So you want to start an online business. There’s no doubt that online businesses are the wave of the future, but that doesn’t mean that an online business can’t fail. In fact, some figures indicate that 90% of new online businesses fail in the first few months.
Still, it’s absolutely possible to live the dream of running your own business from home and being your own boss. Half the battle is finding the right e-commerce business ideas and identifying the one for you, so here are some tips.
Tips for Choosing E-Commerce Business Ideas
Whether you’re plum out of ideas or you have too many to narrow down, these tips can help you find a winner.
Mix Passion with Marketability
Some entrepreneurs pick an idea they’re passionate about, while others follow the money. Neither are starting off on the right foot.
The trick is to find something you love so you can stay invested in it, but also to do it in a way that’s marketable. You need to take both of these factors into account rather than starting a business just because it’s a great market, or struggling to make a passion project profitable.
Don’t Underestimate Research
It’s great to have energy and enthusiasm for your business, but don’t let that rush you into development before you’ve done your market research.
A common mistake many e-commerce and other businesses make is only investigating their potential customer base. They forget to research their competition. After all, it doesn’t matter what a large customer base you have if your niche is already oversaturated.
Use Test Ads to Your Advantage
It’s not easy to find out how interested people are in your future business, but Larry Kim from Wordstream has a helpful tip. He suggests setting up test ads on Google Adwords to see how many clicks you receive.
These clicks can send users to a landing page you’ve created where they can ask for more information. This can give you more insight, but the real measure is how many people click on your ad.
Use Your Own Life for Inspiration
The key to a successful business is finding a common problem and fixing it, or finding a common need and filling it.
Start being more aware of even the small stumbling blocks you have on a day-to-day basis. Use a note-taking app on your phone or carry around a notebook where you can jot down any issues that come up during the day. Then take some time to consciously think about these problems and consider what you could create to solve them.
Play Devil’s Advocate
One of the most common yet unfortunate stories in business is the company who starts up just in time to have technology eliminate the need for their services.
Clearly you can’t know 100% what will happen in the coming years, but there’s plenty of information out there about what’s coming. Ask yourself, how does my business fit into the future of e-commerce?
Think about what types of changes in the economy, technology, or society could make your company irrelevant. Then do research to find out how likely these scenarios may be.
Pinning Down Your E-Commerce Business Ideas
It’s great to have passion for your business and to want to jump in headfirst, but that won’t make it successful. The key is a balance of passion and prudence, and the tips above can help you achieve it.
For more helpful advice for entrepreneurs, check out the other articles in our e-commerce blog.