Idea: maybe, before the startup, to create at least a simple profitable online store?
Let’s imagine that our eyes are burning to make a startup for a billion. There are revolutionary ideas for changing the world and winning the Forbes rating. Two little things are missing: experience and money.
Weeks, months and years pass. These stupid investors do not understand ideas. These ideas are too innovative. No one gives money and no more useful experience.
Over time, it becomes clear that these two small things mean something. Especially any adequate experience of creation of the project, attraction of clients and calculation of metrics.
What to do?
Get a job and work at work? As an option, go to some business training, where everything will be told and shown.
But we have another simple idea. Let’s set a goal: to create a profitable online store in 3 months?
Why an online store?
Of the four business models, the simplest is “buy and sell”. You can provide services, but they will have to be provided and then supported by customers. In the online store you can entrust delivery to special services and train for only 2-3 hours a day, without distracting yourself from the main startup tasks.
Quite an interesting thing can turn out to be
Our main goal is to get real experience of launching and at least minimal promotion of our project.
So, we will complement our missing competencies
As a startup, it is desirable for us to be a technologist or a marketer or a salesman.
If we are a technician, it will take several hours to create a store. A working product for testing ideas. To make it quick and inexpensive. Is that right?
Next, you can train in launching various advertising and attracting customers.
If we are a marketer or a salesman, we will learn with the help of various services and designers to build your site, in our case – the store. If you have to order services freelancers, we will get invaluable experience of cooperation with developers. In the future, it will be extremely easy to create lazy startups’ landings, etc.
Of course, for a couple of months, the results will be extremely modest, relative to our plans for the rating in Forbes. But the real experience from our complementary field will be useful in finding partners.
We will learn how to identify the target audience
If you choose a niche, you may find that “we sell clothes” is a failure. What kind of clothes, for whom and where will we sell them?
Most likely, it will turn out that very different sales scenarios will be if we study in more detail what and to whom we sell.
Since the project is a training one, we will choose a niche that is already popular and relatively mass. We will not try to explain to our customers anything new or to look for customers for six months for expensive goods. It is so easy to learn to count metrics and test our ideas for growth and development.
We will learn to count metrics and indicators
You can make a lot of metrics for yourself, but most of the time you pay attention to the following three.
The price of attracting a client. We take the amount of money spent on advertising for a certain period, divide it by the number of new clients. We get the price of one client. It is desirable that the period was adequate – from one month. The number of clients from ten at least. It is desirable to check, if you double the budget, whether the number of new clients will double. If yes, then everything seems to be correctly calculated within the framework of our training project. The main thing is not to be caught in a situation when the cost of the client seems to be extremely low, but such clients are only 2-3 per month with a check of 1000$. Moreover, it’s useful to use this extension, so you can hold your customers with attractive gift cards.
Percentage of refusals. How many people stopped buying from you. Not for all niches of the store, of course, is suitable or impossible to estimate for a few months. But, for example, for pet products or cosmetics – it can be considered.
Average income from the client. For each client to count how much on average they paid you. If one client bought once for $1000, the average income is $1000. If he bought 3 times for 1000, 1500, 1000 $, the average income – 3500 $. So we will understand how much you can spend on attracting a single client and when the whole thing pays off, on average.
We will learn to test hypotheses
It could be a hypothesis about the niche itself. Most likely, it will turn out that no matter how cool the store is, no matter how revolutionary the product we sell, customers will not overwhelm it with orders instantly.
This can be hypotheses about attracting clients when the context or super virus in the top community did not work.
These may be hypotheses about increasing sales. The idea of making a mailing list with an incredible 30% sale may not lead to as many customers as you want.
So, one by one, the inadequacies in our hypotheses will be polished and each next one will be much more accurate.
How’s it gonna end?
Your online store – it’s the same business project and experience as any other. Therefore, there are several scenarios.
If we are lucky and will try, we will start earning something. It will be possible to continue, providing yourself with 2-3 average salaries and invest it in your own startup. If anything, we will find an assistant.
We do not have an IPO, so we will sell out. If the shop is stable and profitable, sell it. We will get our deserved pre-seed. Perhaps, much faster and easier than presenting your ideas. Then you will be able to consider your ideas more critically, should you invest your money in them?
Simply complete the training project. Unlike services or production, nothing will happen to customers. Bought from us, they will start buying elsewhere.
As a result, we have gained real experience
Understand what to do, you can read a rather popular blog in the niche stores in one evening.
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