Let me make my point on the speed of the ever-changing world. Try perusing news items from twenty years back and youâll see what I mean. The economy was a different animal back then, but some things do tend to stay the same in some aspects; for instance, we just played global cop/soldier in the Middle East, but we all know itâs just another ploy to get at their oil (different story, will not try to diverge anymore).
Back then, online commerce was still in its infancy. There werenât easy payment systems like PayPal back then, though I suppose since credit cards were a thing even before the Web, such transactions could already be facilitated, albeit unsafe for the lack of decent encryption (no SSL yet). Pan back to the present, and youâll see that anything and everything is bought, sold, and traded over the ânet with relative ease and safety.
While a couple of decades back, the average internet surfer wasnât paying squat aside from their online access fees, at the present, basic internet access and most âbasicâ apps and services are free (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), while people are making online purchases as a matter of course.
You, the internet-powered businessman, have a lot of keeping pace to do. While everything seems fine and dandy with your current online endeavors, the online marketplace is fickle and rapidly changing environment. For instance, there is a consolidation of venues of business, akin to the idea of a mom-and-pop single storefront operation being gradually trampled over by big-ticket superstore chains (e.g. Wal-Mart) and titanic mall developments. Online, the giants that survived through the economic bubbles (and those that rose soon after) are gobbling up the little shops or making it impossible for them to resist in setting up shop within their own storefront services (think eBay and Amazon.com).
To quote a meme appropriate for this predicament, âWat Do?â Here are some suggestions:
Never All in One Basket
You might have just one enterprise (in the meantime), but this doesnât mean you should isolate it to just one channel for sales and marketing. While the brick and mortar outlet may actually be optional, having an online commerce site certainly isnât. Go with the flow and create a âbranch in the big commerce sites, assuming you wonât be paying too much (or at all), but do have your own e-commerce site that you own and administer to.
Keep an Ear to the Ground
In the information age, information is the the primary commodity that is being traded all over the world. Knowing this, you should never isolate yourself to running your business in a virtual vacuum. Aside from consumer feedback, never be the last to know regarding the economic factors that surround your enterprise, and that involves looking at the competition and determining what has worked (or is working) for them.
Do not give up so easily, even when the cards are stacked against you. Many who have started out surrendered without too much of a struggle (that or they just ran out of cash). They will never know if the business could have succeeded through all that. There are challenges at every stage of a business (online or not), from business incorporation until the day it closes.
Best of luck to you and keep persevering, online entrepreneurs!
Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weirdlittle animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is continually working to make her businesses ever more successful. Stacey and her friends have a blog, Word Baristas.
This blog is listed under E-Commerce Community