Dispelling the Myths of Ecommerce
Most people start a business with all the wrong thinking. I want to dispel a few ideas or myths concerning eCommerce. I suggest you take the following suggestions very seriously in order to avoid a great deal of misery. I offer a book that discusses opening businesses which you may also want to look at called "A Critical View of Small Business".
The Automated Money Machine
This idea has been around as long as I can remember. Prior to the internet there were people selling real estate systems, multilevel marketing schemes, and cash flow systems to name a few. (Most of these still exist today.) All of these systems have one thing in common- automating profit. Internet marketing has naturally extended into this area with a variety of business models which are intended to provide people with a turnkey business approach. Let me make this very clear- there are no means of throwing up a website and having it churn cash. While it is possible to build a profitable and sustainable business, it is not realistic to think that you are going to post a website and start making big money. This is true even if the company already has a successful brick and mortar business. If you really believe that you can post a website and immediately begin making profit- you should stop now!
There is no business which exists in a state of completion unless it is bankrupt. For some reason, many people believe that setting up an eCommerce is a process by which you build the site, post products, and then watch the sales roll in. Running an eCommerce is a business. Even if it is part of a brick and mortar business it is still a separate business machine and requires consistent and ongoing work. One of the biggest myths of eCommerce is that you will not have to continue working on the website. Content which is the driving force of your website will need to be updated and added consistently over time. Development will need to be updated also. If you think posting a website is a onetime process with minimal upkeep you are going to be shocked and disappointed once you have started.
My Great Big Awesomely Bad Idea
I realize it is difficult for most people to admit that their ideas are not always great. People will spend tremendous amounts of money persisting in bad ideas. You need to look at your business concept critically and decide honestly if this is something worth pursuing. Herein lies the problem- most people do not realize that they are biased to their own thinking. There is no business concept which is without flaw. One way that you can tell if you are biased in this way is if you cannot find three serious flaws with your concept. What I mean by this is that in a conceptual stage there will be at least three problems with a business idea that will need to be dealt with such as logistics problems, WEB security, impractical ideas, etc... If you cannot find these flaws it is likely that you are biased to your concept. If you cannot be honest about your thinking then you should ask someone else for their honest opinion.
A Little About Brand
People start businesses, all the time, which lack any brand value. It is a myth that price and product alone will make you successful. If all you are planning to do is open a website and start selling products, you are most likely going to fail to create a sustainable business. This is because there is nothing to differentiate your website or business from another similar website or business.
You are going to hear a lot about brand as we move through the process of building your business. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts for beginner marketers is the idea of brand. Let me clarify a few ideas about brand. Brand is not:
1. A logo
2. A slogan
3. A name
These concepts are part of your brand but the actual brand is the distinctive concept of a business which people value. In this way, brand is both an intrinsic as well as extrinsic business concept. When we think of a brand like Harley Davidson, one is inclined to conjure images of riding a motorcycle and wearing leather riding gear. One might think of motorcycle clubs, freedom, and other ideas associated with bikers. These ideas are an intrinsic brand value to which Harley Davidson products are linked.
Extrinsically, brands take the form of logos, slogans, names, and other physical characteristics of the product or company. Again, when people see the Harley-Davidson logo they immediately recognize the brand. This is also true of their bikes and their accessories. The successful part of the Harley-Davidson Brand is the fact that both intrinsic and extrinsic elements are combined to create a strong brand value. We will looker deeper into brand as we continue our eCommerce development.
It is extremely important that anyone preparing to build an eCommerce understand that these myths will be harmful to your business goals. It is best to look at your website or eCommerce from a realistic perspective. There is no easy way to build a successful eCommerce overnight.