Improving Your Small E-commerce Business: What You Need to Know
Whether you are looking to make your business into a medium-sized operation or keep it comparatively compact, there are some areas that you are going to have to think about. You may think that it has to happen so why not get on with it, but you will have options at every turn, which should be well researched and thought through, and the continued success of your business depends on it.
Making a flippant decision could cost you additional money, or have you having to revisit the situation using valuable manpower and time. So, you need to make sure that you have all the information to make a worthwhile choice.
#1 Seek Additional Funding
Having working capital in your e-commerce business is immensely important. This is the money that you will require to purchase goods to then sell to your customers, while also being on hand for other emergencies such as covering payroll on an otherwise tight month – or funding your business’s growth and expansion plans.
To get the most benefit from your working capital, you have to understand how it works and keep spending under control. This is because your working capital will be a resource that you very quickly rely on and when it is not there, there will be trouble ahead. To get a much better understanding of your e-commerce working capital and how to keep control of it, visit this highly informative guide.
#2 Expand Your Working Premises
Depending on how large your small e-commerce business is and its rate of expansion will determine whether you are enlarging your home office to house more desks, or moving into a rented office. Of course, it is not just your office space that may need to expand. You will also have storage areas to consider.
For instance, you may find that your garage is no longer the perfect place to keep your stock and you need to invest in renting a large storage unit that can be stored either on your site for ease of access or on the site of the rental company.
If, however, you are even further on than this, you are probably thinking of renting a warehouse for your goods. With this, you are also going to have to think about purchasing warehouse machinery, employing warehouse staff (and therefore having break areas for them), and having a decent-sized packing area for your goods-out section, and one for your goods-in section. While keeping at the back of your mind the addition of quality warehouse software to make storage, location, stock rotation, and stock replenishment a far easier and more reliable task than leaving it at the mercy of human error.
#3 Source More Products
It is likely that with your business expansion, you are going to have to sell more items which, of course, means sourcing more items to sell. Product research takes time, but it should not be overlooked, as you must get the additions to your current range right.
Although you could move out of the current niche that you supply, with a customer base waiting eagerly to purchase from you, this may not be the best decision. Instead, research products that complement your current range, and can be used as upsells or an as well as purchases. What you don’t want is for your current customers to stop buying the items they usually do in favor of your new product. Ideally, you want them to purchase both.
As you will be purchasing larger quantities, you may find that this then makes purchasing from a wholesale company quite expensive. This in turn will reduce your profits, which is no good. When increasing your purchasing power, however, you may find it far more beneficial (and profitable) to approach the manufacturer themselves and make a deal with them. Although most manufacturers will not be interested in small orders, due to the time involved, large orders that can be shipped in containers, for instance, are much more pleasing.
#4 Increase Selling Platforms
Whether you are choosing to expand your product range or not, you will certainly benefit from increasing your selling platforms. In this day and age, the last thing you want to do is to restrict your business to selling purely in one location just because it is easier or you have always done it.
Using sales sources such as social media, selling websites like eBay, Amazon, Shopify, and Esty amongst others, your own website, printed catalogs, or even land-based stores will increase your sales and therefore your business. This will certainly get your brand in front of as many interested parties as possible and have your business improving its sales in leaps and bounds.