Understanding Ecommerce: Choosing Your Business Model
Now that we have looked at all the types of business models, in the last lesson and went over an overview of everything kind of pros and cons of about both.Lets look into Choosing Your Business Model.
In just my opinion and experience in dealing with them, now the obvious next question is which business model is right for you?
Again, this post is going to be targeted more towards people on the newer end of eCommerce spectrum, because there is a lot of different options out there already.
Ecommerce is a really broad field and you should make a decision based on understanding your option, understanding what’s going to be the best for you, not just looking at what somebody’s else is doing or some webinars you just saw or some screen chat right?
Because, so much of that stuff can just be pure hype and you really need to make a decision, what is going to be the best for you, otherwise as it going to be much more difficult for you to find your success?
So, few things to consider right away, number one is the biggest thing that is going to be affecting anybody reading this is STARTUP CASH,this is the first point we are going to start with as per Choosing your business model.
Choosing Your Business Model: STARTUP CASH
Startup cash is huge because this is going to determine. Some business require not more startup cash than others do.
We going to spend a little bit time on this side, I want to note that that it is incredible with an online business, no matter which business you choose even if you go to the private label route or a subscription route.
You going to be able to get started for probably a fraction of the cost it would cost to normally setup some type of retail store, or some type of brick and mortar location.
Because there is no overheard of the actual brick and mortar location and there is no overhead of the employees, and anybody who is reading this that owns mortar and brick store Some type of retail startup you probably know exactly what I am talking about.
There is a huge investment; I want you to keep that in perspective as you are thinking about this.
Are you in this for the long term ? Or are you just here because you thought this was some quick cash grab, I am not on here about teaching the cash grab make money online side of things, sure we are here to make money online right?
That’s what eCommerce is we are selling things and collecting money from people that are paying us and we are able to make an amazing money from that, but it doesn’t mean that It’s not difficult and doesn’t mean it’s not a long term process that you need to be really thinking about.
When you are looking at startup cash you need to be thinking not in terms of like how cheap can be to get started, you need to be really considering what am I willing to invest right now to build the best business possible because you should not have been looking at this like OH!
How cheap can I try to get started to make a couple of a thousand bucks that is the wrong mindset, you know you should go and find another business post.
Because this post is designed to teach people true business practices of what I have learnt and studied and experienced and one of the things is, it is going to require startup cash.
Having invested tens of thousands of dollar in my education over the years into my businesses to be able to get to the point some of that money was burnt & lost some of it produced high returns.
There is no right answers or wrong answers to these questions, now you might be thinking, well, which business cost more?
Which cost less? How much it is going to cost for me to get started. In addition, that is fair.
Number one thing you have to consider when it comes to a startup cash is whether you are going alone or you are going with a mentor or some type of coach.
I got started without any type of coach but I do believe coaches can great help, but it’s going to require a lot more startup cash.
If you are getting any coach because you are going to be paying that coach and program for the time and investment which is usually at least a few thousand dollar right ?
In terms of just money that you need to get started there are few things, you have to start thinking about, your marketing, budget and have to think about your ability to pay for actual orders, your cost of goods sold.
I will recommend no matter what you want you to have, a comfortable number would be two thousand dollar($2000) at least to get started and even the lowest barrier to entry business model like dropshipping & entrepreneurial demand.
An entrepreneurial demand you have even a little bit more of an investment because you have to invest into your own design which is going to be a few hundred dollars to probably get started if you have to get some design made.let read more into Choosing your business model.
STRENGTH & WEAKNESS
You want to know your strength right. If you do not really understand print on demand & design that is probably more difficult path to go.As part of Choosing Your Business Model,strength and weakness is a topic we must address.
If you do not understand branding, you are not going to start out building your own private label right.
Generally, dropshipping is where people start because it is a good way to test and it is a good way to get started.
Same thing, if you do not have any business experience and you want to start with a low risk model because you can learn as you go.
Now am going to give you, as much experience and wisdom as I can throughout this post, but again you want to be thinking about that you not going to be jumping into a subscription model if you have no business experience.
You probably going to end up burning a lot of money if you do that consider right, you may want to get started right away, if you have zero experience, you might want to take some time and learn somethings and go for case studies, read some posts like this so you can understand the model.
Choosing Your Business Model: EXISTING ASSETS
This is going to apply to most people who wants to get started don’t have existing assets ,but if you are a small business owner or already have some type of product or brand that is obviously going to guide the direction of the business model you going to choose.
May be subscription model or selling your own product or private label or something right, so your existing assets matters and finally, probably one of the most important among next to “startup cash” is your business goals. Ar you leaning something that is gong to help you in Choosing Your Business Model? Well,lets dig in more.
You need to be thinking about your goals and why doing it. I hope you are not thinking this in terms of how cheap it can be to make some money quickly because these people are rarely the ones to ever-make the money.
I am not saying it is not possible; it is very difficult if you come from that kind of mindset we are going to talk about mindset in the next post.
You want to think about your goals, you here doing long-term business, what type of business do you want to build? Are you here to build an imperial business? Are you here to build your own private label brand?
Are you here to find one unique cool products that can change the world right? Like what are your business goal? Are you going to use that to stir your direction?
Now getting into my suggestion,
I suggest you start with more of drop shipping & entrepreneurial demand if you are a brand new ok and then your business can evolve, private label or subscription or you know, it doesn’t necessary need evolve into a different business model it simply scale on the better operation right?,
Like a drop shipping business can be a multi-million dollar a year business model, but in that level you going to have better operations, you going to have better supply chain, better logistics, you probably going to be working with a high company, partners and come to the fulfillment side and operational side.
It does not necessarily mean you mean you going to evolve into a different business but you are going to want to evolve eventually.
Dropshipping, Entrepreneurial demand is something that can also evolve I told you about the company “gearbunch” which I know they are doing millions of dollar a year in sales.
There is company I cannot disclose they evolve from basic startup Entrepreneurial demand doing millions of dollars in sales, so obviously their operation have had to evolve.
But either way, if you are brand new I suggest you start with one or the other, now again it’s important to know here that there are lots of haters on the drop shipping business.
Mostly these are experts that are on there and those that have been in ecommerce a long time before drop shipping started and the people that are running a high level performance advertising.
Drop shipping is just a business model ok, all its means is that you are getting your product fulfillment from a third party supplier, it does not have to be a bad business model, there are ways to make it a good business model and we going to talk about that.
We going to talk about;
How do you do quality dropshipping?
How do you turn this to something that is not associated with all that bad stuff you might here out there about drop shipping and I am going to talk about a way you can, what I call Hyper business models that combines drop shipping & entrepreneurial demands but again this is where we stopped,.
If you are completely new and you have no design skills, entrepreneurial demand might be a little bit tougher but it does not mean it is out of your reach.
Again, I have some training in the future that will open your eyes & world to entrepreneurial demand and how successful this is to start your business.
If you have a product idea or you already have some type of store or some small business, I suggest you focus on expanding your existing operations into an ecommerce channel.
I get this questions A lot from people with business background experience;
Should I sell my own products? Alternatively, should I start a drop shipping in different products, and the truth is you can go either way.
I know people that handle different product and just take a drop shipping course and learn how to just start drop shipping and go to something new, so that’s an option.
Nevertheless, personally if you have a product you built or have some type of brand you dedicated and you have spent a lot of time building and setting up.
It makes sense to me to expand in that, first into an ecommerce channel and from there focus on another thing,
However, I always think about it from the terms of maximizing what you have before moving to something else so, when it comes to fulfilling your own products usually it is best to start local, then go national and then go global.
It is important to understand that no matter what model you choose you should not be random. What I mean by this is you want to understand what market or people you want to sell to do not just randomly.
I am going to start dropshipping cat products because you saw somebody else drop shipping cats products, you need to actually do market research, put in the time to understand like who your audience is and what products you want to sell and we going to talk about that in the future.
My personal opinion I think drop shipping is great, because you can search for products ideas on sites like Amazon & Ali-Express and again you can find ideas that solves the problem or offer some type of unique solutions to improve on someone’s life and I am not talking about sourcing at this point.
It think outsourcing from Ali-Express is a thing of the past because it’s too uncontrollable with quality & shipping at times but there are amazing millions of products ideas on Ali-Express and new ones are been added all the time.
There is rarely nobody in the world in my opinion better than china and exactly taking ideas from zero to be able to ship in an incredible amount of time.
In addition, of course Amazon too is the world largest marketplace where you can find so many unique items and so many been added all the times.
What do I want to do? It easy to go on Amazon and look at the drop down menu, these are all categories.
Now you are not going to sell in that rogue level or the categories but it gives you a starting point of matching your strength or what business models I think makes sense for to get started and trying to blend that with okay, what are my interested in? Do I want to sell gardens and outdoor products?
Now again think about your startup cash, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to start an office and furniture business with like zero capital than it would be to start a scrap looking & stamping business because the product price is higher and you know you like.
People pay me before hand, yea that is truth but you want to have some rooms, what if that is a refund or a return or I get multiple orders.
Nobody, can answer this for you, that’s the thing all I can is show you the pros and cons, give you my opinion about the experience and how each type of business model works and kind of put you in the direction on how you should be thinking about this, at end of the day you make a decision, at the day you are the entrepreneur, the C.E.O of your business, you are the one that is going to have to make a choice and stick with it and make that decision in Choosing your business model.
One thing that I will tell you is, do not hang-up on this too much. I know from my own experience and talking with others, sometimes people are stuck here and they just get stuck in for hours thinking about it and overthinking.
You should make a list if you are brand new, make a list and start going through some ideas and start looking at a few different options of what you are most interested in and take these ideas.
When we get to the market research phase, you will see ways in which you can analyze the ideas and kind of identify which one you think will be the best profitable business.
The quicker you get started testing things the quicker you will get to the right solutions.
It is not going to be perfect when you start no matter what, there is going to be an adjustment, you going to edit things; you have to fix things or maybe change inventory.
Do not get intimidated by the idea of failing, the people that often get the idea of failing are less successful simply because they were not able to overcome that paralysis and its causes a cloud of thinking.
You going to be thinking all this category are wide open opportunity because in reality anyone of this category can be profitable like I said anyone of this category you can build a successful business,
The X-Factor is you and the kind of business you want to build, the type of brand you are creating, and the type of marketing you are doing.
Pick a few ideas that make sense to you, which you find yourself interested in and as we go through these series, you would be able to narrow in on what you feel like.
It’s the best one so don’t get too hang-up on this, it’s important but if you brand new like you just have to get started on a very long journey and you want to realize anyone of this,still with me on this Choosing your business model ? Great.
Understand that there are different kinds of suppliers out there
- You can use U.S wholesale suppliers.
- You can use direct supply chains from Chinese fulfillment companies.
PRINT ON DEMAND
Print on demand is amazing because you can design items specifically for a target market of people like (Veteran) and then create brand around that item.
It is harder to be copied & easier to differentiate yourself. The drawback is margin are smaller and shipping is more expensive but still, with print on demand there are lots of advantages to it and if you know how to setup your store & sell be able to create higher order value so that people will be spending more money on your store the margins will become less of a problem.
If you are brand new to print on demand, there are different types of stuff out there.
THE HYBRID MODEL
This basically what I believe for any new person to start, it’s called hybrid because it’s a blend between this different side, so on the other side of choosing your niche, we going to talk about this more in depth on the other side of choosing your niche.
There is general and there is niche we talk about that more. However, here is what I want you to focus on now. Print on demand vs Drop shipping you can do both on the same store.
I believe they both blend together for most niches, because with print on demand, you get like both branding, the customized items, personalized items and really good product offerings they can help build your business.
With dropshipping you can still find viable products that have higher margins they are great for front end products, they are going to bring people to your store and so print on demand compliments that so very well. This is actually the business model that I actually got started with, all those years ago.
I was dropshipping products and I was selling things in certain niche I realize HEY! I can actually design T-shirts in this niche too.
I like t hybrid model, it is a way to get started, you are able to put dropshipping products and print on demand.
Do you have any question about Choosing your business model? Comment below.Thanks for reading.