If you have always had the burning ambition to launch a new business, now may be the ideal time to bring your dreams to fruition. Even though experts continue to claim that growth may well have peaked during the second financial quarter of this year, there is still plenty of scope for further expansion after some initial consolidation. Starting a business represents a large-scale commitment, however, so it is important to make informed decisions and determine a long-term strategy for success.

Here are 3 tips for launching a successful e-commerce venture

For novice or first-time entrepreneurs, e-commerce represents the easiest and lowest risk form of business. This is because there are minimal overheads and costs involved, and it is possible to succeed with little more than an Internet connection and PC. Before launching your venture, however, you will need to consider the following points: –

1. Choose a product to sell (your success depends on the product you choose)

While e-commerce may be your business model of choice, this is simply a mechanism that creates an infrastructure and brings your vision into life. So once it is established, you will need to quickly switch your focus and pay attention to the product or range that you intend to sell to customers. Your products will take centre stage in your business venture, as they are ultimately the entities that will generate revenue and a return on your initial investment, so their development needs to be prioritised ahead of anything else.

2. Consider affiliate sales as a way of gaining market recognition

As a start-up business, one of the hardest challenges revolves around marketing your product and generating adequate sales for turning a profit. It is therefore important to think innovatively when first entering the market, as options such as affiliate selling offer you a unique opportunity to market your product and generate additional income.

By partnering with similar websites you can apply to sell your products to an active consumer base, in exchange for a pre-agreed rate of commission that is usually around 10-15%. Although you may be reluctant to release any of your turnover to a rival, it is important to balance this against the exposure that you will gain and the additional revenue generated.

3. Scale your business slowly and organically

Whenever people discuss scaling their business idea, it is usually as a result of high sales volumes or short-term success. A taste of success can easily cloud the judgement of inexperienced entrepreneurs, and encourage them to scale their venture before it is truly ready.

The most important thing to bear in mind is that your business costs will soar as you begin to scale your venture, especially those that relate to special delivery services and nationwide shipments. Unless you can be sure that your profit will rise proportionately, you should remain extremely cautious when looking to grow.