What You Need To Know About Building An E-Commerce Startup While this involved a lot of sweat and tears, a massive amount of stress and pressure, and a lot of late nights, it did pay off- setting up this business was the most incredible thing I have ever accomplished in my life
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
My entrepreneurial mindset started back in 2004, when I was working at a music shop in Jordan, and noticed customers asking for certain DVDs that couldn't be found anywhere in the country- that's when it struck me to buy those DVDs off the internet, and then sell them at a reasonable profit. I repeated the same formula in the winter of 2007, when I purchased a used, first-generation iPhone off eBay, used it for a month, and then sold it, making a profit of $118 in the sale. Now, fast forward to 2015, which was when I finally decided to start my own e-commerce business. While it involved a lot of sweat and tears, a massive amount of stress and pressure, and a lot of late nights, it did pay off- setting up this business was the most incredible thing I have ever accomplished in my life. Here's what you need to know if you are going down the route of building your own e-commerce enterprise:
1. The time element The phrase "it's never too late" should be your ultimate guideline: no matter at what age you are, you can start right away and execute your idea if you strongly believe in it. Don't ever think of money as an issue- if you are skeptical about this particular point, then you should definitely refer to my previous article.
2. The business concept This is where you need to be creative and squeeze that brain of yours! You must look around and explore opportunities around you, find what's missing, or what needs to be improved. For my startup BOXknocks, I noticed that there were no dedicated online stores for men, and so I jumped in and made one.
3. The name Your business name must be relevant to your business, and most importantly, it should be unique and available on every single online presence. For this purpose, I highly recommend a website called Namechk.com, which makes it easy for you to search for your desired name across multiple platforms, like domain names and social media channels.
4. The preparation Prepare yourself mentally to enter an endless loop of working almost 24/7- this is going to be your baby, so you better get fully prepared for it. One important thing to do here would be to try your absolute best to find yourself a partner/co-founder. Your partner must share the same dream as you and must be fully dedicated. Choose a partner who has a different set of skills than yours, so that you both should complete each other in the business sense. Another important thing for you to do is to stay away from negative vibes- these distractions will affect your performance dramatically, so you're better off without them.
5. The testing In my opinion, and based on my experience in e-commerce startups, the best way to test your idea is by starting to sell on popular marketplaces in your region. Since they have a huge amount of daily traffic already, there is no need for marketing budget to be set at this stage for your enterprise. Once you find out that your product is doing well on these marketplaces, then it's time to move on to the next step.
6. The execution After you pass the testing step above, it's time for things to get real and official. Start looking around for the most suitable type of license so you can be able to practice your business legally in your area. Then, if you have the financial capability, start hiring for the most needed positions (i.e. social media specialists, digital marketing experts, etc.) in your company. In case you don't have the needed finances to hire, then you can look for interns- your best source in this region for that, according to me, would be InternsME.
7. The most important asset: the people Surround yourself with smart, powerful people who are experts in their respective fields. Supportive friends, like-minded fellow entrepreneurs, especially social media influencers who will be more than happy to promote your products for their followers- these are the people who will fuel you with enough energy and drive to push your potential to the limit.