How to Build an E-Commerce Empire
Do you have dreams of creating an e-commerce empire? It’s not an impractical goal in today’s digital economy, as long as you’re willing to take the necessary steps, get the right education, and work hard. A good place to begin is to read as many e-marketing books as you can get your hands on. Watch video tutorials on the subject, but avoid paying for online courses that promise the moon. Just try to acquire the fundamental concepts of how to market, promote, and advertise.
Getting a master’s degree in business is the ideal way to round out your education in the field. Choose a program that offers a specialty in e-commerce because not all do. However, most schools that offer online degrees include the subject in their menu of graduate majors. Diploma in hand, secure a day job with a company where you can hone your skills and learn the real-world basics of the industry. Build several test sites in your spare time and see which products and services are a good match for your skills.
Choose just one thing to sell at first and fine-tune your website before going live. Once profits start to come in, the aim is to eventually leave the day job behind and put all your energy into your own business. Finally, replicate the basic selling template you’ve created by adding other items to your offerings. Here are more details about some of the key steps in the process.
Earn a Master’s Degree
Legally, you don’t need a master’s degree to start your own e-business, but doing so will slice years of hard work and expenses from the total cost and physical effort. For most prospective entrepreneurs, the toughest part of getting grad school is paying for it. Fortunately, you can take out a loan via a private lender and cover all the costs of your master’s program. Most schools offer one-year or three-semester courses of study, depending on whether you have completed any prerequisites. In any case, applying for a private loan can be done completely online and takes just a few minutes. There’s really no more efficient way of paying all the bills up front. That way, you can focus on earning top grades and learning how the industry works.
Build Several Test Sites in Your Spare Time
Even if you only have a few spare hours each week during school or after snagging that first day job, do plenty of experimentation with site building, promotional techniques, and exploring products or services that have the potential to turn a profit in today’s diversified economy.
Choose One Product or Service
After experimenting for a few months, decide what it is you’re going to sell. The choice should be based on a good or service that you are interested in, know a lot about, and lends itself to online sales. Avoid unusual or non-traditional items for this first foray into the world of e-commerce.
Perfect the Tech Before Launch
Before going live with the website, be sure to publicize the launch via social media and work out all the technical kinks. There’s nothing more disheartening than revving up your enthusiasm and discovering a shopping cart or landing page glitch one day after you open the doors of your new business venture.
Don’t Dump the Day Job Yet
The beauty of this system is that you’ll never starve or go broke as long as you hold onto a regular day job and experiment with e-commerce on the side. Thousands of the world’s top entrepreneurs began this way because it makes good economic and practical sense. Expect to devote between 15 and 25 hours per week to the effort. Be careful to stay healthy, keep an eye on the monthly budget, and get enough sleep every night. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a workaholic who burns out after a year of overwork and lack of rest.
Replicate Successful Strategies
Once you feel like you’ve hit on a system that delivers decent results in terms of profitability and efficiency, make a list of at least two other products or services you can use the same strategy for. The basic idea is to do what effective franchisers do, namely duplicate a successful formula by applying it in other areas. Fast-food chains are the masters of this technique, but you’ll be doing it on a smaller level and with differentiated products. For example, perhaps you’ll sell custom jewelry on one website, designer handbags on another, and wearable tech on a third. The core setup and marketing plans will be almost exactly the same for all, which means you reap the benefits of spending less time on additional ventures.