A lot of people are dreaming about starting their own online business. Being able to work from home and having no boss to tell you what to do, sounds like a dream for many. But starting an online business isn’t quite as easy as one would belive. There are a lot of things to consider and it’s not without a reason that 90% of newly started business close down again within the first two years. But let’s take a look at one online success – Kvali Vinduer. Kvalivinduer is an online webshop at the domain www.kvalivinduer.dk, selling various types of windows for houses such as – Dannebrogsvindue, Bondehusvindue and Topstyret vindue. They should out two years ago as a pure online business, and are now selling 2-3 orders per day, which is pretty good in that niche. But like many other companies they faced their share of challanges, but unlike most companies, they manage to overcome them. But what does it take to start an online business and what can you do to minimize the risk of failure?
There’s and old saying that goes – to make money you need money. And this is ofte also true when it comes to starting an online business. While it certainly is possible to start a business with almost no money, you often get a lot better start with some capital behind you. Most companies actually spend more money than they make in their first 2 years. This is often due to all the additional costs there are in the beginning. You often needs to buy certain equipment to get started. That might be something as little as a new computer to large production machinery.
Having an online business that nobody knows about, wont bring you any customers, and without customers, you won’t get any sales and earn money. That was one thing that kvali vinduer learned the hard way. They spend a lot of money on building a nice website, filling it up with good products, but after a few months they still wasn’t selling anything. The reason was that nobody but their friends and families knew about it. So they had to spend some money on marketing also. In this case it ment a monthly Adwords Budgets, a few paid banner spots on relevant websites and hiring a guy to promote them on certain forums and chat groups. And that started to pay of. During the new few weeks, sales started picking up for Vinduer, and they had could begin to see some results of all the hard work. So having a website and the products or services to sell are only the first step. You also need to find a way of bringing the customers to your shop.
Another important part of running a company is accounting. Without the proper skills or training, it can be a real nightmare to figure out all the various rules of Taxes and VAT. You are very likely to mess something up and it could easily cost you a lot of money. Hiring an accountant can be quite expensive, but it’s something you really do need to consider, before you just jump right into it.
Another thing to consider is customer service. Are you offering telephone support to your customers, email support or how are you going to help them? A good customer support are critical in order to run a long term business. Rumors of bad support spread pretty fast and it certainly won’t bring back old customers if they didn’t like the support they got, the first time they used your business. And what about vacations? Will you close down the store when you go on vacation, or do you have some ready to take over when you are away? As you can see there are a lot of questions you need to think about before you start your own online business. Kvali Vinduer had to learn a lot of this the hard way as they didn’t have any online experience before they started.