The appeal of starting an ecommerce business is quite understandable. You have an opportunity to build a venture and achieve financial independence.
Now, having said that, the whole thing is not as easy as one might think. If anything, there are plenty of challenges that you need to overcome. And these challenges should not be that surprising. After all, if running an ecommerce business was easy, then you would have virtually everyone pursuing the idea.
Having said all that, there is no need to feel discouraged even if there are significant obstacles along the way. If you have the motivation to start an ecommerce business, you should be able to overcome the challenges eventually if the whole process is pretty low.
As for what challenges you can expect, the most common obstacles are listed below in this article.
Finding Your Niche
Let’s start with finding a niche. It is arguably the first thing that you need to decide before starting an ecommerce business.
Some people try to pursue their passions. For example, if you are an artist, you might want to start a print-on-demand business and sell custom merchandise. Selling canvas art is also an option.
Those who are interested in technology might decide to dropship smart home appliances or smartphone accessories.
The bottom line is that working with a niche that you are knowledgeable or passionate about gives you an edge in the sense that you will have some experience to back up your decision-making. Moreover, it also helps with the overall motivation.
As a counter argument, pursuing passions does not necessarily translate into a profitable idea. You might find that your idea has next to no demand, which would make it pretty much obsolete.
And what about competition? Are there other established brands operating in the same niche? If so, how realistic is it for you to keep up or overcome them?
Having Reliable Suppliers
The odds are that you will stick to the dropshipping business model. Manufacturing and warehousing the goods on your own would be quite expensive, particularly if you have little or no experience with ecommerce.
Dropshipping has its advantages, but it also comes with the challenge of finding a reliable supplier. Depending on your niche, you might struggle to find a supplier that can keep up with the demand and ensure the quality of the goods.
Even if you find one, it is possible that a supplier already has plenty of clients to work with, meaning that they might not look to take on new partners.
Investing in Advertisement
Do not expect that your business will bring in customers out of thin air. No, with ecommerce, you want to focus a lot on promoting the venture and attracting new customers while also retaining your current customers.
Marketing comes with experience (unless you have the money to hire someone who can do the work for you), which, for someone who is just starting, might be one of the biggest obstacles in the way to making money.
You might find yourself in a loop of testing different methods and not finding the right formula while also wasting the limited funds you have.
Presenting Products Properly
These days, consumers have tendencies to pay a lot of attention to how a product looks before they make a decision. Naturally, you cannot try the goods when you are shopping online, so it makes sense to thoroughly research the product before buying it.
If you have a reliable supplier who also provides high-quality images for different products, the challenge does not really exist. On the other hand, if you are on your own, you will need to come up with a solution.
Some people hire professional photographers. Others do not bother with that and simply look for pictures online or try to take photos themselves on their smartphones or tablets.
Regardless, if you want to improve the sales of your online store, you will want to ensure that the product images are of the highest possible quality you can have.
Encouraging Customer Feedback
It is hard to justify a decision to purchase something online if you cannot find enough prior feedback from other customers.
Online shops tend to emphasize shopper feedback. Some go as far as implementing a video review system and giving away prizes for great reviews.
In a way, reviews and customer feedback might not seem like a challenge, but it is one for the future for those starting from scratch. Social proof plays a prominent role, and you do not want to neglect it.
All in all, the challenges you face while working on building an ecommerce venture are part of the process. Even if you have to take it slow, work little by little, and you are bound to see positive progress.
Where would the world be without marketing? Thanks to advertising and well-thought-out strategies, businesses can grow, expand, and make a profit. But for a lot of companies, marketing isn’t a simple task to take on, which is why they approach marketing agencies.
When you have a marketing agency, you have the power to influence the success and profitability of other companies. But before you can do that, you need to think about your own growth.
To become a recognizable growth marketing firm, you need to use your knowledge and skills, but also help yourself with some tried and tested strategies listed below.
Don’t refrain from proposal templates
As a business that deals with clients, you should already know the importance of proposals. They inform your potential clients about what they can expect from your agency, what kind of services you will provide, how much you will charge, and so on.
A proposal is one of the most important documents you’ll ever make, which is why you need to make sure you do it right. A poorly-written proposal will get you nowhere, even if you offer amazing services.
For instance, if you primarily offer SEO services, instead of racking your brain thinking about how to write the perfect proposal, you can simply use an SEO proposal template that will ensure you present your agency in the right way.
The template contains the following elements:
Beautiful cover page. When you present your potential clients with a template that contains a professionally-designed cover, they will be tempted to look through the whole thing.
Overview and goals. In this section, you will explain the results you’re hoping to achieve when working with your client and how they should expect their business to look once you’ve completed all your services.
Scope of services. This is a detailed description of all the services you will provide for your client.
Estimated timeframe. This part presents a rough estimate of how long you expect the project to last before you achieve the desired goals.
The pricing page. Once you’ve finished describing everything you can do for the client, you need to finish with how much you plan to charge for those services. In this section, you can include your fees, taxes, discounts, as well as optional extras.
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals
Your existing clients are a much more powerful tool than you probably realize. If you provide exceptional services to existing clients, they’ll be more than happy to refer you to other people. All you have to do is be brave enough to ask them for referrals.
This can be very powerful since people find word-of-mouth to be 2 to 10 times more reliable than paid advertisements. Instead of advertising yourself, your satisfied clients will be doing that job for you.
But only ask for referrals after you’ve done a great job and provided your clients with satisfactory results. And try to wait for at least a month or two to pass after you’ve completed your services so they can see you’re an agency that deserves to be recommended to other businesses.
Know when you should delegate
Ambition is a great thing, and business owners usually have a lot of it, but that isn’t necessarily always good. If you want to be successful, you need to realize that you can’t do everything at once, and you shouldn’t. You need to delegate tasks from time to time to avoid burnout.
You probably have a team filled with competent and intelligent employees who are just as capable of performing most of your daily tasks as you are. So don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept it when it’s offered to you. That way, you’ll have time to focus on more important things and responsibilities.
Optimize keywords on your website
As a marketing agency, you know the importance of search engine optimization. And if you want your website to bring in more people, you need to treat it like you would treat a client’s website and find ways to optimize it.
While there are a lot of different SEO strategies that are equally important, let’s focus on keyword optimization. If you want to show potential clients you can ensure that their website gets a high-ranking position, you need to do the same thing for your own.
To optimize keywords, you need to start a blog. This blog won’t only help with your keyword optimization but will also show your website visitors you’re an expert in your field.
For example, let’s say you want to focus on the importance of social media marketing. You can write a blog post in which you will explain why Instagram followers are important for businesses, how to build a name for yourself online, how to gain and keep followers, and more.
While you’re optimizing keywords, you shouldn’t forget about long-tail keywords. People nowadays are becoming way more specific in their searches and more than half of search queries feature long-tail keywords.
As a marketing agency, your job is to help other businesses grow, but what about your own growth? If you want to be as big of a success as the companies you help reach their goals, you need to put yourself first and use the growth strategies you just read about here.
Bookkeeping requires organization, efficiency, and precision. You’re working with serious clients and you need to do your best to build your company and make it successful. That requires lots of experience and knowledge. We offer you a small portion of it.
Read the whole article, as we’ll talk in detail about creating a business plan, going through the legal paperwork, organization, and how to advertise bookkeeping services that will bring you clients. Let’s begin!
Creating a Bookkeeping Business Plan
Your bookkeeping business plan is an important document that will help you launch and grow your business. To create it, you first need to define your business goals. Ask yourself: What is the ultimate goal with your bookkeeping business? Is there a specific amount of money you’re trying to achieve? Serve a specific number of clients? Build a team of employees? Be clear about your goals so you can create a plan to achieve them.
Afterward, do thorough research on the bookkeeping industry. What are the trends in bookkeeping? Who are your potential customers? What do they need and want from a bookkeeping service? What are your competitors offering? By understanding the bookkeeping industry, you can create a unique selling proposition for your business.
Last, but not least, plan your finances. How much money do you need to start your bookkeeping business? How will you generate revenue? What are your operating expenses? By creating a financial plan, you can ensure that your business is profitable from the start.
There are a few things you’ll need to take care of from a legal standpoint before you can start your own bookkeeping business.
You first need to obtain a business license. Having a valid license allows you to operate your business legally. The next thing on your legal list is to get insurance for your business. This will protect you financially in case of any accidents or mishaps that might occur while you’re working. Finally, create individual contracts for your clients. The contract will outline the terms and conditions of your bookkeeping services and will help to ensure that both you and your clients are on the same page from the start.
You can also get a certificate, especially through online courses that can provide you with one either completely free of charge or for a fee. Although having a certificate isn’t essential, it can help you stand out from the crowd, so if you have some extra time, make good use of it.
Keep a dedicated notebook or folder for your bookkeeping business. This will be your “bookkeeping bible” where you track everything related to your business.
Establish a method for tracking your income and expenses. This could be as simple as creating a spreadsheet or using accounting software.
Stay on top of your bookkeeping by setting aside time each week to update your records. This will help you catch any mistakes and keep your finances in order.
Keep your clients organized by creating a system for tracking their contact information, invoices, and payments. This will help you stay on top of your bookkeeping and provide excellent customer service.
How to Advertise Your Bookkeeping Services
There are many ways to advertise your bookkeeping services. The following are the most successful ones. Whatever marketing strategy you choose, make sure you are promoting your bookkeeping services professionally and effectively.
Create a website or blog including information about your services.
Create social media profiles where you’ll promote relevant and engaging content.
Distribute flyers and brochures to local businesses or post them in public places.
List your services in online directories and classifieds websites.
Hold informational meetings to attract potential clients and partners.
When advertising your business, it’s important to be clear about the type of services you offer and your rates. You should also include contact information so that interested parties can reach out to you. Be sure to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends so that you can provide the most relevant and valuable services to your clients.
Your bookkeeping company will be successful if you remain professional and organized at all times. Once you get through the legal paperwork and build your online presence, you’ll need to maintain the company and continue looking for new ways to improve it. Articles such as this one will be of great help at different stages of your journey.
Outsourcing your business’ IT needs can seem like an odd move to some people, it is often one of the things that many companies are hesitant to do at first. One of the main things that often gets outsourced first is the payroll processing work.
Why do so many company owners like to outsource their IT work, and what makes that option so worthwhile, especially when payrolls are involved?
If you outsource some work to an existing expert, then you are not spending time and money having to train somebody yourself. Depending on the kind of work they are doing, this can be a significant benefit.
For example, training up your own professional paystub maker from scratch requires in-depth learning about how to create a paystub, how to make paystubs functional, and how payroll software works. Outsourcing to a paystub generator gives you the same results for a fraction of the cost.
Using a third-party pay stub maker in this scenario is the cheaper option, but it is also more practical, convenient, and easier to integrate into your existing workflow. Using a new tool is a lot easier than trying to get a new employee to join your IT team.
Hiring an IT specialist means that you usually get somebody who can only do specific things since they are specialized in particular parts of their chosen IT niche. This makes it incredibly hard to switch them to another set of duties, especially ones that require particular certifications or licenses.
Using third-party outsourced help allows you to hire specialists for short periods of time or keep them on standby waiting for the next set of instructions. If you are not using them, you do not have to keep paying them, and you can freely switch to using another company or freelancer as needed.
This leaves your normal IT employees free to tackle other duties on their own and ensures that they are not being spread thin across multiple different roles that they are not actually qualified to take on. Some companies might even offer training to your employees to prep them for future IT work.
While it might sound strange at first, outsourcing can be lower-risk than trying to build your own IT team. The more people you add to a team, the more points of failure there are, especially if you are not too familiar with your employees and they do not know each other that well. If you have any experience in business management, this might make the benefits of outsourcing very clear.
Outsourcing gives you an experienced group that is fully prepared to get to work straight away. Since they are not employees, you also have more protection if they mess something up – the fault does not lie with your company and employees, but theirs.
Minimizing risk is always important in a business context, and hiring a bunch of experienced IT professionals to tackle projects for you is an excellent way to avoid taking any risky chances. If your current team is not prepared for something, do not push them into trying it anyway because it might backfire and cause even more problems.
With the rise of the digital world and the increasing adoption of FinTech, it is no surprise why this industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. The global financial crisis of 2008 resulted in a widespread recession throughout Europe that had ripple effects on many industries. With banks tightening their lending standards, consumers turned to alternative financial services providers such as fintech companies to help them manage their money responsibly. These new players have started to take over traditional banking institutions and are now creating new products and services that cater to an increasingly digital population. So, we can see that fintech software development is in demand so far. And in this blog post, we will discuss the top five FinTech trends you should look out for in 2023.
With more than 10 million blockchain-based companies by 2021, the use of this technology will increase in the financial sector. The blockchain is basically a decentralized public ledger that is used to store data chronologically. It is decentralized because it is not kept by any single entity such as a bank but instead by a network of computers (‘nodes’). This technology is significant because it uses a decentralized platform that is not controlled by a single entity and is a secure way to store data.
The first use of blockchain technology was the rapid transfer of digital assets such as stocks and bonds. The technology is now being used in the financial sector to create new products that make the process more efficient. The government of Dubai has announced that it will implement blockchain technology for government functions. It is likely that many more financial institutions will follow this trend.
AI-Based Payments and Advice
Because of the increasing level of automation, some financial institutions are now offering customers the option to pay with artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled payments. While there are many companies that offer this feature, it is particularly popular among consumers who are looking for more personalized services. With the adoption of AI and machine learning, financial institutions can offer personalized advice that can help customers make more informed financial decisions.
With online banking, consumers can now access their accounts, send and receive payments, and get advice on investments and insurance products through natural language processing. Financial institutions are also using AI to create digital personal assistants that can answer questions, monitor spending habits, and recommend products based on a customer’s preferences. For example, customers can ask their banks for a travel insurance recommendation based on their travel plans.
AI can also be used to automate certain processes and improve customer service. For example, AI is already used to process a large number of customer requests for access to bank accounts. Beyond this, it is also used to improve risk management through smart banking, to identify potential fraud or money laundering activity, and to help customers understand their financial products and advice better than humans can.
Digital Exchange and Trading Platforms
As the internet becomes more central to people’s everyday lives and more financial services move online, the demand for digital exchange platforms will increase significantly. For example, if a user wants to transfer money from one country to another, there are many traditional options. However, this process can be tedious and time-consuming.
Instead, some financial institutions have introduced an app that lets users enter the recipient’s details and the app will take care of the rest. The app makes it easier for people to transact and is likely to become more common because of the growing adoption of FinTech. As more financial services move online, users will need digital platforms that make it easy to access and manage their finances. Therefore, it is likely that the demand for digital exchange platforms will increase. Furthermore, blockchain technology is also being used in digital exchange platforms, which can ensure the security of transaction records.
Peer-to-Peer Finance and Credit
The rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) finance and credit will also be a prominent trend in 2023. There are many fintech companies that are providing this service. Some of these companies allow users to borrow money from other users without any financial security. However, this type of credit is becoming especially popular with millennials who would previously consider it a risky option.
The first use of P2P finance and credit was when friends and family members lent money to each other. However, the technology is now being used by a number of financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and even non-financial companies.
P2P finance is convenient because it does not require a long application process or collateral. In fact, some P2P companies do not even require identification. For example, the owner of a small business can apply for P2P credit to finance the expansion of his or her business. Credit unions have been offering P2P finance and credit for decades. In fact, they are the largest financial institution to offer this service.
Businesses can apply for a loan from a credit union and the loan will be granted based on a member’s financial history and creditworthiness. Even non-financial companies are starting to offer P2P credit and finance to help their customers manage their finances better.
Hyperlocal Financial Services
With the rise of digitalization and the increasing adoption of fintech, hyperlocal financial services will also gain popularity. For example, neighborhood banks are a type of hyperlocal financial service. These banks are usually found in rural areas and focus on providing financial services to the local community. However, there is a growing trend towards urbanization and consumers are moving to cities where these banks are especially useful. Consumer reviews are a useful way to help users make better financial decisions. Therefore, it is likely that more financial institutions will start using this technology to help customers make the right decisions. However, it is worth noting that not all financial institutions are using this technology. It is beneficial for consumers to research their financial products and compare the different offers available in the market before making a final decision.
In short, the financial sector will experience significant disruption in 2023. Blockchain technology will continue to gain popularity and is likely to be implemented in many financial services. AI will also be used to provide enhanced payment services and improve customer service. On top of that, peer-to-peer finance and credit will also become more popular as financial institutions turn to digital technologies to improve the customer experience. If you are engaged in this area, or you are thinking about investing in a fintech solution, make sure you follow the latest trends in this area!