In this digital age, haven’t you thought of having an online store for yourself like, Flipkart or Jabong? Haven’t you dreamed of opening your own chain of online clothing and accessories or lifestyle brand? Our best guess is at least 60% of the total entrepreneurial driven population of our country wants to get their hands wet in this pristine lagoon called the 'e-commerce' industry.
So what does it take, to start an e-commerce website? Is it any overtly priced degree? Or is it the years of experience in this fast growing industry? The right answer is, no! You just require three things, a dedicated team, an idea that is unique and disruptive in nature, and highly scalable and strong strategy.
Before you get into an e-commerce venture think hard as to what is it that you want to achieve after starting your venture. The reason why we call this era as a digital age is because everything that you use to purchase by walking or travelling for long hours is now conveniently available on your iPad or your laptop. The information that once was really difficult to find, for e.g. your favourite Tibetan restaurant in the city, is now available at the push of a button on your handheld.
You have to ask yourself the hard questions first. Am I going to start or develop something that’s going to make people’s life more convenient? Is my business idea and planning, scalable and worth a good exit strategy, so that my investors will readily invest my venture? Is my type of business idea the perfect fit for e-commerce industry?
Once you have the answers to these types of hard questions!
It’s time to establish great partners for your venture. You will require a team that will compliment each other in taking your business ahead. Firstly, you would require a team to handle their own avenues or departments of your venture with equal zest and enthusiasm.
For E.g. you would require one individual to handle the creative and development aspects of your venture. Secondly, you would need someone to handle your operations, legal and accounting. Thirdly, you would require someone to handle overall operations, marketing and advertising of your project.
Roles may differ from venture to venture, but it’s important to have a team, which will help you smoothen the process of your start up. And the basis on the work these individuals will handle you can make them either an equity-based partners or salaried and commission based partners.
For E.g. If you’re kicked in to open a unique male clothing and accessories store. Then it will be crucial that you find a person who is close to the manufacturers and boutiques. So that he or she can help you close a low upfront costing deal with the boutique.
Because once you make a good deal with the manufacturer or the boutique your venture is already a 50% success!
Case in point: The whole point in the above mention venture is to crack open low upfront costing terms. The terms for such type of venture can be:
- No inventory – drop-ship model
- Get access to the entire collections of boutique
- Get the products to be sold at a wholesale price.
- Get your manufacturer or boutique to lend you their products for free for the shoot.
The drop Ship model works in very well for start-ups in e-commerce, as there is no inventory to worry about and the manufacturer himself ships the product to the customers. Most of the boutiques won’t be excited to sign on such kind of deal.
So, you can throw in a certain amount of incentive like giving the boutique a certain percentage share of your profits. Which will be irresistible for any boutique.
It’s important to understand that when you will be pitching in the meeting, you will have to share your manufacturer’s vision. You will have to show the passion that you will burn the midnight oil to build his or her business with yours and make it bloom in the coming years. You would require that passionate pitch to be backed by practical planning and iron-like strategy.
You will have to tell them facts like for instance; almost all most boutiques will have an abundance of unused inventory, which they can sell at a wholesale price. Hence, they will benefit beyond their expectation in the longer run.
Stay tuned to this space for Part two and three of Make your own E-Commerce website with Zero experience: Be a Chatur!