Via Huffington Post : Most people know that launching a business, especially online, has never been easier. However, few realize how true this is in the ecommerce space. Today there are fantastic resources available that allow for the relatively seamless development and maintenance of e-stores. In my experience, working only nights and weekends, I was able to launch an online t-shirt store in just a couple of months.
Setting up an ecommerce doesn’t require technical skills. I had never coded or designed a website from scratch. Still, I was able to set up a t-shirt shop completely on my own. Platforms such as Shopify provide you with the complete toolbox needed for your ecommerce, including awesomely designed templates. In the backend, they operate as intuitively as ticking boxes and drag-and-dropping images. They also integrate with several useful apps, which help you with marketing, CRM, logistics and all other aspects of running a business.
In terms of supply chain in particular – assuming you will be selling physical products – our lives have been made easier by fulfillment companies, like Printful. Through them, you can automate the supply management of the business, from production to distribution. Not only that, but depending on what you sell, you can get your business running with no overhead or inventory costs, and have your products be manufactured and shipped on demand, one by one.
The beauty is that what’s left is what the majority of entrepreneurs would consider the most pleasant side of any business: value proposition, strategic positioning, product design, marketing, and customer relationship. In my case, for the most part, I developed the business concept and work on the strategy and marketing. My partner, who is a fantastic artist, takes care of our t-shirt art. Other parts of the business were outsourced to freelancers you can find on websites such as Fiverr or Upwork.
If you have an idea for a product, there are plenty of free resources out there to help you refine your concept, test assumptions, and assist you in arriving at a winning business proposition. For example, pick a few ecommerce podcasts to listen to, such as Shopify Masters and Ecommerce Fuel. Reach out to other entrepreneurs online, this is a collaborative community. Read relevant blogs such as Digital Marketer, Get Elastic and Practical Ecommerce. This article on customer value optimization (CVO) is a great place to start thinking about your business.
Of course, building and running an ecommerce is still tons of work. But work you can administer at your own pace, especially if you are good at delegating. So go out there, think of a great business idea, develop it, and get down to work!