It Isn't That Easy

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If you listen to those who are making big money from selling the get-rich-quick books, you will believe that starting a business on the Web is easy enough for a toddler. Their pitches come along with cheerful pictures of workers now spending family time in lieu of being chained to someone else's desk.

The truth is you will be able to see your children, but you will be watching while they run by as you are chained to your own desk.

There are no short cuts and no guarantees that you will make thousands in a short period of time. No matter where you launch your business, there is one universal truth that a good portion of the world is trying to make you forget: running your own business is hard work and can lead to more hours than any employee.

Someone gave you an idea that 'simply' involved setting up a website and creating a catalog for your products. You spent money for the web designer and the thing looks like it is ready to launch. You feel like you have a good start on something that might change your life.

At this point, the only thing you have is a bill from the web guy and the monthly bill to keep the site up. Starting and running a longstanding business takes: PLANNING. You don't launch until you have done preliminary research.

Is there a market out there for your goods? Has someone else done something similar? Have you googled other potential sellers? If so, is your price compatible with what the market is already bearing?

What are your marketing plans? Ecommerce doesn't work in a vacuum. It follows the same rules as every other business. The only big difference is that customers are coming to visit you on the Web instead of coming to your store. In a way, this makes it more difficult. You don't have the option of putting a sign up on a busy street.

You need to define a marketing plan before you launch. If you are fairly new to online selling, you may wish to hire someone with experience in the field. It doesn't matter how great your site is if no one stops by to visit and buy.

Running a business on the Net takes all the work that running a brick and mortar one does. Since the marketing and advertising methods change constantly, it may take a little more effort to pick the tools for your first marketing plan.

Find someone who is a running a successful ecommerce venture and ask for advice. Join a Yahoo group of business owners and listen to those who know.

Planning will be the most important factor in running your successful ecommerce venture. Do not believe the guys who come calling with a plan that is suppose to be easy. The only easy thing about it is a way to make them money.

Laura Bell is Freelance Writer and owner of www.bellbusinessreport.com. The Bell Business Report offers common sense business advice and how-to info for running your business. It takes the everyday headlines apart, dealing with business news, and shows you how to put that information to work for you.

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