There are many vehicles to make it big as an entrepreneur. You could invest in real estate or in any number of financial markets, like Forex, commodities, stocks, or bonds. You could also build a retail store or a restaurant — or simply buy a franchise and profit from an established business model. However, all these forms of wealth building require you to have plenty of money to the ability to borrow large amounts.
Still, as Jeff Bezos, with an estimated net worth of $81.7 billion, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Amazon and Jack Ma, the richest man in Asia, the founder and chairman of the Alibaba group, have shown the most profitable field may by in e-commerce. And the nice thing about e-commerce is that you can start online merchandising in a humble way. That is to say, start small, invest in learning how to run an e-commerce business, and develop the best e-commerce website you can afford. Then grow your business over time. Unlike most traditional forms of business building, a large initial investment is not necessary to get your project off the ground. While $10,000 would be terrific to build everything from the ground up, you could start with as little as $500, using templates on B2B e-commerce platforms and selling on consignment.
The reason why these two world-class entrepreneurs were able to create wealth had a lot to do with the field where they chose to focus their extraordinary drive, intense self-discipline, and high intelligence. According to eMarketer’s analyst report for worldwide sales, e-commerce is not a billion-dollar industry, but a trillion-dollar industry, with sales estimated to hit $4 trillion by 2020.
How do you enter this field? Here are three steps you should take when you launch your e-commerce site:
- Develop your mindset.
Everything starts with your mindset. If you don’t have the right mindset, then learning about the right elements that go into building a flourishing e-commerce website will go to waste. You will not be able to implement many of the things necessary to build a solid business.
Here are three tips on how to improve your mindset:
- Make up your mind to go full-out. This is not an idea you’re considering—it’s an idea you should be committed to following through on despite the setback you’ll inevitably come up with.
- Don’t expect it to be easy. Plenty of online courses that promise to teach you how to build an e-commerce website beguile people to enroll as students because of their big promise: e-commerce is an easy way to get rich quick. This is only partially true. Yes, you can make a handsome income, but it’s not easy, nor is it quick.
- Stay alert to trends. Digital marketing is dynamic; new technology and methods are constantly evolving. Moreover, many strategies that once worked well tend to stop working due to market saturation.
- Develop profound knowledge.
Even if you don’t intend to work directly in the business but only on the business, you need to know what is going on. You can’t make good decisions if you’re clueless. For instance, if you hire someone to design an e-commerce website for you, how do you tell them what you want when it comes to a good design? Do you just do a Google search, look at other designs, and then choose the one that looks prettiest. However, an attractive website may not have the functionality that you need and your users might find it hard to navigate. You can’t afford a naïve approach when it comes to building a business; you must ask for what you want based on knowledge rather than hope. While you don’t have to be a subject matter expert in all the technical aspects of running an e-commerce business, you do need to know enough to consistently make good decisions.
- Develop your team.
There are many technical aspects to building an e-commerce platform. And while there are plenty of websites that facilitate a DIY approach, these only work for the beginning stage if you’re starting with a small budget. Later, as your business grows, you will have to hire developers to help you customize your website.
While these three steps will get you off the ground, the success of your business will depend on putting the focus on the customer experience, testing everything you do on the site, and developing a good marketing plan, which should include content marketing features like blogging, social media marketing, video tutorials, and email marketing.