards itself. When passion is present, limits are virtually nonexistent.”
Spend some time thinking about your interests. There are many ecommerce businesses that offer merchandise you may be passionate about. You may find there is a business that aligns with your interest. Are you passionate about pets? There are many ecommerce businesses that are pet-related. Are you interested in exercise, health and well-being? Many ecommerce websites offer items that accompany these pursuits. There are large markets online in children’s clothes, furniture, interior decor, and so on.


RELATED ARTICLE: Five Things Being Your Own Boss Can Teach You About Yourself

“Can I be dedicated to the success of my business?”

This question is directly tied to the strength of your answers to the first three questions. If you’re strong in your desire to make a change, want to own your business, and you find something to sell that you are passionate about, then you will have no problem being dedicated to the success. It is critical to set your sights on success and have a strong commitment because that will keep you going while you are building your business.
According to The Balance, a Canadian small business information website, “Anyone can start a business. But to start a business that succeeds and continues to flourish isn’t so easy. According to Statistics Canada, at least half the new companies in Canada go out of business before their third anniversary, and one in four new enterprises don’t survive longer than one year…. Successful entrepreneurs are people who are fully committed to their business ventures.”
Success doesn’t come overnight. Sometimes it feels like a slow hike uphill to get traction with an online business. Starting an ecommerce business takes a plan, hard work, dedication and time to get it up and running. Developing your brand takes time. In order to be successful, you need to be ready for the long haul. Patience is required. But, if you stick with it, success will come.
There are other things you can assess about yourself when looking at owning an ecommerce business that are more relative to skills. Such things like organization, time management, adaptability, and the ability to prioritize are also important for an online business owner to possess. Most of these can be learned and honed through practice.
You can be successful as an ecommerce business owner if you have the desire, passion and commitment. Take a look at some of the ecommerce businesses at to get inspired and chart your own destiny! It’s never too late to make a change.


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Pure-Ecommerce has been featured in many top shelf magazines such as Forbes, Entrepreneur and MarketWatch