When you made the decision to become an e-commerce business owner, your dreams were big… practically “Amazon big!” In your mind, the sky is the limit, so why can’t your e-commerce business be just as big as Amazon?
Well, it can…
The only issue is that new e-commerce business owners get so wrapped up in the excitement of starting their own business that they forget about the hard work it takes to properly scale a business, especially to the level of Amazon. More importantly, they forget the obstacles that come along on the journey that need solutions.
According to Business Insider, Jeff Bezos had growing pains in the late ‘90s and early 2000s with Amazon. There was no proper system in place for inventory management, products would be left sitting around by employees, and it was just overall pure chaos!
Your e-commerce business doesn’t have to have that type of scaling experience in order to grow. In fact, your scaling up story can be a lot less bumpy if you know what to expect on the front end. You’ll be able to have plans in place already to combat those obstacles as they arise.
But preparation is key here. In starting your business, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having high hopes and aspirations to expand and grow. Just make sure you’re prepared to handle the growing pains that come with the territory.
Growing Pains Your E-Commerce Business Will Need to Overcome Before Scaling Up
Putting the Right Systems in Place
Businesses rely on the processing of mass amounts of information in order to operate and function properly. The size business you are right now might be working very well with the current system you have in place because you’re not dealing with very large volumes of information, but when you start the process of scaling up, you’re going to need a system upgrade.
As you scale your business, you’re going to be dealing with customer information, financial records, and inventory management on a much larger scale… one miscalculation could completely ruin your numbers with inaccurate information that could be very hard to retrieve.
To ensure your business and all the information you’re holding are processed accurately, you’re going to need the proper infrastructure in place.
You need to find a software program that will be able to handle large volumes of information that bigger businesses have. Preferably, you’ll want a system in place that has everything all in one place. JD Edwards Software would be the perfect solution for your business. From financial management and CRM to project management and supply management, this software is your one-stop-shop solution for your growing business.
People like to argue that e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses have the same security threats and that one business is at a higher risk than the other. Well, both business types have their own unique set of challenges when it comes to security… but in the world of cybersecurity, e-commerce businesses are at a much higher risk.
Data breaches and compromising your customer’s sensitive data was one of the highest criminal acts in cybersecurity in 2019, accounting for over 160 million sensitive records being exposed to cybercriminals.
Prevention is key in this scenario. Make sure you’re backing up all your data regularly. In addition to that, make sure you’re creating unique and strong passwords (the days of abc123 passwords are dead). Also, just be vigilant of the types of purchases being made. Multiple large purchases of the same product is a huge sign that some suspicious activity is going on.
Finding the Right Marketing Strategy
The only way for your business to grow is if people know to shop with you, right? Of course, so that means, you’re going to have to “up the anty” on your marketing strategy. Maybe right now, you have a pretty steady customer base but in order to grow, you’re going to have to set your sites higher.
Create a blog for your e-commerce store, hire an SEO company to drive more traffic to your site and enhance your online presence, and get more active on your social media pages.
Social media is actually one of the best ways to engage and connect with your audience simply because almost everyone in the entire world has at least one social media page. Everything from responding to their comments to creating fun contests, these can all be used to grow your following and drive more traffic to your site. Using clever hashtags to grow your business is also another way to drive more traffic to your site to create a buzz.
Hiring the Right People
Finding good help actually is a real challenge for small business owners. The thing to understand is that your business is your business… you created it, so you’re going to be a lot more passionate about it than someone you hired from a career site.
Late nights and early mornings might be the new normal for you, but you can’t expect the people you hire to make that their lifestyle, just because you have.
Be very open and honest about your expectations, hours, and pay. Let your potential candidate know where you are in your business and what you’re trying to do. This will give them the opportunity to not waste their time or yours. This will also open the door for negotiations on their availability to see what you can work with.
If you find a candidate that’s qualified to help you but have some availability issues, at least communicate with them to see if you can work with it.