Tag Archives: lessons

E-Commerce Business: Web Development / IT Thoughts

If you want to run an e-commerce store, one of the major factors is that your entire business runs off a bunch of code.  You could run a B&M store without a single piece of electronic equipment in the store, but there’s no way you could do that with E-Commerce.  As such, you need to start considering how you want to manage the IT side of the business.

Within this, you have 3 major areas:

  1. Web Design – what your website looks like.  The HTML / CSS / Javascript side of the business for the most part.
  2. Web Programming – sometimes, it’s not a matter of adding new design elements to the site but adding new features.  Upsell / Cross-sell options, new payment gateways, new shipping methods, etc. all fall under this.
  3. Hosting – where your website lives on the Internet.

When considering each area, it’s worth considering whether you want to go to a:

  • in-house solution
  • contracted solution
  • Software-as-a-Service (hosted) solution

Your choices will vary depending on the amount of in-house expertise you have, the reliability of your contractors (and their expertise), your available funds and the frequency of updates in each area.

My personal recommendations generally boil down to keeping hosting contracted and varying between in-house and contracted solutions for web design & development depending on the size of the business.  If you are starting out, and don’t have the skills to back it up, SaaS systems are probably the best option.

Finding your passion

So, let’s talk about passion.  If you are starting a new e-commerce business (or a business in general I guess); you should consider doing a project that has you passionate about it.  Or at the very least, excited

You can obviously buy and sell any product you want (within reason, liquor, drugs, etc can require more start-up / legal requirements) but the simple truth is, for the first few months if not years you’ll be earning no money from this business.  In light of that, you want a business that you’re interested in, even excited about.

If you launch a business you aren’t interested in, it’ll go nowhere.  Trust me – I know.  I’ve launched a dozen side projects which I never got off the ground, partly because I didn’t have the time or funds to do it properly and partly because I just didn’t have the desire to push it through.

Quick wins happen, but mostly you are looking at the long grind.

So find a business or type of business you are interested in and launch that.  Don’t launch something just because it might make you money – it’s not good enough.  Not if you’re going to dedicate years of your life into it.

 

E-Commerce – A Real Business

So. you want to run an e-commerce store eh? Well, if you do you should start thinking about the various parts of the business you will have and how you wish to handle them.  Specifically:

  • Web Development / IT
  • Hosting
  • Administration
  • Accounting & Bookeeping
  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Stock
  • Shipping
  • Customer Service & Sales
  • Marketing
  • Purchasing

We’ll talk about each of these factors one by one, but you’ll want to think about how you want to handle each of these areas if you have an e-commerce business.