How To Start An eCommerce Business In 2 Months

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The lean startup model is a new approach to business that’s started to be adopted around the world. It is transforming the way companies are formed and how new products are launched. 

It is the one I used to found goBambu from my savings and create a growing customer base within 2 months. 

Gone are the days where you are sitting around a large oval table constantly revising different aspects of your business and products. Now is the time to think lean with your startups. 

Your Initial Idea 

You have an idea for a new business or product but where do you go from there? Whilst you may think you have something that is going to solve customer pain points, you need to make sure people ACTUALLY want what you’re offering. 

There are a variety of ways you can do this. Keyword research tools offered by search engines are usually a good place to start. If your product idea is getting thousands of searches each month, it is probably a good idea to continue. 

On the flip side, if no-one is searching for what you are offering you could be going through a whole lot of work for very little return. 

You will also want to seek out trending topics on Google Trends to get an idea of whether your products are becoming more or less popular over time. 

Moving Forward 

When you are happy that there is a demand for what you will be selling - it is time to start sourcing your products. 

Top tip: if people are already selling products you will be selling, look at their reviews so see what customers really like or dislike about them. This can help you tweak your offerings and ultimately give you an edge over your competitors. 

If you are going to be creating the products yourself, make sure you source your materials in small quantities at first. While this will make your product more expensive to create at first, there is no point having a million products if ultimately, people don’t want to buy them. 

Remember - it is all about testing your ideas in real time. 

The same goes for if you are buying products from a supplier. Get the smallest quantities possible. If they don’t sell, you haven’t wasted your money. If they do sell - simply go back to the manufacturer with a larger order. 

Getting Your Minimum Viable Product Out To Market 

You have your idea, you have made or sourced a small amount of products - it is now time to get them on the market. 

Throughout my time as an entrepreneur, I have seen hundreds of companies stalling their launch. They were either trying to perfect every last part of their product or were spending far too much time trying to build a brand. 

Whilst creating a brand is important - it is something that should come in to play after you have established that your products are in demand. 

As a new company, your visibility is next to nothing. Set aside a small budget for PPC ads and social media advertising. SEO is important and should be implemented from the start ideally, but you also want to focus on the short term survival first. Search engine optimization can take months or years in many cases.

While this might not be a sustainable strategy for growth (depending on your conversion rate or margins), a minimum viable product (MVP) gives you a shortcut to customers who might be interested in what you are selling and will give you a quick answer as to whether you can be profitable in the future. 

Collecting Feedback 

You have launched your product and you have made a few sales. Now is an important stage in establishing your company. At this point you will want to put in place a system to get feedback from your customers. 

They will ultimately tell you what is good and what’s bad about your product. You can use this data to tweak products moving forward. 

Notice how you haven’t spent a considerable amount of time and money in the planning phase, guessing what features your customers want. At this stage in your eCommerce business you can hear it from them directly. 

Keep Testing 

Taking on board customer feedback, you can keep tweaking your offering until you are satisfied that you are fulfilling all of your customers’ needs. 

If you are thinking about expanding your range moving forward, you can use this model again and again - saving time and money. Just don’t forget to keep testing and adjusting your e-commerce business!

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