Home – New Forums Starting your journey What? Me! Starting an online store?

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  • #981915
    TheGoldenGoose
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    You read right! ;)

    This year, 2013 is my year.

    I’ve decided (perhaps rather insanely) that it is a good year to tackle my big dream of wanting an online store.. because really, I don’t have enough happening in my life at the moment! (note sarcasm) :D

    I love a challenge and have found a fabulous niche (yet to be revealed!), much research and planning is and will go into this.. and am even more willing to invest more into this business than I was The Golden Goose.

    What I want to know; have any of you transitioned A) between businesses successfully, how did you do it (selling/closing/informing customers/doing one part time?) B) between a service business to a products business successfully…

    Would love to hear your stories and journeys!

    #1133683
    LucasArthur
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    Oh Leah

    Although i do not have much input into your query, i must say that i am very excited for you.. i cant wait to hear what your niche is, and how you will transition.. interesting times ahead, especially since your schedule is so ‘relaxed’ lately.. LOL

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1133684
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Thanks so much Jason!

    I think I might be a little koo-koo, but I really love this idea.

    It’s fun, it’s me and is so fabulous, I can’t wait to break it to you! :D

    #1133685
    LucasArthur
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    Sooooo exciting.. cant wait….

    Hope it all travels smoothly… and oh my, branding guru doing online.. How cool..

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1133686
    TheGoldenGoose
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    A little dangerous if you ask me! LOL :)

    #1133687
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi Leah,

    I think you have a few options based on what you will feel most comfortable with.
    1. The worst in my opinion is to simply drop the old ball.
    2. sell the old business
    3. keep servicing existing clients of the old business but stop promoting it or taking on new clients.
    4. outsource the work that comes in for the old business
    5. find someone in the industry you respect and give them your existing clients.

    Steve

    #1133688
    Tony Pfitzner
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    Hi Leah

    Great to hear about your plans!

    The biggest mistake I see with startup businesses – and it is a big mistake – is to presume the market exists when you haven’t researched it. Spending a lot of money on content development, catalogue systems or inventory, before you have done your homework is not smart. Even if there is a good market, the best way to address it, and the hot buttons for customers need to be wheedled out.

    One modern and cost effective way to do market research is to set up a blog discussing topics related to your offer – or simply a couple of web pages outlining your services, and invite potential customers to join a mailing list. Also set up a survey and invite responses.

    Push some traffic into this website using pay per click – highly targeted and quick – as well as promoting on social channels etc.

    Sceptics will tell you – “People don’t respond to surveys”. This is simply untrue.

    What is true is that only a relatively small percentage of people will respond to surveys, but the response you get is critically indicative of your potential market. You will also find out the best way to approach the market if it exists.

    Regards

    Tony

    #1133689
    mjbi
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    Hi Leah,

    I’ve done it, initially I ran a web design business, TerraMedia. Live test sites and market research lead to starting an online store that at the time was in a very unsaturated market, Skate-Parts.Com.

    The online store started out as a live test site with very limited inventory, so really it was just a small side business that served the purpose of trialling different e-commerce functions in a live environment before offering them to clients.

    Over time this grew fairly quickly to the point it was taking up as much time as web design for me and got to the point where I had to decide which to focus on more.

    Last year I opened a physical store on the Gold Coast with my fiance, however I still do web design for all my existing clients and only really take on new jobs associated with or referred by those client. I spend down time at the shop doing web design, it works extremely well.

    I have over the last year needed to employ casuals in the shop to help run it and pack orders etc, particularly over busy periods, and this year I’m on the lookout for someone to take over the day to day management of the shop altogether so I can focus more on web design. At the end of the day, the online shop is realistically still just a test-bed that has spawned a few other live test sites on other content management systems.

    Finding the right balance is hard, and it depends if you want to completely quit your existing work to focus on the new shop, but my thoughts are that the best way to do it is ease into it. Get a product out there as quick as you can, it doesn’t have to be the fanciest website, just so long as it looks legitimate and you can start selling, or trial it through eBay. Build the audience and marketing while you keep doing your current work. As your online store grows, cut back on your other work, if need be, just handle existing clients. If you are really keen to move to just working on the new store, like Steve suggested, I’d look at either outsourcing the work or recommending someone else to the client that you know can handle what they need. If the opportunity is there to sell the old business, it will give you some cash to direct to the development of the new business. However, a more consistent cash flow from an existing business can really help with funding a growing new business though.

    Matt

    #1133690
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 152021 wrote:
    Hi Leah,

    I think you have a few options based on what you will feel most comfortable with.
    1. The worst in my opinion is to simply drop the old ball.
    2. sell the old business
    3. keep servicing existing clients of the old business but stop promoting it or taking on new clients.
    4. outsource the work that comes in for the old business
    5. find someone in the industry you respect and give them your existing clients.

    Steve

    Hello! Thanks so much. The above helps to clarify. Im looking at either #3 or #4. Worried about scalability for the new business, as I have a feeling it will really take off in early stages – so possibly #3 initially, working towards #4. I am so incredibly fussy with my outsourcing quality!

    Thanks also to Matt and Tony. Tony – will definitely do some further market research and Matt – was FABULOUS to read how you’ve transitioned. Nice to know someone has ‘gone before’ me..

    #1133691
    mjbi
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    No problem at all Leah, good luck with your venture!

    #1133692
    Dee.
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    Hi Golden Goose,

    While I might not have any stories or advice to give (I am an absolute newcomer to the world of the startup and am looking to take my first baby steps this year), I did want to drop by to say good luck with it all and that I wish you the very best with your exciting 2013.

    Would love to hear more stories about your journey in time to come!

    Warm regards,
    Dee

    #1133693
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Thanks so much Dee! :) Will need all the luck I can get with this looming deadline ;)

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