So you’re going into business, but you’re not entirely sure of how you want to start your store? Before you set up shop, there are a lot of questions that you will need to ask yourself. And while you may not know the answers right away, it’s the consideration process that can come in handy the most. From costs to practicality, it’s time to consider some of the key areas of opening an online store or a physical one — regardless of your product. Once you know what kind of commerce you’re looking to go into, the rest should fall into place.
Consider Your Skills
One of the first things that you need to consider is your skill set. Are you a retail veteran? Maybe you’ve worked in retail for years and know the ins and outs of stock take, conversion and customer service? Or maybe you’re a tech whiz and have been operating on eBay for years? Either way, you’re going to need a whole bunch of business skills to get this store up and running, and your previous experience may help you with that.
Do Some Research
Once you’ve thought about you and your offerings, you’re going to need to do some extensive research into each avenue — because they both have their pros and cons. Which is cheaper, which has less risk, which has more potential? These are the kinds of questions you can start to answer when you begin to read up. There isn’t a fixed answer for which venture you should embark on. It will always depend on your preferences, skills, experience and current circumstances.
Work Out Your Budget
Of course, money is a huge part of the process. If you can only afford to choose one option, it could be your best choice for the time being. But until you weigh up both avenues, you won’t know what budget you will need, or whether the costs match up to the money you have already set aside. Whether you need to rent office space for your online emporium or find a retail outlet to sell your stock, you need to work out both fixed and variable costs before you can decide.
Think About Suppliers
When you’re selling products, you need to be able to source them from somewhere — or source the materials to make something yourself. Either way, both can cause issues. Not only do you need to be able to negotiate costs, but you also need to be able to find a supply chain that you can rely on to keep your company in business. Will these differ between your virtual and physical options? Does the difference show either choice in a more attractive light? Now’s the time to find out.
Weed Out The Weak
By this point, you should start to see a kind of pattern emerging. Your skills, experience, circumstances and preferences should all start to come together to highlight the best option. So now, it’s time to weed out the weak. If decision-making doesn’t come all that naturally to you, write up your own pro and con list and let the paper do the talking.