Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Online Business Are Not Easy

The hype is, everything and anything online. But really, like any business, online businesses are not easy. Sure, you can save a ton of money by not having to have a physical location or store, and your only costs might be your domain and server space, but building a great web business takes a lot of work and special skills.

For an ecommerce site to thrive, you have to have a supply chain that is capable of handling all of your orders, but we saw our supply chain fail us once before. You also need web traffic and users. The best channels we have found so far are media relations and SEO. But you also have to convert those visitors and users into paying customers for your business to stay afloat, and it’s been quite an exercise, us trying to sell as many custom men’s dress shirts per 100 visitors as possible. We tried to engage them with content from our blog, tips about dress shirts, tips about fashion, and more. We also tried to engage them visually, with awesome graphics. But what really worked was building out an awesome co-creation shopping experience. All the content in the world about JT and fashion, nerds and fashion, mustaches, cologne, dress shirt fashion, sex appeal and more meant nothing to our business compared to optimizing around what we really cared about which was the dress shirt design experience.

It takes a lot of work to improve your KPIs. Sure, you don’t have problems like employees calling in sick and missing a shift during peak hour, or customers stealing things, but you deal with hairy issues like server crashes, payment processing, floods of emails, phone calls, and more. While online businesses are cheap to build and very ‘in,’ they are no less harder than traditional businesses are. Each type of business just takes a different skill set and it always takes time to hone your skills and really be great enough to create a viable business.

Online businesses do have the benefit of tons of sophisticated technology, which makes it easier for you to do some things, but in this competitive world, you will just have to work a lot smarter because it is very likely your competitors will have access to the same technology you have and they will be just as capable of building great businesses, so it will take more effort from you to build much better systems, technology, and a much better business.