Sign up to see our latest sites for sale and more!

Category Archives: ecommerce consulting

6 Reasons Why Ecommerce Entrepreneurs Can’t Sleep at Night

Pure-Ecommerce-Sleepless-Ecommerce-Entrepreneur-Blog-Title

Don’t let being an ecommerce entrepreneur keep you up at night – here are some ways to manage your business more effectively without having it manage you!

By: Catherine Perry

You know how people use the greeting “What’s up?” Well, if your response is “Me at 2:30 in the morning worrying about my website business,” then this article is for you. There is no doubt about it…as an ecommerce small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities and, therefore, a lot to worry about. Do you experience sleepless nights worried about whether an order has been processed correctly? Or whether a possible customer can easily find what they are looking for? Or, if you are making any money?
If so, take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. It stands to reason because you are the boss running a company that comprises many functions, just as a large company does, and you have to do them all yourself.
There are many reasons for you to be stressed. We especially like the way Rosalee Laws, owner of the website Renaissance and the Rosalee Laws Company, stated the following quote in a LinkedIn article.

Pure-Ecommerce-Quote-Rosalee-Laws-Blog

That just about sums it up, doesn’t it? And, even if you are a 1-person shop with no employees, you still have to be responsible for yourself and family.
In this article, we highlight some of the main things you may worry about with your ecommerce small business, and offer just a few suggestions for ways to achieve a little more REM in your sleep!
What do you have to worry about? As noted above, if you are a one-person shop you have everything about running the business on your shoulders–selling products, attracting new customers, keeping existing customers, making a profit.
In making these things happen, you have to:
  • Shop for products
  • Make sure you have inventory using good resources
  • Market through search engines
  • Market through social media
  • Have a website that is working properly and is easy to use
  • Have a profit margin that is reasonable but high enough that you make money.
Let’s look at each one.

 

Pure-Ecommerce-keeping-up-with-inventory1. Shopping for products and keeping up with inventory availability

As you know, there are many resources for getting products for your website. Do your research and be sure you are developing relationships with vendors that make your life easier, instead of more difficult. When shopping for product vendors here are some qualities you should look for.
One that can quickly inform you of product availability. You don’t need to have to spend hours trying to find out if a product is available from a vendor. Pick one that has an easy and up-to-date system of inventory management.
One that provides you with good customer service. Pick a vendor that has helpful sales representatives you can get information from. When you need something from them, the vendor’s sales reps are your main lifeblood and should bend over backwards to help you.
One that is knowledgeable about product. Your product vendors are your primary source for the knowledge you provide for your own customers. If they don’t know the products, then your job is going to be even more difficult.
One that ships the products to your customers for you. This is referred to as drop shipping. If you are not already working with drop ship vendors, then we highly recommend you consider it. You can find out more about drop shipping here.

Pure-Ecommerce-keeping-up-with-seo-sem2. Marketing through search engines and social media

It is imperative that your online business is exposed to customers through search engines and social media. There is no getting around that. But, with everything else you have to do, SEO, SEM, and SMM some things can fall through the cracks.
Be sure you are performing search engine optimization continually. SEO is not something that can fall through the cracks. Stay informed on what the search engines (primarily Google) is changing in their formulas and what they want to see. After you have done the big work that encompasses optimization for your web landing pages, product descriptions, and product images, it is tweaking on a weekly basis to change up the wording on landing pages to keep it fresh.
Branding your business through your social media posts and campaigns is an important part of your online business but, again, can be an “aside” as you go about your regular daily tasks like processing orders. Existing customers and potential new customers gain knowledge of your business through social media and really expect it these days. Using software tools such as Hootsuite can help you with time management by allowing you to schedule social media posts ahead while freeing your time and brain up for the daily tasks you face.

3. Making sure your website is easy to use and efficient Pure-Ecommerce-keeping-website-user-friendly

The last thing you want to worry about is your website. Customers want fast and easy when shopping and buying. Be sure web pages are uncluttered and easy to read. Have a shopping cart experience that is simple and easy to use. When purchasing your website, have a company that stands behind servicing and educating so you don’t have those headaches.
You need to provide the value with your customers to make sure they are happy and satisfied. In this day, your customers have many choices for making their purchases. Give them every reason to choose you again and again!

Pure-Ecommerce-keeping-good-profit-margins4. Having a good profit margin

After all, you are probably running your small business to make money! So, having a profit margin that makes the product competitive yet provides a profit is key. Do your research. If you are offering free shipping, you will need to be sure your price covers your shipping costs and includes profit as well. This may not be easy to achieve, but it is very important.

 

 

5. Managing Your Time Pure-Ecommerce-balancing-your-time

Achieving the above list items make your life simpler with less headaches, but how do you get it all done? Good time management and good resources is how.
Managing your time doesn’t just happen—it requires a plan. Here is a suggested way to gain control over your time.
  1. First, assess how you are spending your time now. Make a list of the tasks you do daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
  2. Assign a percentage to each task (such as checking inventory levels, processing orders, working on social media, creating marketing campaigns, performing tasks associated with SEO, etc.).
  3. Really analyze each and determine if there are some areas that you are spending too much time on or not enough time on.
  4. Make a time block on the calendar for each task/activity. Here you are actually scheduling time to do these things. For instance, you might calendar Monday afternoons to write your blogs and schedule your social media posts for that week. This way, it is done and you don’t have to think about those things for the rest of the week.
Pure-Ecommerce-good-ecommce-consulting6. Securing a website consulting company to help
Having strong website consulting company behind you can be a life-saver. Knowing that a company is supporting you by assisting in website logistics, vendor selection, shopping cart operation, website look and feel can be worth more than gold in alleviating headaches and worries. Pure-ecommerce helps you get a better night’s sleep by providing training, support, SEO services, social media marketing, and website design to take so much worry off of you. They stay on top of things so you can have more time.
Face it, there are only so many hours in a day. But, with good time management and a great resource behind you, you will sleep better at night knowing that everything is being taken care of!

Step-by-Step Training is The Most Important Need a New Ecommerce Owner Has

Pure-Ecommerce-Step-by-Step-Training-Blog-Title

By: Catherine Perry

When someone is new to a field of study or new to a line of business, one of the most important needs he/she has is that of training. How does one prepare for a new field, a new position, or a new industry? There are different approaches: going to school for a degree or certification, engaging in course study, watching online videos, attending webinars, and reading books. All approaches make up “training.” Training teaches someone new to a role these things:
  • an understanding of the nature of the work,
  • the tasks they will need to do in the new role, and
  • how they should perform those tasks.
Training provides a person with a much-needed foundational knowledge on which he/she can have a better possibility of building a successful venture. Training is critical in learning new skills!

waitley-quote-pure-ecommerce

There are Many New Things to Know

Training also applies to becoming a new ecommerce business owner. If you are considering opening, or have recently opened, an ecommerce retail site for the first time, there are many things you will need to know in the effort of building a successful site. Just to name a few, you will need to:
  • Get a business license
  • Incorporate the business
  • Obtain a domain name
  • Develop a business plan
  • Decide on a product to sell
  • Build or buy a website
  • Obtain a merchant option
  • Perform tasks for SEO
  • Develop the brand through social media
  • Locate products to sell
So, what if you haven’t owned any kind of a business before, much less an ecommerce business. In the beginning stages of the new business, how do you know what to do, how do you know in what order to do those tasks, and how do you know which are the important tasks necessary in running a successful ecommerce business? Well, there is the internet.

The Internet Provides A Lot of Information

If you search the internet, you find loads of information on what you need to do. There are lots of lists that delineate and categorize the “top 5” or “top 10” things to do when starting and running an internet business. There are lists that give good information about pitfalls and “what not to do” when starting an internet business. There are blogs that give you all kinds of information on what to do and what not to do when starting an internet business. There are videos and webinars. There is a lot of information on the internet. Note that much of the information presented as “training” costs anywhere from $100’s to $1,000s.
Many internet businesses create websites for your new ecommerce business, so they want to give you enough information to sell their services. In reading their blogs and lists, you can learn the tip of the iceberg. When you are new to the industry, you may feel that you have been educated enough through the blogs and lists. But, as you begin to do the actual work, you may quickly assess that this information does not go deep enough.

Most Information Doesn’t Go Deep Enough with the “How-To”

In fact, most of the information we found when doing research on training left us with unanswered questions as to the “how”? How to do SEO, how to do social media marketing, how to keep books, how to find products, etc. is not disclosed. Even when we looked at webinars on these topics, we were left lacking on information that showed “how-to” step-by-step procedures and processes that are critical to owning an ecommerce retail business.
We suggest that the “how-to” is of utmost importance in performing tasks that are new. When a task is new to you, you really need to know how to perform that task. And, people learn in different ways. Ultimately, actually doing that task provides the “best” learning experience through practice, failing, and succeeding. But, people also learn by reading, by seeing, and by hearing.

A Better Way

When creating our 10-step training program at Pure-Ecommerce, we felt it was important to cover areas that were lacking in the other training programs. Our goal was to develop a step-by-step program to help budding ecommerce entrepreneurs have the ability to learn to set up, run and market their own online business. Therefore, we decided to:
  1. Provide 40 Hours of step-by-step Ecommerce Consulting
  2. Show the “how-to”
  3. Present the training in a few of different ways—written, visually and verbally.
  4. Provide access to our exclusive eLearning Library for the first year of business where clients can access our 10 step program 24/7 as they work through the process.
By providing our training in a step-by-step procedural fashion, our clients understand the order in which certain tasks need to be accomplished. And, we also decided to present the training in written format and adding in phone consultation time. The phone consultation time is extremely beneficial because the new owner gets to hear what he/she has read and has the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the material. We pride ourselves in being able to “hand-hold” our clients through the process of learning to set up and run their internet business, which is very different from many other ecommerce services where they simply create a template website for new ecommerce website owners. We believe training is such an important part of the service we provide our clients. It is critical to gain the knowledge on the various areas of owning an ecommerce business. Here’s a look at the 10 Steps we consult our clients on during our ecommerce consulting process:

pure-ecommerce-ten-step-process

Don’t Scrimp on Training

In summary, when you are looking toward owning an ecommerce business and you need training to get started, look at the different options. Here are some things to think about when deciding on the option that is best for you:
  • What do you need to learn?
  • How do you learn best?
  • What is your budget for training?
Regardless of how you go, do not scrimp on training. There is no doubt that training will put you in a better position to have success!

Pure-Ecommerce-wish-for-it-work-for-it-quote-Facebook (1)

Get instant access to our sites and pricing - Learn More
Pure-Ecommerce has been featured in many top shelf magazines such as Forbes, Entrepreneur and MarketWatch