Considering going online and selling your products to consumers, wholesalers, distributors or retailers? Failure here is really not an option. Your company’s future could begin or end right here. Last week, we met a new prospect who had a general idea of what he wanted for his new e-commerce site. When we started to ask the tough questions, he understood that his ideas were not fully developed and did not realize what it would take to make his new site successful.
Planning before you even start is essential! Before you even click to launch your site, you need to have these 4 things in place:
Solid Business Plan
All too often, we meet prospective clients who have an idea in their head, but did not put pen to paper (or at least type it on their computers) to visualize what they really want to accomplish – as our new prospect failed to do. Here are some of the issues that you need to have thought out:
- What is your vision for your company?
- Have you considered the strengths and weaknesses within your organization?
- Can you handle this potentially significant change in your business if you implement e-commerce?
- What are the threats and opportunities that your company faces?
- What is your competitive advantage?
- What is your budget?
- How will you pay for all of this?
- Are there Grants or Credits available to your company?
- How will you pay for all of this?
No, this is not high-level, MBA, mumbo jumbo. Rather, this is the basics that companies need to consider before making this important leap.
Who Will Do What
If you wrote your business plan properly, then you will see that this new e-commerce will have an impact on your staff. Think hard of the additional people you will need in:
- Customer Service
Maybe today, you have the team to handle the growth, but eventually you will need to hire more – are you ready for that change? Can you ramp up quickly if things move faster?
Detailed Marketing Strategy
This may by referred to in the business plan, but a truly detailed marketing strategy is very important. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What image does your company wish to convey?
- How will prospects find you? How will you connect with prospects?
- Social Media marketing – who will do it? What will you do?
- To blog or not to blog?
- What social media sites should you be on?
- How often will you do what?
Just turning on your site will not attract any business. It is like opening a store in the middle of nowhere and not telling anyone that you are there.
Technology To Be Used
Too many companies believe that the cheaper the better OR there is no need to invest in hardware OR (our favorite) their kid can handle it. This is where companies crash and burn! Would you leave the shipping, accounting or sales tasks to a kid? Would you not invest in the proper systems or hardware for those departments? So, why does this new revenue model deserve such poor treatment?
If you review your Business Plan, you see that the revenue potential could be significant. Not having the proper technology could have a severe impact and hurt your company. Here are some of the areas that you need to seriously investigate:
- What platform to be used for your e-commerce?
- Is it easily expandable?
- Can you manage it, need to hire an IT person or do you need to outsource?
- Where will you host your site?
- Is it appropriate for the volume of customers / traffic that you will generate?
- How secure is it?
- What is the MVP (minimum viable product) that you need to release first?
- You do not have to release the whole thing at first
- What are the different development phases that you need to consider?
Do not dive into e-commerce unless you have really reviewed all of the above. Not sure where to begin or what’s out there for your company? That is where the team from SimboliQ comes in. We have the business and technology experience and knowledge that can help you plan out your e-commerce project. Regardless of your size, SimboliQ can help you make the right decisions for your company for today and years to come. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 916-8647 to setup a meeting where we could discuss your needs or for more information, visit our website at www.simboliq.com.