According to eMarketer, eCommerce sales were over $1 trillion in 2012 for the first time in history. Sales grew over 21% this past year and are expected to grow another 18% in 2013. More businesses are selling their products and services online than ever before. Even with the rapid growth of internet businesses, is every business fit to sell online? And if so, when is the right time to transition from selling solely through traditional physical locations to taking a business online?
In 2001, I became very interested in the world of eCommerce. I took college courses specializing in eCommerce, started an online business, and joined DECA – a marketing based organization that has clubs and chapters in high schools along with regional, state-wide, and national competitions. My partner and I won the regional competition and placed in the state-wide competition for the state of Michigan. I later used what I learned from my experience in the industry to launch a successful sports memorabilia website.
The world of eCommerce has changed and grown a lot in the past decade. Technology has made it easier to start or expand a business using the internet, but that doesn’t guarantee success. In a short interview with eCommerce specialist and investor Luis Souto, I asked him how to know if a business is ready to go the eCommerce route and start selling on the internet. Souto has spent the last 10+ years as an entrepreneur and developer in the eCommerce field, and is currently operating ecommerce-investments.com. Based on his recommendations, below are the three keys to knowing if your business is ready to expand to the internet.
How to know if your business is ready to expand to internet
– You Feel Ready
Sometimes a strong gut feeling is enough. If you feel ready to expand your business, then do it. Just make sure that you are preparing yourself to do so and this is not an impulse decision that you will quickly regret.
Souto stated; “It is very important that the entrepreneur really wants to expand the business online, is willing to work hard, and is truly committed to the business.” Although there are experts who can help with online ventures, the owner of the business will still be responsible for maintaining and growing the business, and must stay committed and focused.
– Consult with an eCommerce Specialist/Consultant
Taking an already existing business online with no eCommerce experience can be a bad idea without the right help. Make sure to consult with professionals who have experience and have had success owning and operation an online business.
As a business owner, you have to know when it is time to take your business online. There is plenty of support, experts, and consultants to help you along the way, but only you can decide if you and your business is ready.