It happens time and time again: budding entrepreneurs create what they believe is a very good product, but are stuck (or suck) on how to sell it. Most forget that having a successful business entails so much more than just the product. One also needs to learn the art of selling online.
Unfortunately many people are seduced by the “get rich quick” songs being chanted in various forms around the net. Theses decits have people believing that setting up a business online is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse, some keywords, and a shopping cart. True, it isn’t rocket science, but the process is a little more involved than those commercials would lead you to believe.
To avoid the bad taste left in your mouth from a BizOp (Business Opportunity) course gone bad, I will share with you some common mistakes to avoid when learning to sell online.
3 Errors to avoid if you want to sell online
1. Failing to Do Market Research
When I first started my online Etsy store, I created about 4 products and quickly had my first sale. It wasn’t long after that, I started churning out products left and right. Though I have a background in marketing and know the importance of market research, I was having so much fun creating the new items that I went on a “creation spree” without doing any market research to see if the new items would actually convert. Though many of the ideas were fun to make, they didn’t sell, making it harder to generate an initial profit.
Jitpal Kocher, founder of Lionsmark, recommends doing one thing really well instead of bouncing from product to product. “Put an emphasis on a singular product type with different themes or the same theme across different products rather than being all over the place,” stated JitPal. “Let people find you because you make really cool movie poster spoofs rather than having a collection that isn’t connected together.”
Now, I spend a great deal of time conducting various forms of market research before I even begin to create a new product.
2. Doing Everything Yourself
Running an online business does not have to be a one man (or woman) show. Learn where your strengths are and focus on those, and simply outsource the rest.
Cathryn Lavery, founder of BestSelf Co recalls: “The biggest mistake we had was trying to do it all ourselves. We would have hired faster, put the right people in the right places. Undervaluing key positions like customer support was an initial mistake we made. Now we recommend hiring great customer support within the country you operate from to look after your customers. Don’t try to farm it out at $5 an hour overseas.”
Don’t burn yourself out on the tasks that you either have to take copious amounts of precious time learning or you simply aren’t good at. Instead spend the precious time hiring someone that both knows how to perform the tasks at hand or is simply better at it than you.
These tasks could be anything from copywriting to customer service management.
3. Under or Overpricing Your Products
It is always important to take into account all forms of overhead before landing on a final public price. This should include shipping, returns, taxes, listing fees (if any), web hosting, etc.
“Margins and cash flow are everything,” said Nate Ginsberg an e-commerce entrepreneur. “E-commerce can be VERY expensive. And you can often lose money and not even know it if you don’t know your numbers.”
Have you become victim to any of the pitfalls above? Or maybe one (or more) that weren’t listed. We would love to hear all about your success and failures in the comments below.