Whether you’ve been thinking of launching your own online store for just a few months or it’s been a dream for multiple years, the timing of the launch can be tricky. Working within the rapidly changing e-commerce industry has always required the ability to think quickly and adapt to new situations.
Now the business world is more unpredictable than ever, as the effects of the Coronavirus cause uncertainty in the worldwide economy. You’re probably wondering if now is the best time for launching your online store. Ask yourself these questions while considering whether or not to move forward with the launch of your online store.
What Is Your Financial Standing?
Because e-commerce businesses often have lower start-up costs than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, many potential e-commerce business owners are willing to take greater risks. Although the e-commerce industry is doing well right now, it’s still essential to prepare for operating for an extended period of time without making a profit.
Before you move forward with your new online store figure out your budget. Many businesses are not profitable for at least the first two or three years of operating. Would you be able to survive that long with a profit?
It should go without saying that you need to create a realistic budget before beginning your new company. Unfortunately, many people get overly excited when starting their businesses. It’s common for prospective business owners to be overly optimistic about their chances for success and underestimate the budget they will need.
Be careful to create a realistic budget. Once you’ve accomplished this step, however, you should feel totally confident moving forward.
Are You Offering the Right Products?
While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on industries like entertainment and travel, e-commerce businesses are doing quite well. In fact, U.S. retailers’ year-over-year growth is up 68 percent. While customers around the world are staying home due to social distancing requirements, they are turning to online shopping to fulfill their needs.
Although the e-commerce industry is growing, it’s essential to find the right product or you may not see as much success as you were hoping. Many people are worried about how the pandemic will affect their financial situation in the future, so they will be less likely to make a purchase they don’t need.
You’ll see the most success if you can capitalize on trends. Brands that sell at-home fitness equipment and at-home entertainment such as puzzles and board games have seen major growth. As you might expect, however, products for traveling, such as suitcases and travel pillows aren’t doing as well. If you can anticipate trends like these in advance, your business will thrive.
The most important thing to ask think about is what customers need during this current moment. If you have a product that can provide value right now, then it’s a great time to start selling.
Do You Have the Bandwidth?
As any business owner knows, you spend the most time and energy during your business’s earliest days. It’s important to be realistic about how much bandwidth you will be able to put toward your new online store.
One of the biggest mistakes a new business owner can make is not putting in enough time to truly be successful. If you don’t currently have the bandwidth to really give your all to this new online venture, it is much better to wait until a later time when you do. Don’t waste a good idea by not giving it the time and attention it deserves.
The amount of time you’ll need to devote to your new e-commerce business will hugely depend on how much support you have. Are you starting this business other people who are willing to make sacrifices with their time to help this business succeed? Do you have the financial means to hire support? If you are venturing out on your own, you can expect that you’ll be busy at least while starting out.
What Do You Hope to Achieve?
Any time you start a new venture, it’s a good idea to have clearly stated goals. Is this new online store going to be your main source of income or is it a side hustle? Knowing what you hope to achieve will help you identify the amount of energy you’re ready to spend on this project.
Understanding your goals will also help you determine the level of risk you are willing to take on. When identifying your goals you should determine how quickly you intend to grow your business and how important it is that you make a profit early on.
When you have clearly defined goals, it is easier to evaluate whether those goals are achievable with your resources, current market trends, and the economic climate. In any business venture, there is a risk that you won’t achieve your goals, but it’s much more likely that your goals won’t be achieved if they aren’t clearly defined.
There’s no such thing as the ideal moment to start your business. No matter when you decide to move forward, there will be some obstacles in your way. The important thing is to understand the obstacles and find a path to overcome them. Your online business will thrive if you are able to do these things.
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