Starting an online store seems like a no-brainer – buy products, snap a picture, put it on the website and watch the money flow in. After more than a decade of full-time jobs and clients’ consulting, I start my conversation with these non-negotiable statements:
- The online fashion/accessories/beauty business is like a puzzle. Even if one small piece is missing, the picture will never be complete. In turn, I can guarantee you results only if you follow my recommendations from A to Z.
- If you don’t have: a budget, resources, basic retail/online marketing knowledge or ample free time- maybe consider to start another kind of business. Or marry rich.
Some clients call me “The Money Fairy.” But, before becoming one, mistakes were made, money was lost, jobs failed and tears were shed.
Here is a list of things I wish I had known before I started my online business
- Don’t go into business without enough knowledge & experience.
- My friend who owns a very successful restaurant, told me once that he can do any job, except singing. I totally agree with this concept. If you run a small business you have to know about every aspect of it, otherwise someone will rip you off.
- Drop shipping vs. Inventory Stock
- Buying and keeping actual inventory is risky. However, when you spend money on marketing, have a successful sale, but can’t fulfill the order because your vendor was “sold out” its bad. You lost money from marketing as well as a new customer. If you cannot fill a new customers’ order, you’ve lost them.
- Large retailers usually have very strict drop shipping contracts, and their vendors always have an extra stock for them. But, if you are a small guy, you won’t have that luxury.
- Majority of time you don’t see the product, so you can’t guarantee quality. Flying blind is not a good concept for consumer goods’ based business.
- When you have actual product on hands, you have full control over photography and styling.
- Too much inventory
- A couple of years ago I was working with top Hollywood Influencer Management / PR Company. We were putting together a campaign with YouTube talent. The campaign manager suggested to overstock because she thought YouTube diva would sell a lot, but she did not. Lesson learned.
- If you are not sure if the…