Why people struggle to run online shops (and how I’m going to help)

Having a shop on the internet is the holy grail for many mums. It’s a flexible way of earning a living, low cost, you can sell things you love and you can work from home at any time of day or night.

It’s not just mums, though. Plenty of people are looking for a way to cushion their income against the risk of losing their jobs. Plenty more want to have a little project on the side that they can grow and eventually leave their jobs completely.

I wrote this post How to start an online shop over a year ago. I mentioned starting an online store on my Facebook page and a few people replied with “I’d love to do that, where do I start?”.  So I wrote down the steps I’d take to start an online shop on a really small budget. It’s been one of my top three posts ever since! When it went live it was shared widely on Twitter and it’s had hits almost every day in the last year.

It’s not that hard to start an online shop, but it can be hard to make money from it. There are plenty of reasons for this, but the big ones are lack of knowledge and not having a proper process. Whenever technology makes something easier or cheaper, the barriers to entry go down. In many ways that’s great, of course. But the problem is that if something is easy and cheap to start, we tend to dive in without much preparation and that increases the chance of failure.

Now it’s fine for me to sit and talk about ‘barriers to entry’ and ‘lack of knowledge’ in a cool and distant way, but the truth is that it’s bitterly disappointing to dip your toe in the world of business and fail. True, being able to deal with failure is a valuable, probably essential, skill.

But people need this income to keep a roof over their families’ heads. One little business success can lead on to much bigger businesses (and our economy SERIOUSLY needs this, doesn’t it?) Plus I knew I had some knowledge that could help people get their first online business off the ground and earning an income.

So what was the answer?  I decided to create an e-book and sell it as widely as I possibly can. My plan is that this will expand my ‘how to start an online shop’ post into a lot more depth, but the price won’t be a barrier to anyone who wants to start their own online store from home.  I have a feeling that some people might want a little more support than an e-book can provide, and if this turns out to be true, I’ll write an e-course or set up a coaching group based on the same series of ten steps.  I’ll still keep this affordable, though.

The e-book is almost finished now and I’m planning to launch it in the next couple of weeks. So if you know anyone who wants to start their own online shop, please do let them know. I’ll be posting the details here at Business Plus Baby, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything you might like to sign up for my mailing list.

Right, I’m off to finish that e-book!

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Replies to “Why people struggle to run online shops (and how I’m going to help)”

  1. Hi Helen, great article. I’ve put a link to this page on Domestic Entrepreneur: I think a lot of people need this sort of information. Look forward to the release date! Best wishes, Celina

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