How to Know if the E-Commerce Life is for You
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Deciding whether or not to start a business can feel daunting if you’re new to the world of online income. Especially in the age of instant social media – where it feels as if everyone is trying harder, doing better, and working more.
By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with the know-how knowledge to determine whether or not this lifestyle will be for you.
We’ll go through the traits of a successful business owner, the pros and cons of an e-commerce business, and discuss some of the high-potential businesses you can start working on today.
Am I Really Cut Out for This?
When digging through blog articles – or even just social media in general – it can be very hard to figure out whether the e-commerce lifestyle is truly for you.
Are they just pretending to like it?
It seems too easy to be true.
They must have some skill or ability that I don’t have.
I’m not as [smart, attractive, curious, independent] as them – so I probably wouldn’t succeed.
These are all doubts that we all have while starting a new business. It really sucks to think that you could fail, waste time and money, or you’ll disappoint your family.
Although these are very real and negative aspects of starting an online business, there’s also a lot of potential that come with it as well. Potential to make passive income, quitting your full-time job, and the pride that comes with running a successful business.
Before I started my blog I was worried that I would immediately fail – that I would somehow do something utterly stupid and ruin my entire life.
But here I am just a few months later – confident in my abilities and working every day towards my goals.
Honestly, at this point, I don’t even care if I fail. I’ve learned so many skills and I’ve gained a huge amount of respect and confidence for myself in such a short period of time.
Even if your business idea is unsuccessful, the amount of confidence, respect, and knowledge you gain is worth it. (In my opinion)
Another huge reason most individuals want to start their own business is to have the luxury of doing what they love.
While there will be a lot of aspects that you dislike about running a business – you’re still able to follow your passions while doing so.
Before we jump into the pros and cons section, remember to stay until the end. I give a list of 10 e-commerce businesses you can start to create today.
You never know – starting an online business may change your life forever!
Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
When first deciding whether or not becoming an online business owner is for you, you need to know if you have the right characteristics.
This list isn’t in any particular order.
A Curious Problem-Solver
Are you willing and able to learn? Starting a new business is all about being able to learn new things and apply everything you’ll learn.
You’ll need to be able to problem solve almost on a daily – if not hourly basis as a business owner. Individuals who are curious are the ones with the most innovative problem-solving skills.
Structured and Dedicated
Are you a person who rides on the waves of motivation? You only do things when you absolutely have to or your work style is very inconsistent?
Then starting a business may not be for you.
Against contrary belief, you will need to be putting in as much time and effort into your new business as you can.
Are you running a business or a hobby?
If your e-commerce site is purely a hobby and you’re not intending to make cash from it, it’s completely acceptable for you to work whenever you feel like it.
If you’re running a business – be prepared to be putting a considerable amount of work and effort into it. (At least in the beginning.)
Adaptable and a Risk Taker
Depending on your niche and the type of online business you decide to run, you may need to be constantly adapting and taking risks to succeed.
We are in an ever-changing online environment where a simple update could change the course of your business in a matter of minutes.
Are you prepared for something like that?
Although I wouldn’t say it’s likely for your website to be made completely obsolete – you still need to be able to adapt to changes quickly.
What would happen if your Facebook followers were to move over to Tik-Tok? Would you continue to try and build your Facebook account or could you adapt to using Tik-Tok?
Could your business survive if you got banned on Instagram and lost your following?
If You’re Not Already – Can You Become Comfortable With Failing?
I honestly wish at the beginning of my blogging journey someone would have told me how much failing business owners go through.
Seriously – expect to be told NO a lot.
Do you want to run ads? – Your site isn’t providing enough value.
Do you want to write a guest blog? – Sorry, you don’t fit the vision of our company.
Do you want to add someone’s affiliate link to your site? – You aren’t getting enough traffic.
Do you want to partner up? – We already have selected a better candidate.
You will fail over and over and over again. The only thing you can do is get back up and try again until you succeed.
You need to be prepared that things will not go the way you hoped and will be more time-consuming and difficult than first expected.
And if everything does go as planned – good for you! It’s better to be prepared for obstacles than to expect to immediately succeed.
Persistent and Optimistic
Are you naturally a persistent person? Are you optimistic about what you can achieve?
Not only will business owners try again after they fail, but they will also stay positive about future opportunities
Of course, it sucks to get rejected, but hey – maybe next time!
Starting from Scratch
Before you start your business, you also need to keep in mind the resources that you have available.
Do you have enough money for your business idea? If not, are you willing to put in the work to make the money on the chance the business may fail and you lose all of it?
Are you able to work 10, 20, or 30 hours a week?
Keeping in mind the amount of money and time you can invest will ultimately decide what business you can start or additional changes you’ll need to take in your life.
Pros & Cons
Ecommerce is expected to grow from 13 to 25 percent.
“If you want to get into e-commerce, there has scarcely been a better time. The opportunities are growing by the day.” – Baltic Media
It’s always important to innovate when the time calls for it – and by examining the growth of e-commerce businesses, I’d say now is the time.
You’re able to make passive income
After you’ve successfully launched your online store and you have successful marketing, you can sit back and relax. (Mostly)
You’ll be surprised to find that a blog post or a repurposed image can be sending customers to your store months later.
And the great thing is – once you’ve completed a piece of content, it’s created.
Besides annual updates, you won’t need to be constantly creating things to be selling. You can rely on your well-built strategies to be bringing in the cash for you.
You can reach more companies
You’re probably thinking, “well, duh”.
But this is a huge pro that we sometimes forget to take into consideration. Especially if you’re already selling services.
Besides the obvious fact that having an online store builds your brand’s authority, it also easily showcases your skills to anyone interested.
You don’t need to be knocking door to door or relying on WOM (which is still a really good marketing technique, don’t get me wrong).
You can just send them a link and they can find out what you’re all about.
You don’t have to worry about opening or closing hours
This is my favorite pro, personally.
You don’t have to worry about individuals catching you at the wrong time, or not being able to access your services/products.
You could be selling your handbags or receiving emails from clients at 3 in the morning.
An online start-up can be minimal cost
This is one of the beauties of starting an online business.
A lot of business ideas can be started with the scraps you’re able to make from your part-time waitressing job.
While it’s still an investment, it doesn’t have to be a super costly one.
The start-up can cost a lot (Depending on the niche)
Contrary to what was stated before, start-ups can also cost a lot of money if you’re ill-prepared, uneducated, or due to your niche.
This is why it’s always important to research the costs associated with the type of e-business you’re wanting to start – before you start it.
Concerns about privacy and safety
You don’t want to be the person who has to tell a customer that someone has access to their bank accounts.
When dealing with customers online, there is a lot that can go wrong, and a lot you can get sued for.
You need to be looking into all the legal, privacy, and safety aspects your website needs to be following. If not, you can get hit with a pricy lawsuit.
It’s important to know the risks of owning a website.
Lack of engagement with customers
Some people consider this a pro, others consider it a con.
Is a large part of your business model making people feel at home when they walk into your store? Or maybe you enjoy getting to speak to each individual and to see them fawning over your expertise.
Not only do you lack engagement during the sale – but you also lack engagement if something with the sale goes wrong.
It’s already difficult to try and fix a problem from an upset customer in person – it’s even harder online.
A way to avoid this would be to simply have (what I like to call) a location niche. So if you’re a web designer specializing in creating blog sites, you can be a web designer specializing in creating blog sites in the New York Area.
This will greatly decrease your target audience but you’ll be able to see your clients in person and the site will still provide opportunities to work with bigger clients in different areas.
Added costs of operating an online store
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to have to mess with all the ‘backend’ stuff or you don’t want to be putting in a lot of effort – it can cost a lot of money.
Whether that’s from web designers to programmers to virtual associates to marketing software, they all play a key part in your business.
If you decide to start an e-commerce website you either have to take these roles or you can hire them out. A lot of people realize they’re way over their head and end up spending a lot more money than they intended to.
There’s no one to hold your hand
I know a lot of people who are dead-set on having someone guide them through life’s troubles and always needing to vent to anyone who will listen.
Unless you have a business partner who is willing to carry your weight – no one is going to be making decisions for you.
Whether it’s deciding the color scheme for a website mock-up, creating the wireframe, or even the cost of selling the business – these will all ultimately be your decision.
Even if you were to hire individuals to do all of these things for you, more than likely they don’t want to be told to ‘do whatever’. The creative freedom it provides is nice, but at the end of the day, you still need to be the one making decisions.
And no employee wants to be responsible for the failure of your business.
In fact, one of the main problems for e-commerce owners is the lack of vision and direction. Know what you want and go get it!
Ways You Can Make Money Online
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the more effort and money you put in – the more you’ll likely get out.
If you’re smart – you’ll hire a virtual assistant to help with the process ;).
With proofreading, you simply correct grammar, copyedit and proofread text for an individual or business. Proofreaders often hold bachelor’s degrees in English or Journalism.
Selling custom t-shirts is a very popular way to make money online now. You often see individuals selling ‘merch’ in the form of t-shirts, caps, sweaters, etc.
The online course industry is absolutely booming with cash – it’s expected to exceed $300 billion by 2025.
In fact, there are people who sell courses for more than $50,000!
If you’re an expert in something or you have a knack for teaching – this may be the right course (ha) for you!
A virtual assistant is someone who essentially takes care of the ‘busywork’ of a business. As a VA you’re able to niche down and offer specialized services if you choose or you can do general administrative assistance. You also don’t need a degree to become one!
Blogs are everywhere because they have the potential to make a lot of money. Through a blog, you can build authority to sell services, your own products, or others’ services and products for a commission.
Write a Book
If you’re an expert on a topic or you really love creating stories – writing a book may be for you. Whether you decide to write about gardening or aliens taking over – you still have the ability to make money.
It’s important to keep in mind that you also have to do marketing and set up either your own or someone else’s site to sell your book. This also includes competitive analysis and research on your target audience.
Writing a book is usually not the best way to make a lot of money, but it can make you more credible and increase your authority. Which can lead to more sales for other services or courses you may offer.
Write & Edit Resumes
A lot of people want to seem as appealing as they can for hiring managers. We’re in the age of high competition and education – we all want to outshine each other. Resume writers typically earn between $100 to $400 per resume.
Affiliate marketing and blogging are often seen synonymously – but neither of them has to rely on the other. Affiliate marketing is simply offering a link to other’s products so you can collect a commission when the other person buys the product.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing because of its simplicity and your ability to make money long-term.
Review Products or Services
Depending on your audience size, you can make a lot of money from reviewing others’ products or services.
How often do you see YouTubers providing their opinion on a piece of software or the latest tech?
A company may offer to pay you through giving away a product for free or by offering you a price.
If you’re not famous or you don’t have an online audience, you can also make money writing reviews.