Nowadays, running an e-commerce business is becoming more attainable and plausible for absolutely anyone. Imagine working for yourself or as part of an online partnership without having to leave the sanctity of your bedroom. Imagine doing a task you adore as a job and actually making profit from it, profit enough to enjoy your life without financial concern. Using online tools such as Kickstarter – a crowd-sourcing website – is making these dreams a vivid, attainable goal.
The first step to beginning any business is to develop a suitable name. After you have thought of a simple, yet catchy and appropriate name with interesting USP, it is time to take the plunge. Here are some juicy, top secret tips to consider before progressing to ensure your business is one you can be proud of.
1. The Business Accounts
Apologies to any accountants, who may be reading this, but the honest truth is that the majority of people do not find accounting or completing accounts thrilling in any way. In fact, many people consider completing accounts somewhat scary and quite challenging. Using online services, it can be quite challenging to outsource this mandatory task to a professional accountant; however, an outsourcing expense can a great loss to any new e-commerce business. It is important to maintain a tight hold on any e-commerce purse strings in the start-up phase of operations.
To overcome this problem, it is recommended that you use some free online tools, such as the Wave accountancy tool. This free service is highly beneficial in that it helps small business owners to complete accounts and payroll tasks effortlessly. You do not need any previous experience in accounting, professional or novice, as this nifty tool is designed for the most inexperienced of users.
2. Delivery Costs
One of the most expensive overheads for most e-commerce companies is delivery or courier costs. The delivery of goods from the company office or stockroom to respective customers is central to the business; however, it can become quite pricey if not managed correctly. One tool to avoid high delivery costs is the Rapid Parcel online comparison tool. This easy-to-use tool allows users to identify the most inexpensive courier companies for their particular needs. It also allows the user to input the size, weight, and additional delivery details to generate cost comparisons across major courier companies. Reducing delivery costs can increase profit margins and will assist in passing savings to the customers.
3. Stock And CMS Management
Physical and digital management of the company’s stock can be a very daunting and time-consuming task for a new business. In some cases, particularly with larger companies, you may be required to allocate a specific team to the task. Many new start-ups find the prospect of employing more individuals financially unviable and often have to complete the task themselves, which can be even more daunting.
To overcome this problem and save on costs, it is recommended that start-up businesses hire apprentices for lower wages (approximately £2.73/hour). It should also be noted that the Government are presently offering grants of up to £1,500 to businesses who offer apprenticeships. This grant will assist in covering at least four months of apprentice wages. Details can be seen on the Government’s website to be found here.
4. Steadfast And Watertight Documentation
Ranging from overwhelming iTunes user service terms to online receipts for in-store iTune purchases, Apple is a company leading the way in extensive and non-perishable documentation. This type of documentation is vitally important to consider as it is permanent and can protect companies from any future disputes.
The start-up e-commerce business would do well to learn from Apple and follow in their footsteps by building a detailed referencing system for orders, deliveries, and all correspondences. By doing this the company will be able to protect themselves from any future disputes with customers resulting in financial problems. It is essential to be organized and comprehensive with documentation irrespective of the company’s work philosophy or ethos.
A final step to ensure that the e-commerce business is reducing costs is to keep all the business-related invoices and receipts, where possible. This is beneficial in that it will assist in claiming back VAT. It does not matter what type of receipt or invoice the documentation is, all items can contribute to a significant amount of savings over a long period of time.