Yesterday I read Power Up: The Online Retail Entrepreneur’s Guide. It begins with an in-depth foreward from Publisher Grant Arnott that describes where the industry has come from, where it is today and where it is going in the future. Arnott also shows you how to avoid price wars with your competitors and the inevitable “race to the bottom.”
Success Stories from those who have “Been There, Done That”
The section I enjoyed the most was the 11 case studies of Australian start-up success stories, including:
- A guy who started a website selling tailor made suits online, and how he got $20,000 of startup funding
- The retailer who sells exclusively on eBay for the last eight years, and has no plans to open up a website (contrary to public opinion and advice from “the gurus”)
- How The Iconic started out, and what gives them the edge in the competitive clothing industry
How to Score Venture Capital and Startup Funding
A big question for any aspiring online entrepreneur is “how do I get funding for this project?” (or “how can I take my brains and other people’s money and have a go at this?”)
While this publication is not a comprehensive guide to raising funding, it certainly is an excellent introduction and provides a great starting point and checklist you should keep in mind before approaching venture capitalists or startup incubators.
What to do before Starting an Online Store
A lot of people aspire to start an online business (and a lot go through with it as well!).
Where many people come unstuck is that they fail to plan before starting, and this is a recipe for disaster. “If you build it, they will come” just doesn’t cut it in the world of online retail. It’s important to plan for an online business in exactly the same way you would plan for an offline business. Planning topics of interest in this guide include:
- How to go about initial research and planning
- Finding suppliers
- Going on a buying trip (some great tips for spotting fakes and building relationships)
- Fulfilment solutions (the pros and cons of managing it all in-house versus fully outsourcing the whole function)
- How to choose the right payment gateway
- What makes for solid website security
- How to improve the performance and speed of the website (Google looks at this as a SEO ranking factor now)
- How to write unique product descriptions
- What works with social media (and what doesn’t)
There are a whole range of other things covered as well, but I won’t spoil the surprise here! If you’re an aspiring online retailer, go out and get the guide. This is the most up-to-date, solid guide to online retail in the market and I highly recommend you grab yourself a copy. At $30, it’s a bargain.