You might not think your service can be sold online but here’s 3 reasons why you might be wrong!
all seen how rapidly e-commerce has taken over but many service-based
small business owners and entrepreneurs are still gun shy about taking
their business to the next level online.
Whether you sell a physical product or provide a service you could benefit from online sales.
this post we’ll look at the barriers presented by e-commerce for
service providers and how many perceived obstacles are easily and
affordably addressed by planning your approach like a pro (or with one)
and using third party tools that make the whole process much easier.
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Here’s 3 common barriers business owners face when contemplating adding e-commerce to their business tools:
1. You Don’t Sell a Product
Many businesses sell a service that can’t draw a clear line between the user and the service.
it’s consulting, speaking, coaching, or any other industry where you
are the product, the perception is that e-commerce isn’t something you
In reality you do sell something, but you’ll have
to be an out-of-the-box thinker if you want to use e-commerce to build
your business and your personal brand.
Are you a consultant?
Consultants tend to adapt to the project and use their experience to
guide business owners or other service providers through a lengthy
process that evolves as the problems are discovered.
Sometimes there are consistent problems that are encountered and that’s where you will see your opportunities.
you see that company after company is hitting the same wall and you
have helped previous clients get past it, then that solution can be a
product you can sell.
Get creative! Many successful apps started because someone like you saw an opportunity no one else was addressing and pounced.
can be said for other service industries as well. It’s not the only
approach though; if you’re a coach or a speaker you’ve got potential for
e-commerce as well.
Speakers and coaches undervalue themselves
habitually. Your value is clear to many other businesses who have hired
you so understand that your personal brand makes a big impact.
Take that knowledge and monetize!
a book, have shirts and mugs printed, or look at any other way to turn
your knowledge into tangible items. These could be promotional items or
anything else you think of.
You’ll then not only be making money through sales but building your brand at the same time.
big point here is not to limit yourself to your service and to
recognize the potential of your knowledge. If you’re having issues with
this, we have a great mentoring program that can help you discover the
hidden potential for e-commerce your brand offers.
2. You Don’t Have the Time
This is the biggest reason most people don’t get into online sales.
The setup, the maintenance, and the eventual product shipping all look like major time commitments.
The new reality of e-commerce for small businesses is these things take very little time.
setup can be quick or take a long time and the barrier will actually be
you. Being overly picky about design elements or quirky functionality
always hold businesses back.
Always put the emphasis on your business servicing the user.
all you need to do is make sure your website can take and process an
order and the information and products are presented clearly with as few
steps as possible for the user to complete their purchase.
can vary and often it’s a good idea to start things yourself and then
hire a third party or freelancer to handle the maintenance.
there isn’t much required other than logging in a few times a week,
though once you see it all working you’ll likely be inclined to check
all the time (in a good way).
Shipping is as easy as applying an
app to print shipping labels and then having the item picked up for
delivery or taking the items to the post office.
Look at your
potential profit margins and see what selling could mean for your
business. You might be surprised at how much revenue you’re missing out
3. It’s Too Expensive
This is a major
obstacle for many service-based businesses because they’ve seen how
expensive it used to be to get into e-commerce, but it’s not anymore.
looked at the barriers such as making your service viable and how time
can factor in. Both indicate loss of revenue for the existing business
if you split your time and start up some e-commerce.
In reality it’s unbelievably cheap to start selling online.
Whether you choose Woocommerce for your WordPress website, open a Shopify store, or opt for Big Commerce you won’t have to break the bank to get up and running.
Woocommerce the expense is whatever your professional web developer
costs. This system works with WordPress so if you’re already up and
running with WordPress then you’re cost will either be your time in
trying to set it up yourself or the cost of getting it done
Shopify and Bigcommerce both make it much easier
but they’ll also either need to be installed as a subdomain of your
existing website or you’ll be setting up a whole new one.
two have near identical pricing starting at $30 per month and this
includes your hosting. They take care of everything such as credit card
processing and there is no shortage of apps to handle functionality not
native to their platforms.
Taking this approach will be time consuming though.
you hire a professional developer for any of these systems, make sure
they really know the platforms beforehand because they differ greatly
right down to the programming languages they’re built with.
course, there are plenty of other options to consider such as
1ShoppingCart or even Infusionsoft and Magento, which are considered to
be higher-end options for large-scaled shops.
Ultimately, the short answer to the question is: no, it’s not too expensive. This is because the price range starts with FREE.
The real cost is your time and the only risk is wasting it.
you do elect to explore e-commerce as an option, put a lot of time into
the planning. Not just one day of grinding out ideas but weeks of spit
balling and brain storming.
Look around at what others in your
industry have done and even more importantly what they’ve not done and
plan everything out properly.
Hiring a professional business
mentor to guide you can be the best decision you ever made. You’ll be
walked past the typical hiccups and hurdles and on your way to launching
your e-commerce project much faster and with much less effort.
and more service-based businesses are seeing the potential of
e-commerce so the quicker you jump into the ring the better. For many,
the e-commerce even takes over as the primary revenue driver.
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and
digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business
& Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with
entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and
support needed to create their online business presence.