“If I could only find the right way.”
“I need to find the best way…”.
When it comes to your ecommerce business, if you’ve ever thought or said either of the statements above or their many variations, you’re not alone. Almost everyone does at some point. In fact many people spend a tonne of time searching, searching, searching to find the ‘answer’ for the way forward.
This week we came across an interesting story about someone who needed to introduce a new strategy to a company, who after going to all the conferences, reading all the case studies, doing all the online classes they could was still not sure where to start. He wanted a tried and true map of what he should do – one that would magically work and make him a hero for the company.
And yes, when phrased like that, it seems bizarre that anyone could think such a map existed.
But really, how many of us have done exactly that before for our ecommerce success (or any other business). We Googled, signed up for classes, listened closely to a webinar, purchased someone else’s ‘system’ looking for some elusive ‘answer’ to an ecommerce business problem. I literally just googled e-commerce success and there were 251M results (that’s going to take a lot of time to wade through).
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a new ecommerce business, looking to build a bigger online following (and if you have an ecommerce business, you absolutely need one), or your looking to take your ecommerce business to the next level. Don’t waste time searching for ‘the answer’, ‘the map/blueprint’ or ‘the way’ – it doesn’t exist. Whatever, your challenge, it’s likely to be unique to you.
That’s not to say others haven’t found their ‘template’, ‘blueprint’ or ‘system’ – i.e. that worked for them; it’s just that their version of what worked is likely very different to what will work for you. And they likely found their way forward, because they did the work of experimenting, reiterating, making mistakes and trying something else, time after time.
Just because someone else achieved something, doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for you. Rather, it just makes doing the thing possible. And you’ve probably heard people say, “if such and such can do it, it can’t be that hard.” Except that discounts all the blood, sweat and tears that has gone before whatever success you might be seeing.
If Amanda has an ecommerce business that sells cat hair jumpers (or whatever product you’ve seen), it doesn’t mean it’s easy and therefore you can too. Roger Bannister could run a mile in under four minutes. Is it possible? Absolutely. Can you do that too, just because he did? It’s highly unlikely, unless you’re already on your way to joining the Olympic team and you truly, truly love running to get good enough to get anywhere near a 4 minute mile. That’s pretty well guaranteed no matter how many systems, blueprints, maps, you get hold of.
So why do people think it’s any different when it come to business?
What you will find if you try to use someone else’s ‘map’ regardless of how much it cost you, is that it’s not built for you. It’s based on what worked for the skills, product, market, environment, economy, customers, point in time of someone else. And you’re unlikely to be starting in the same place.
What can you do then, to move forward with your ecommerce business;
- Start – have a go. It doesn’t have to be all in – aka selling 10 or 100K units. Just start doing something, sell one. Rinse and repeat.
- If you’ve got any kind of template, always, always, always customise to take your own circumstances into account. Better still look at the map and the outcomes you’re striving for and then innovate and brainstorm different ways to get there.
- Look at what other industry categories are doing. Selling cat hair jumpers? Look at adult toys or skincare or technology. What’s working for them? This is not a year long 10,000 word review, it’s quick and dirty brainstorming.
- Once you’ve brainstormed, pick an idea and experiment. Start. I can almost promise you it won’t be perfect, maybe not even great or good. But start. I don’t know a single person who’s ever run a business have their first iteration work out either brilliantly or exactly as they’d envisaged.
- Reiterate until you find what works well for your ecommerce business.
- Tweak and try different things along the way – monitor your results.
- If it stops working (and it will at some point), go back and brainstorm again and then start again. Try different things. Measure everything.
- Keep going until you have the ecommerce business of your dreams.
Of course, if you’re already well on your way to achieving the ecommerce business of your dreams and you want to find more time to devote to growth through outsourcing, we can help. You can get in touch with us via the form below (and a human will get in touch).
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