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1911naomi, post: 214650, member: 64208 wrote:
Thanks again. back when i was looking into options i couldn’t afford $1k-$5k on a website and i didn’t like any templates so this was the alternative option i went with. Its almost finished and ready to launch so will leave it as is for now. However its good to look into forward planning, i don’t understand about if i need to expand it is it simple. At this stage if i need to upload more products/photos i am able to do this myself as i would have to using eccommerce programs.
What other forward planning is there to be aware of, i don’t mean to sound naive I’m only 6 months into “starting a business” so its all new to me.

Hi Naomi,

For myself, it’s easy for me to forget that not everyone uses these kinds of programs everyday like I do, so my apologies if I keep skipping over things quickly (it’s one of my worst habits/traits!)

For me, it was important that from day 1, I knew what my processes would be so that I wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time the business grew a little bit. Here’s some things that I thought about..

  • Shipping: I hate writing postage labels and have quite possibly the worst handwriting on the planet, so it was important that I had an automated process for handling shipping labels
  • Customer notifications: I wanted emails to be sent automatically each time I updated orders or posted something.
  • Payments: I wanted customers to be processing their own payments, no looking through lines of bank records for me thank you!
  • Bookkeeping/Accounting: Which system would I use for monitoring my various expenses (product,duty,freight,insurance,packaging/cartage/postage/etc) and tracking income etc.
  • Stock levels: How would I ensure that I new how much stock on hand I had, predict when I needed to order new stock, don’t let customers purchase out of stock products.
  • Social integration: How could I get my customers to promote my business themselves
  • Remarketing: How could I remarket to customers that had bought from me
  • Returns: How do I manage return requests and track where they’re up to? (This was a huge headache when I had a bad batch of one of my products and I had a return rate of about 20% of them for a couple of months – I didn’t have an RMA manager until then)
  • Website/visitor tracking/analytics – How would I know which pages on my site work, what people click on, where they scroll too etc.

I started my business by raising money from selling a whole bunch of my old video games and stupidly started them all at exactly the same time, so they finished at exactly the same time. I learned pretty quickly what I needed to automate when I had about 30 sales to process and fulfil (all manually) at 9pm on a Sunday night!

There are also so awesome ideas in the Shopify blog (even if you don’t use them) http://www.shopify.com.au/blog – A great starting point is using VistaPrint to prnt off some business cards with a discount coupon on the back. Include that with every purchase and hopefully you’ll get some customers to come back if you entice them with 5% off etc.