Naveen Mahlawat started his entrepreneurial journey after working for global companies like Microsoft, Ingram Micro and Instasap UK, where he was strongly acquainted with Internet/Retail/e-commerce/
The best way to grow your business is to go online and make your brand an E-commerce venture. Much like any other business sector, e-commerce too is not easy. But knowing the way to set up the requisites will make this business more attainable than ever. Establishing an E-commerce venture and making it a success is based on several factors that should be considered before jumping into this E-war. E-commerce business is a deep ocean that might look shallow from above but if you are not prepared well you might drown. Let us have a brief study on the things to keep in mind while taking a business into e-commerce space.
- Identify the resources – The primarily step is identifying the resources to start an e-commerce business. Doing a thorough research is very necessary. Know what business model you want to start and how you will create the supply to your customer’s demand. The domain you are looking are products or services? If you are selling products, are they physical or digital? From where will you source your products? Once these are aligned you can move to the next level.
Market analysis time to time – Market research delivers significant knowledge about the market and your business geography. It can tell you how your business is determined by a set customers or clients that you want to target. It can encourage you to understand who and where your customers are, and which customers are extensively apt to do business with you. It also helps to know about the ongoing trends and latest updates in your field of business. Know every aspect of your business market and conquer.
Evaluate the competitors – One of the best ways to stay ahead of your opponents are to recognize their steps and strategies. You need to identify and evaluate their techniques, methods, and product proficiency about pricing and packaging. Learn from your opponent’s mistake and keep track of each step.
Target Customers – Your product and services can be very desirable but if you have no idea of your target customers then all your knowledge and information about the business will automatically go into vein. Every business individual expects their business at the height, for that, you must have sufficient information about the audience you are approaching towards. Get to know your desired group of customers which will eventually boost your business.
Product Sourcing – Once you analyse the e-commerce niche, your competitors, and the target customers, you reach a point where you will need to source the products you are going to sell. This is something that is decided when we finalise our resources. If you make your own products, then you source them from distributors. In this case you need to think about the inventory with which you want to start out, along with the initial start-up costs. On the other hand, if you are a service consultant then you can list it on your website.
Better logistics and operations plan and improvement– For a successful e-commerce venture, one needs to have a proper logistics and operation plan in hand that will cover everything from tech requirements like computers and other tech gadgets to warehousing. Analysing this segment of your plan will help you understand the experiences of running an ecommerce company. A profitable e-commerce business’ logistics and operations plan should cover suppliers that will provide the raw materials or product; better production to create your own products or use a third-party manufacturing company. Other aspects of logistics and operations’ plan are the packaging and shipping. Without planning the inventory, the logistic and operation plan is incomplete.
Investment/Financial plans – All businesses require certain number of investments and financial plans. Some businesspeople arrange their own start-up funds while others look for alliances with investors. For setting up a financial plan you need to consider your goals for a certain number of years and accordingly take your plan to a bank or a potential investor. Financial plans include Income statement or a breakdown if your revenue, a balance sheet to calculate the assets, liabilities, and amount of equity in the business and then there is a cash flow statement indicating the real time expenses and revenue of the business.
- Develop strategic positioning – It is important to create a strategic brand position of your business. In this market where the competition is fierce, it is important to have a better understanding of exactly where your business stands in the consumer’s eye. To create a brand positioning, the company needs to align proper marketing strategies and communication plan to send proper messaging to the right audience at the right time.
Review and revise the plan accordingly – A half yearly or an annual review of the business’ previous year performance is required to understand the success and failure of each department. This review will help in drafting a new plan for the way forward.
It is important to understand the e-commerce space before taking a jump into it. Learn the basics of the online business that will ease your effort and prepare you for the future and implement the strategies for your brand. With the growing technology, there are various automated backend operations and tools that help in setting up an online business. With experiences, an entrepreneur will be able to evolve a successful e-commerce business.