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Ten Questions to ask yourself BEFORE you start an online business

Updated: Jul 1, 2023



Selling online seems to be an easy task. Set up a website, put up your products, set up your operations, get your marketing plans ready and you are good to go


Unfortunately, it’s not that simple


What starts as a passion and high energy project can easily fizzle out as soon as it started


You need passion, money and guts to run your online business

Here are ten questions to ask yourself


1. Do you really want to be an entrepreneur and is it by choice or chance? If you are starting an online business because you “have time” or are “bored” or “See many others doing so well” ask yourself again – do you really want to be an entrepreneur?


2. Do have the time to focus on all aspects of the business including product sourcing, supply chain, technology, marketing, logistics, payments, customer service, accounting and compliance and legal


3. Have you understood the target audience and what it takes to get to them and convince them to buy from you? I.e. the channel to communicate and the cost to communicate


4. What are the unserved or underserved consumer or business needs that you intend to fill? And will your service or product offering really fill this gap


5. Do you know the general business profitability of ecommerce businesses and have you worked out the business profitability of the business you intend to start? What is the profitability that you seek from the business and do you know that ecommerce and retail are high volume and low net margin businesses?



6. Do you know what it takes to get one customer to buy from you (how much investment in marketing)


7. Does your product or category have a repeat purchase cycle? And is this cycle shorter than 6 months. If not a repeat purchase of the same product, then are there any adjacent products or consumables that you will sell to the same customer?


8. What is the average transaction value that you would aim to have?


9. Do you have a committed and knowledgeable team? One that shares your vision and passion.


10. Lastly, are you willing to stick to your business and objectives for at least 3 years without much personal earnings for yourself?


This article is not mean to discourage entrepreneurship. It is for wannabe entrepreneurs and online sellers to think hard before starting. And thereby improving their chances of success


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