One of the greatest challenge facing a home-based entrepreneur is to choose what kind of business he must enter into. Their investment capacities are bound, resources limited to themselves and they begin with almost nil training. Given these constraints, starting an e-commerce business would probably be the most suitable business model which fits this bill.
Also, E-Commerce is one of the most convenient way of starting a home-based business. Amazon has been a front-runner in this space and has paved the way for many home-based entrepreneurs. More people are jumping on the E-Commerce bandwagon to fulfill their dreams of establishing their own home based business.
Does selling on E-Commerce sites calls for investments? Will I be able to make money selling on E- Commerce Platforms?
The answer to both the questions is definitely in positive. No special qualification is required to sell on a E- Commerce Platform. Many students and housewives have been hugely successful in this business model. Also, besides the initial investments in registering your Company, there is no major investments to be made. Though later on, inventory needs to be carried and this involves an investment in working capital.
However, it is of prime importance to acknowledge that the ease of doing business in this space has made the market extremely competitive. One can hope to make a decent revenue only by selecting the right market for the right product.
If you are wondering how to start a home-based business today, selling on an E-Commerce platform is worth a try.
Finding the Right Market for E- Commerce Selling
The worry of finding the right market for selling in E- Commerce space is taken up by the E- Commerce platform themselves. Actually, this aspect is of least bothering for starting an E- Commerce business given their worldwide reach. However, it is best to sell in the local market for a beginning to better understand the fundamentals of business and then graduate to exporting the product.
Hence, we strike off the responsibility of finding geographical market from the Entrepreneurs to-do list. However, segmenting the market for gender, age, region, profession still holds it’s importance and needs to be researched. This market needs to be in mind and one needs to know who your Customer is.
Right Product to Sell on E- Commerce Platforms
The key to selling on an e-commerce platform is to know what to sell. This is often a Grey area when starting an e-commerce business. There is a plethora of products which is sold on these platforms and finding a product to sell might be like looking for a needle in the stack of hay.
Some people have a knack of picking up the right product but let’s pull out the maths out of art!
Once you have chosen a market to sell, research those markets. List out at least five products which sells in these markets. Use the internet or local trade database to determine how much those products sells and what is the market potential you have if you choose to enter this market. Are these markets tightly monopolized by the OEMs or are there gaps still which can be fulfilled. Choose products which is trending in the market. Do not choose products to sell solely on your liking. Familiarity with the product leads to a personal convenience to reaching out to the market.
Besides, you may want to read more finding your niche by clicking here.
Finding Suppliers for Selling
The other key to selling on an E- Commerce platform is finding the right suppliers for your product, unless you are a manufacturer. Suppliers are the basis of your sales and you need to have a strong backup. Failing to have a secure supplier base can ruin your business altogether.
While planning your business, list out at least five suppliers of each product. If possible, try getting a written commitment of volume and price from each of the suppliers. Most of the times, that will not be possible practically, then use your best judgment to see which of the suppliers can be long term partners and which of them can be used for emergency supplies.
It is a different strategy in case you intend to sell a product where the manufacturer sells through distributors. In that case, you will have to take a distributorship from the company and negotiate the terms of supply.
Holding Inventory in E- Commerce Business
A big drawback in E- Commerce business model is the minimum inventory which needs to be held at each time. This inventory level also depends on the seasonality. For example, a Black Friday Sale will call for more inventory as it is likely to sell more at this time. Similarly, the festival seasons in India and all across the globe will call for additional inventory level if you expect to make decent sales.
The timely delivery counts a lot in winning over your competitors. You lose out on order if you don’t have the products when the demand is live. A minimum inventory level is a must in this business model although it is claimed that you do not require holding inventory. Technically that might be true but practically you need to take steps to beat the competition.
Choosing the Right E- Commerce Platform
There are various E- Commerce platforms where you can start your e commerce business. The most popular of them is Amazon. But the likes of others like EBay at Etsy are equally popular. However, you will need to check their niche areas and the commission they charge. Etsy is for niche sellers and related to products which are traditional like handmade jewelry and other handicrafts.
You are check on each of them before choosing the right platform. There are plenty of opportunity in each of them. There is no restriction of choosing to sell on more than one platform.
This business model is all about discovery of the right product combination and wait for good sales to be made. I would recommend persisting with the product for at last six months before you decide on course correction.
E- Commerce is a fairly easy business to start with though not something where success can be achieved overnight. There is tough competition in the market and beating the price takes something more than your imagination. Still, it is a good home based business to begin with.
Personally, my choice for a home based business till lies with Affiliate Marketing and one of the Best platforms to learn Affiliate Marketing is Wealthy Affiliate. For starters, do read my review by clicking here.
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