What is the Best Platform for an eCommerce Store

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eCommerce is huge right now and is only going to get bigger. If you are looking at starting a business a small eCommerce store is defiantly worth a looking into.

But what platform should you use to run you store on? Let’s dive into answering that questions shall we!

ShopifyThere are many ways to start your own store online. One includes using a pre-made shopping platform. There are several platforms available such as Shopify, Big Commerce or even Magento. The great this about a pre-built shopping platform is that for about $50 per month you have a working store. This used to cost thousands of dollars per month to run when these options were not available as you needed to have coders, developers and other specialists on your staff.

Another option is to use WordPress. This is a self hosted solution. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform available today. But it is hardly a blog anymore. WordPress has been developed so much that it can be customized very easily into any type of website you need. A popular plugin for WordPress is called WooCommerce and this transforms your site into an online store.

Orange Shopping Deals is a start up that sells office products. They went the track of using WooCommerce over a pre-made solution due to it’s ability to be customized. They sell all sorts of things from door stops to laptop locks. After interviewing the over of the company Steve Johnson about his success he advise me they love to use WooCommrce as it’s very easy to add new products in.

One of orange shopping deals biggest sellers is a simply door stop. When they started they only had one door stop that they sold. But as time went by they launched more and more door stops. The second door stop that was launched was a 2 pack bulky door stopper. WooCommerce proved to be very simple for them to use as adding the new door stop. It was as simple as being logged into the admin panel of the site and adding in a new product. When a new door stop was added Steve’s team simply needed to write up a description, add in the images for the door stop and set the price. And that was it! Considering they sell lots of door stops just like the Selective Club door stops vast range. Selective Club is a competitor of Orange Shopping Deals and they have a large door stops range and this is exactly how they manage their store. With WooCommerce and the easy ability that the software they provide to manage multiple items.

The platform also allows the ability to easily embed media into the product page. Another type of product Steve sells is a laptop lock and below is the video he had professionally made. Using WooCommerce he was easily able to add the video onto the laptop lock page for his store. You can take a look at it here.

WooCommerceWhen I asked Steve why he went with WooCommerce over something like Shopify he mentioned that Shopify is an excellent platform and in the past he has used it. But he has been using WordPress for over 5 years for various projects so it’s where his comfort zone is. To add to this he mentioned as WordPress is based off HTML it’s his comfort zone as he’s been dealing with HTML for over 15 years.

Had he not had this background he did mention he would have gone right to Shopify. So in Steve’s case it was simply due to the fact that he has used WordPress for years and it was a personal choice.

At the end of the day both platforms are excellent. And so is Big Commerce and Magento. It really comes down to personal choice for which platform you decide to sell on.



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How to Start a Business on Minimal Funding

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As an entrepreneur of many years I’ve seen lots of people come and go trying to as they say ‘make it’ and at the end of the day I see a lot of people fail. The reason for the is is generally due to the fact they don’t have experience.

The average person has no idea how to run a business.Most people think they can as they have a skill set they have learned in their job so they should be able to run a business. But the reality is quite simply that this is never the case with a capital N. The reason for this is due to the fact that the skills that person generally has is of a technical nature. Even if they are a manager they are not an entrepreneur or a visionary. At the management level a good manager is generally working the ‘system’ put in place to manage the company and that is it.

systemsNow when a new business start that person starting the business has to do everything. They have to bring in sales, they have to do  the books, they have to deal with customers, the happy one and yes the angry ones also. They have to do everything! And if that person has gone out and got a load for $200,000 to start a business and they have no business experience then they are in trouble. It’s pure madness that the banks actually lend to these people.

I don’t write this to deter you from starting a business but to give you an unbiased perspective that it’s going to be 1000x harder then you think it will be to work for yourself.

So what is my recommendation? Start with a minimal investment and do something on the side. There are two things I will discuss the first being starting a cheap franchise.

Start a Cheap Franchise

So why a cheap franchise? Well it’s quite simple really. Remember how I mentioned the ‘system’ above. When you buy in to a franchise you’re buying into a ‘system’. A lot of money has been spent on not only the development but the perfection of the system that in a sense allows you to plug and play into a working business model.

Everything I mentioned above with you having to do all the work might still apply at the start but you have a system to follow that works smoothly.

And there are quite a few options out there that are cheap. You can get into the snacks business, the cleaning business and even the real estate industry with a cheap franchise. Take a look at this list of $5k franchise opportunities for some cheaper options or if you are willing to spend a little more take a look at these franchise opportunities under 10K. You don’t need to go and start a McDonald’s or even a Burger King to start a successful franchise.

Now onto the second option.

Start an eCommerce Store

My second choice for the aspiring entrepreneur to start with is an eCommerce store. In the tech age that we live in you have the ability to do wht is called drop shipping. This is when you make a sale of a product without owning the stock. For example lets say you were selling a furniture set. You have a store online and someone decided to buy from you. You get paid and then use that money to go to your supplier. You pay the wholesale price for the item to the supplier and they ship out the product direct to the customer.

This way you just keep the profits. So instead of having to worry about opening a physical location, sourcing products in USA (or even in China) and needing the capital for that and everything else that comes with owning stock. You simply need to build out an eCommerce store and focus on marketing that store to get customers. It’s quite simple.

ecommerceYou might be wondering how do you get the products to drop ship. That part is actually quite easy. There are several companies out there that drop ship but it would be a nightmare to find them all. There are ‘connectors’ all over the place. One of these connection companies is called Worldwide Brands. You buy into a membership to access a list of wholesalers that will drop ship their products for you. The good thing about Worldwide Brands is that they have vetted the suppliers first. They have interviewed the companies and even tested out their products to make sure they are quality. If this interests you I highly recommend you take a look at this Worldwide Brands suppliers review for more information.

Another company to look at that is similar to Worldwide Brands is Salehoo. It’s a great company that offers a very similar directly platform but Salehoo is a lot cheaper then Worldwide Brands. But don’t let that deter you as Salehoo is raved about in the drop-shipping community. A cheaper price in this particular case doesn’t mean an inferior product.

Another finally a third option is to look at Doba. Once again the company is very similar to Worldwide Brands and Salehoo is the sense of providing a list of suppliers you can contact. But Doba provide some more advanced tools that if you are comfortable with using can really help. They are not hard to use if you come from a technical background and you will be able to start an eCommerce store and automatically link into the Doba systems and offer hundreds or even thousands of products to you products to your customers.

But the bottom line is that you will be starting a store online and implementing an existing system (drop shipping) and you can spend your time focusing on marketing to get new clients.

Good Luck

So that wraps it up for my first blog post. I wish you good luck on the direction you decide to take no matter if you start an online store or even a cheap franchise or even something else. Just remember its going to be a lot harder then you first anticipated and as one entrepreneur to another the best advice I can give to you is never give up and work ten times harder then you think you need to and you will be successful.

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