6 Super-fast steps to starting an e-commerce business.

(Or add ecommerce to the business you have)

There has never been a time when it’s been easier to go into e-commerce but there are pitfalls. Some of them could be…

  • Spending too much time dicking around with your website.
  • Not ad testing
  • Not product testing
  • Not having a SIMPLE business plan. (Hint: Everybody with photoshop is selling ‘branding.” It’s not anywhere near as important as you might think. Most branding builds ego’s, not businesses.

That said, you can start a business with just a few simple steps. They are…

  • Acquire or design a product or service that you can sell through the internet. The easiest thing is to buy wholesale and sell retail or, do what’s called “arbitrage.” That is, buying a product in one market and selling it in another. You may have something very unique in your area that’s not sold nationally like novelty products, honey based products, bamboo, the list is infinite.
  • Do a SIMPLE business plan. This plan should be 40% profit margin analysis, 40% market penetration analysis and 20% other bullshit. For a simple discussion of these click here and here and here. A great guide if the SBA planning site here.
  • Choose a professional ecommerce system. My choice is here. Trying to reinvent the wheel is a waste of time. Modern systems like PayJunction combine payment systems with online commerce sites. This frees you up to product test.
  • Develop a free WordPress site for your product. My experience has been WordPress is superior to an html driven web site. In fact, Tim Ferris’s site is the mameluke of selling sites. I’d stay with wordpress.com over wordpress.org unless the site is selling the product. This is really just a product recognition page.
  • Develop another product that you can sell with your first product. The key to making exponential money in this business is reselling current customers WHILE THEY ARE BUYING YOUR FIRST PRODUCT. A good review is with this video.
  • Develop an ad campaign. This can be done easily through Google Adwords. You can test through Adwords for $20 a test. It’s pretty cheap.

If you currently have a business, you may want to focus on the product and margin analysis and dish off the rest to an employee. Most people under 30 can do these online things in their sleep.

I have a client in New York that sells motorcycle parts that he makes in his machine shop. It’s more of a hobby than a business, but he loves dirt bike racing and makes about $20k a year, which he spends going to dirt bike races. Some guys play golf. He makes parts.

It always amazes me how many businesses, especially professionals like doctors, dentists and chiropractors are not into ecommerce. Your credentials give you so much street cred. Most think it’s a pain in the butt but the fact is, it’s simple.

For other businesses like manufacturing or car repair, it’s an easy ad on. Many of these companies are selling retail products in their shops. Ecommerce multiplies that.

I have 7 published novels. I supplemented that by turning three into screenplays. Later this year, I’ll start selling products based on my stores. Hey, if George Lucas can do it with Star Wars…

For information on setting up an ecommerce system, click here.

Paul Schwartzmeyer

Sr. Accountant

The Landon Fillmore Company




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