We are a nation built on the back of entrepreneurs, and yet there appears to be a slowing of new startups across the country.  This may be because the big organizations are becoming more entrepreneurial themselves, and not leaving room for new businesses who cannot source cheaper goods from overseas, or perhaps automation has removed the need for the services that small businesses provided.

Whatever the reason, the effect on communities will be felt as startups are now employing fewer people than they have done in the past. The US Labor Department reported a peak (thanks to the dot.com boom) in 1999 of 4.7 million jobs being created by new companies under a year old, and that reduced to 3 million in 2015.

Should you start your own business?

While these seem daunting times, if you are intending to start your own business, and feel that you possess the passion and energy to make it a success, now is the right time to start your business, and only you know whether you have the capabilities and focus to make it work. You need to have grit and determination to make it in the current business environment, and be flexible enough to cope when the digital landscape changes.

Know Your Customers

For your business to succeed, you need to know who you are aiming to sell your products or services to. Your website is not only your online storefront for your customers, but it also gives you the gateway to access the data about your customers.

By harnessing the information that they provide you when they sign up for your newsletter, or they engage with you on your social media platforms, you can quickly develop a picture of who they are and what they want, and personalize your automated marketing campaigns to suit their preferences.

You can communicate with your customers via a perfectly timed, multi-step, multi-channel campaign – the likes of which have never been seen before, so it is a good time to start a business!

Cash Flow

The greatest reason that entrepreneurs state for their startup failing are problems with cash flow, and the main way that you can protect yourself from problems with cash flow is by planning for the worst-case scenario. You need to have firm payment terms in place from the outset. You need to pay employees for 30 days work, so why not stipulate on contracts and invoices that payment must be received within 30 days? If you don’t know when an invoice is due to be paid, how can you successfully manage your cash flow?

You need to think about the best way to collect money from customers; your payment service provider will ensure that your customers’ funds are available before you process the transaction, and protect you from fraud.

Scalability

You will not be a new business for long, and once you are over your teething problems, and have developed a brand and customer loyalty, an e-commerce business is the ideal setting for you to grow your product range and your profit margins. You can easily develop your site to incorporate new lines, cross-sell and up-sell accordingly to generate more sales. No other industry provides this opportunity for scalability, and you are perfectly placed to take full advantage.

There is no time like the present to start your own business, and an e-commerce business is ideal for being able to reach a targeted audience with your products and services. You can use available technology to attract your customers, keep your customers and receive payment from them to enable you to grow your business with hard work and passion. Good Luck!

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