You don’t need a store or an office to run a successful business anymore. Thanks to the internet, you can have your items stored in a warehouse (even a major one, like Amazon), you can have a complete payment system all set up just by creating your own account, and with some decent social media posts, the money will roll right in.
That’s the story you’ll hear over and over again, and the reason it sounds so good is that is almost certainly too good to be true.
There are going to be plenty of speed bumps on your way to success, and if you aren’t ready for them, they can be particularly jarring, and almost make up give up completely.
Read on so you can better prepare yourself to make sure your small business ultimately soars above the competition.
#1. Protect Yourself!
The first thing you should know is that your business is your responsibility. And that means you have to be ready when there is any sort of legal challenge or issue that might come along.
You might have a problem with a supplier, or a customer, or a much bigger corporation. A good way to make sure that you can afford these things is to stay up to date with lawsuit loans. Being able to afford a lawyer throughout the (possibly lengthy) process is essential, and can keep your business afloat in the early days.
Too many companies that start off with some promise are blindside by their first lawsuit, so make sure you aren’t one of them.
#2. Plan Ahead!
This is true in the dullest way - make sure you have enough office supplies, from printer paper to staplers to different coloured pens - and also the much more complicated - make sure you have a contract for anyone who works for you, get everything in writing instead of just a handshake, always pad the delivery schedule.
The more you can try an imagine what your business might look like weeks, months, or years down the road, the better equipped you will be to deal with it. And don’t just imagine the hopeful good times, but also consider the rocky period when things aren’t going right.
Having the right sort of software and equipment can make a big difference here, but that also means you need to have some money ready to be spent at a moment’s notice.
#3. The Days Will Start Rainy
You know the term ‘saving for a rainy day’?
Well hopefully you do have at least a little bit of money in your pockets when you start your new venture, because the chances are low that digital customers will be flocking to your website or product page. And that’s not necessarily any fault of your own.
You could do absolutely everything right when it comes to starting up a new business, and it still might seem like a big mistake for the first few weeks or even months. You will definitely feel tempted to change something if it’s not working, and that can be the product your offering (or the price it is set at), the way you are selling it, the people you’re working with, or even more ornamental things, like the layout or design of your site. And it’s difficult to be sure whether these changes will turn things around.
The key thing to make sure of is that you are okay with these changes, and that you aren’t doing them to cash in on some novelty fad, or are being pressured to make them by someone else.
#4. Don’t Be a Victim of Success
Let’s say the right customer makes a big purchase and they start to tell others - either in person or online - and suddenly you are flooded with requests and offers.
But what if you don’t have a team to answer all the emails, or a person to deal with the inevitable delays, or if you just don’t have enough of the product to suddenly ship out?
You obviously didn’t want to over-produce a new product that you weren’t sure was going to take off, but now that it has, can you meet demand?
This is another example of how planning ahead can make a world of difference. The other thing that success can do is make you complacent, and less willing to make changes. Especially in the internet era, it’s not just memes that have a short shelf life.
Entire business can be relevant one month and then forgotten the next. While it sounds obvious that you would have to change if your business isn’t working, you should definitely be ready to alter your course even if things are going well.
That’s not to say that you should do a total one-eighty, but keeping your eye on trends and adjusting accordingly can change your small burst of popularity into a lasting commercial institution.
#5. Learn to Relax
While it’s great that it’s easier than ever for you and you alone to create a new business, that means all the responsibility is on your shoulders, and no matter how organized and energetic you are, it will start to weigh heavy.
Even if you are committed to working seven days a week and a lot longer than the usual eight hours, you won’t be doing yourself any favours if you don’t find some time to just take it easy.
Keeping some of your favourite pastimes and hobbies is important, and even just taking a deep breath from time to time and stepping away from the work to reflect.
A great way to do is this regular exercise, since not only are you keeping your body healthy, but it’s a chance to put the phone down for a little bit and just focus on that next sit up.
Your education never really stops. Read these 27 e-commerce books and you’ll be way ahead of your competition.