Before You Launch Your Ecommerce Business – Things To Know

Recently I assisted a friend, an author who self-published her first book, set up her online presence. While she had her book listed at the usual vendors, she wanted to give readers the option of buying the book directly from her. This way, she could autograph the book on request and keep track of sales an interest. For a one-person operation with limited inventory to sell, the Ecommerce route doesn’t have to be very complicated. If you plan to launch a business through which you hope to sell products via the Internet, you need a plan that covers every aspect from production to customer satisfaction. Leave out on step, and you may encounter difficulties in getting your business off the ground.

It is arguably a common misconception that setting up an online store is the ticket to quick money. While it’s true that many businesses have achieved success in selling products via the Internet, a business is a business. When you are prepared with a financial plan, the means to produce and ship inventory, and quality customer service, you can watch profits soar. Ecommerce works similarly to the brick and mortar store – the only difference is that customers interact with you online.

Take into consideration these points as you devise your business plan.

1) Web support. Your online store begins with your website, and it’s crucial that the provider you choose offers 24-hour support and enough space to hold your data. You definitely do not want to build your store from a free service that forces you to display obligatory ads. The site structure and design must look professional, or else customers may become wary of shopping with you.

2) Shopping cart software. There are a number of options available to you here. You want to choose a program that is reliable and customizable. This program is responsible for tracking inventory and orders, collecting payment, and even collecting e-mail addresses so you can communicate sales to customers.

3) Fulfillment. If you know what you plan to sell, you need to figure out how products will be packaged and shipped to customers. Do you do everything yourself, or hire a third party to warehouse and ship your goods? As you grow, you may need to look into outsourcing fulfillment in order to keep up with demand.

4) Customer service. You may wish to look into an affordable program for providing toll-free numbers to customers. Also, be mindful of returns and similar issues and know what is required to keep customers happy.

These, of course, are just a few items to think about as you prepare your business. Make the plan before you launch, and that way you won’t be caught off-guard by problems.

Financing And Refinancing Through Commercial Loans

Business establishments all over the world need a proper channel of cash flow so that they can maintain regularity in growth and diversification. As it is rightly said, finance is fundamental to the growth of an old business and vital for any businessman to put the business planning take into action.

Loans for business purposes are available by pledging commercial properties or by borrowing without supplying any security. In both cases, there are lots of differences like the loan eligibility, the rate of interest offered by the lender, the loan tenure and repayment conditions. A successful business project is very often an organized one. You have to plan it well and supply with right dose of capitalization. If over capitalization of business can result in lower earning per share, the under capitalization can also have its negative effect in the form of unnecessarily high stock prices that are unrealistic.

A successful businessman always takes care of under investments and over investments. More complex financial aspects are taken care of by the financial experts and brilliant business minds. But, arranging for the daily cash flow requirement is relatively low level task that is handed over to the delegates having authority to deal with day to day functioning of the company. Business loans are one of the easiest means to ensure that any shortage in funds is met effectively at lower rates and in a competitive environment.

If you are seeking funds for a new venture, it will be perfect to take care of every possible aspect so that no problem arises later on. The root level problem that people face is the lack of knowledge when they go out and start searching for a commercial loan at low rate [http://www.loans-park.co.uk/commercial-loans.html]. The second obstacle comes when finance is made available to you. It relates to how to generate profits out of it so that interest payments can be justified. Both these things can be answered by a well-planned and well-implemented course of action. There should be a clear-cut plan of what you are going to do with money and how you are going to generate the profits. This should be your biggest and legitimate concern if you are to reach the top of the business world.

Market trends and in-depth knowledge about the business is necessary before take a plunge into it. If you are not confident, it is not advisable to take commercial business loans and risk your capital; business is surely not a fun expedition. On the other hand, there are people who lose valuable opportunities because they think that the cost of capital is too high. The market rates are bound to fluctuate in the market. There is an opportunity to refinance commercial loans if the interest rates fall drastically in the time to come. So, do not waste too much of your precious time and proceed with your plans if you are confident of the business project you are handling.

The author is a business writer specializing in finance and credit products and has written authoritative articles on the finance industry. He has done his masters in Business Administration and is currently assisting ask4loan.co.uk as a finance specialist.

4 Things That Real World Product Managers Do

What do product managers really spend their time doing? We like to talk about all of the things that tthey should be spending their time doing – boldly defining new products and clearly laying out markets to go after. However, the day-to-day reality of being a product manager can be quite different. The folks over at Pragmatic Marketing have just released their annual survey and it contains some interesting points…

Roadmaps

If ever there was a part of a product that a product manager should own, the roadmap is it. Just to make sure that we’re all on the same page here, a product roadmap lays out the changes and enhancements that are planned for your product in the future. You get to define the future: is it just this month, this year, or do you go out for 5 years?

Although we should own the product’s roadmap, this is not always an easy thing to do. Development teams have been known to want to play a big role in saying what shows up in the product and when it shows up.

The reason that this is the wrong way to handle things is that for your product to be successful, it really needs to be your customers who are defining in what order (and when) features are introduced. Who owns the roadmap can be the source of many battles within the firm.

Requirements

When people ask me what skills a product manager needs to have, at the top of my list is the ability to communicate clearly. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to product requirements.

You own the requirements for your products. Normally, the creation of product requirements is not something that people fight over. I mean, who really wants to do all of that writing?

The key skill that you need to have is the ability to both clearly and succinctly express what the product needs to be able to do. This has to be done for multiple simultaneous audiences: the sales teams need to be able to read it and understand what’s coming and the development teams need to be able to read it and understand what they need to do.

Market Problems

In a world without problems, there probably wouldn’t be much of a need for product managers. Thankfully there are a lot of problems out there! I’m not sure if “problems” is really the right word to use here, I think that “changes” might be closer to the mark…

When we create and launch a product, we do so in a market that has certain characteristics: we know who our customers are and we know who we are competing against. From that moment on everything changes.

As things change, it is your responsibility to change with it. We need to adapt our products, our marketing message, and perhaps even our pricing to deal with the new realities as they show up.

Positioning

What does your product do? Who does it do it for it? Why should your customers choose your product over somebody else’s? These are all great questions and if you don’t have a solid answer for each of them, things are not looking good for your product.

Knowing how you want people to view your product against all of their other options is a key point that product managers have to take care of. This higher level ability to “see” your product as the market does is very important.

Since we are dealing with an ever changing market, your product positioning will always be changing also. This means that as a product manager you need to always be “looking” at your product and making marketing adjustments to it.

What All Of This Means For You

It’s not easy being a product manager. There is no such thing as a product that just “runs on auto pilot”. Instead, every day we need to be making adjustments to both our products and how we market them in order to ensure that they will be successful.

A recent survey shows that product managers spend a lot of their time working on four main tasks. These tasks are: creating roadmaps, defining requirements, dealing with market “problems”, and ensuring that their products are properly positioned.

If we can master these activities, then we’ll have the core of what it means to be a great product manager taken care of. That being said, it’s not easy being a product manager; however, at least now you know what’s required!