Starting PurseFind thus far has been very rewarding; the experience of starting a business from scratch is definitely humbling but also exhilarating.
One of the greatest gifts that comes with starting your own business is opening yourself up to an increasing social media platform and networking with other small businesses!
PurseFind primarily has a presence on Instagram and it’s been great for making new connections. As I’ve met new people, I’ve been asked for advice on how to start an e-commerce business and what could one expect.
So I decided put this blog section to work and explain my path and trajectory.
There are some disclaimers though!
1. I am not a business consultant, these blog posts are just a first person point of view on e-commerce and how it’s worked for me thus far.
2. I’ll explain everything I’ve done, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best way or right way, this is the way it worked for me and I hope that you can take something positive from it.
3. PurseFind is nowhere near being this amazing super profitable business, it’s definitely still in its baby steps, but it’s getting there.
So with that said , here’s the first post on “How to start an e-commerce business”.
First Thing’s First:
You Have to Love Your Product/Service
Fast cash is exactly what it is, fast cash, it comes to you fast and it’ll leave you fast. If you’re looking to open a business that will grow in the long run, do not jump on a fad or trending product. The fact is, once a product is heavily trending, it’s probably too late for you to jump on that bandwagon.
With that said, it’s important for you to remember that starting a business means you’ll be investing on that said product or service, as in, you’ll literally be placing your money on it. You don’t want to throw your hard earned money on something that feels like it will succeed just because you see others doing well.
- You need to be genuinely interested in the product you’re selling, it needs to bring you some sort of excitement! Choosing a product that excites you, that allows you to daydream about the future is important. The reason for this is running a business is not always super fun, sometimes it’s tiring, sometimes it is stressful, don’t make it anymore stressful by choosing a product you aren’t even crazy about.
- Just because it looks like it’s selling on Instagram DOES NOT mean it is! DO YOUR RESEARCH. Let’s be honest, you will have competitors, I have competitors! Companies and businesses on social media will ALWAYS seem to be doing great! But the reality is you don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes of the business, for all we know the millions of followers that page has might be purchased, and it may not be generating sales after all. So how to figure out if the product you have in mind is a good product?
Second, you love the product/service...but is it worth it?
Start your research using good ol’ Google, figure out how much that product sells retail across various sellers. For example if you’ve come to a conclusion that said product sells for an average of $50.00 retail, how much are you willing to pay wholesale for it? Can you charge a competitive price on it?
Here are some questions to keep in mind as you do your research:
1. How much does that product cost retail? Is it over saturated? Can you make it better?
2. How much does it cost to make/buy the product?
3. What are other costs you might incur in the selling of your product? Such as website building costs for example, or other logistics.
4. Is there a demand for your product? Is it essential?
5. Can you find a secure distributor for that product and at a reasonable wholesale price?
6. Is there someone selling the same thing in your city?
Also check out this great Shopify blog post on product evaluation!
It’ll take you through the steps on evaluating whether or not your product idea is worth it!
Finally, begin to ask friends and family members you trust about the product you have in mind. Ask them how much they’d pay for it, if they find a need for it, and if they’d buy it at all. It’s important that you only ask those you trust, because there are copycats out there that can beat you to the punch...trust me.
Although you’re itching to open that business and see that money flow, it’s all a little more complex than just setting up a website and expecting the sales to come through, so definitely be patient.
You also need to understand that at the beginning you will make mistakes but it’s up to you to decide how big that mistake should be. That is why taking the time to research your product idea thoroughly is very important.
It is also important that your product idea comes from you! Taking one business idea and recreating it is not always a good idea if 1. You aren’t making that product or service better or 2. You aren’t passionate and are only looking to make a quick buck. No business is easy...let me repeat that...no business is easy.
With that said, thanks for reading! And tune in next blog post which will focus on how to fund your business and where I discuss “How many products should you start with?”
Feel free to post any questions or comments below!
You can also DM me on Instagram @pursefind 💕
XOXO -Salma A.