What to do with the online store?


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Are unable to answer for themselves the question of what to do with the Internet store, in this offer for the consideration of the community's own case. Tell about everything in order.

NB: the Text is long, I apologize in advance

A year and a half ago, the desire to "create something different" reached a local maximum and I decided to go into business. After a short analysis the choice fell on e-Commerce, as it is most correlated with the current knowledge and capabilities. I have had experience in large chain retailers on the posts consultant, call centre operator and supervisor of this call center. I don't call myself Sayles from a joke in which a man went to the store to ask for directions, and went away with hooks, fishing rods, nets and a boat, but I know how to push a reluctant person to purchase, how to deal with conflict clients, how to tell the client bad news, focusing his attention on the positive aspects and other tricks of the numerous sales training. Besides, I operated with a free CMS and reasoned that may be able to do them (many times convinced of the opposite:)


Walked across the circle and set up a network of his friends and, after a fairly short time, in the second or third "circle" from me, found a wholesaler, importing is quite interesting products from Europe and do not have their own retail distribution. A couple of weeks at the exhibition in Expocentr I was sitting at the table with the CEO of the supplier at their stand and discuss working conditions.


It took several months of preparation: sole proprietorship, partners, contractors, creation, testing, and filling of the site and so on. 25 Nov 2009 I received the first order for 2850 rubles, which was happy like a child in a few days will be a year, it will be necessary to note that Lee :)


After a year of work I stepped on many rakes. If a year ago, I knew where the "pitfalls" of my partners, supplier, couriers, tax inspection, pension funds and other bad – my life would be much easier.


On the other hand, my knowledge expanded exponentially. I had to learn accounting, search engine optimization, what, two months ago, I wrote a program in php that goes to the website vendor, watching what and at what price there is, compares it with what exposed me and says what to add and what to remove (auto write, and delete from the database do not dare). And this despite the fact that my knowledge about programming a year ago was equal to the knowledge of the Trinity, many years ago studying in the school of Pascal (which, incidentally, was very helpful in the basic development of php).


It so happened that life has imposed on me a lot of responsibility and commitments, and in spite of my undignified age ("midlife crisis" I still far away hehe:), I could not remain without a steady income and a large amount to start.


At the start I was a ten-working day at the main place of work (which is now) and 20,000 rubles.

After a year of work, the turnover of my web shop was about 500 000, during the holidays I expect another 150-200 thousand turnover.


By the standards of the business, is peanuts. By the standards of the layman, in principle, too, as the monthly business expenses are roughly equal to my salary at the main place of work and what is left over after expenses leaves much to be desired.


However, the store is plus – sub-20000 roubles a year ago, now turned into 50000. That is, the yield on my investment was 150%, no Bank will agree, this will not be offered.


If community will be interested in blogs "E-Commerce" or "My business" I'll show you how, without abandoning a steady income at the current place of work and having 20000 free money to open their own online store. What to pay attention to and what not to do, not to get in my situation. When/if you get karma, of course.


Now, after a year of work, I don't know what to do with the store.

Brief summary:

+ Store is a plus.

+ Gives a lot of experience and motivated to receive new knowledge.

– Takes about 30 hours a week (at the expense of sleep and free time).

– Brings only 5-7 thousand a month, which I allowed for new types of advertising or hire freelancers for software "chips" store.

– Problems with the business model. All business processes are somehow tied to me that creates a lot of problems with my free time, despite outsourcing everything you can.

– Incorrectly chosen goods. When choosing a product I was only looking at the supplier, the terms of the settlement and the location of his warehouse, no attention paying "availability" of consumer properties of products. As a consequence, a low conversion (about 0.01%).

Solution:
1. The easiest. To withdraw the money and stop work. Very sorry for wasted effort.

2. Sale. I have absolutely no knowledge of the sale of the business. I guess that with the current turnover and profitability of the business, its cost will be comparable to my expenses for the creation of the LLC and transferring his assets. I must admit, in the head sneaking thoughts like those that motivated the owners hh.ru selling social network webby for a case of beer.

3. Attraction of investments. Again, I have no knowledge for quality research on the subject of their return, and so the road is closed to investors.

4. Exit offline. That is, the opening of retail outlets. In addition to a decent investment for me assumes full employment and does not guarantee the level of income that I have now on the main job.


What do you see out of this situation?


PS: I won't mention the address of the store so as not to set goals for self-promotion, fear of garraffello and I don't want this message seen by the competitors.
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7 Answers

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Can address at least tell me? Sure, you can give simple tips that will help to increase profitability. But if income will increase, you in any case will be a different look for the store.
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Look for a partner who for a percentage of income will be to develop the business. At least the subject called how to guess — perishable products or motors for yachts
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Sorry, that will fit with the question, not the answer. How you deliver the goods to the buyer? Sure you don't go for clients that pay the courier? Send or deliver mail?
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Write a result, I'm really curious
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Try to retrain for another type of product. The same store with the goods for the anime will provide a much greater conversion rate, I think, but you've got to look and think.
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Throw a link in PM, you can take :-)
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Themselves now the store is doing approximately the same situation. Though we work two or three times, customers almost do not attract, but also a small income shares, respectively...
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If we assume that to get rid of the business is not an option that I offer:
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1) you need to grow. Then you need to invest in advertising. In my experience, competent contextual advertising has an efficiency of 1:8-1:10, ie, is invested in the ruble brings 8-10 rubles of revenue. At SEO efficiency is higher. Margin though in this case flies... but the revs are rising. More revs — more return.
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2) to determine the products and range. If the product is niche — need to capture the entire market.
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3) to revise the pricing policy and cost. Even with this turnover net profit should be approximately three times as much. And this is income.
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4) find partners and assign responsibilities. Decide clearly that You have obtained or that You will be able to give.
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