Approximately 80% of new businesses survive the first year of trading, but that number drops by 10% by the end of the second year. eCommerce is a rapidly evolving industry, and the competition is stiff, which makes a solid marketing plan and comprehensive social media strategy vital to any new eCommerce business that wants to stand out from the crowd and thrive in the market. Although every new venture is unique, there are three commonly overlooked areas to consider if you want your new eCommerce business to be a cut above the rest.

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Pursue Strategic Partnerships

Few eCommerce businesses become a success on their own. No matter how solid your marketing plan or how much experience you have behind you, a strategic partnership will allow you to align your new brand with a company that already has influence in the industry. This will help you rise above other new businesses and help you tap into an existing market, establishing your brand as a trustworthy one by association. As such, a key element of your business plan should involve looking for opportunities to help other brands.

This makes it vital that you have an up-to-date CV in addition to your comprehensive business plan. Many small business owners, given that they aren’t looking for work, neglect to keep their CV updated, but all entrepreneurs should have one ready to present to potential investors and partners. Craft your resume using the reverse chronological format, in which you list your most recent achievements first, tailoring it specifically to prospective partners. This will allow you to keep your CV short; a 2018 eye-tracking study showed that your resume has just 7.4 seconds to grab the reader’s attention. If you can convince other business leaders that you’re worth the investment, your company will automatically garner respect.

Revisit Your Focus: Is It Narrow Enough? 

Business coach Bernhard Heine emphasises the importance of a narrow focus for any new business. He recommends taking a ‘boutique rather than department store’ approach: essentially, customer expectation is that a boutique store owner knows the product intimately and is able to help them very specifically. This thinking allows you to charge more and market a high-end product, channelling your energies into being the best in a specific niche. The chances that other business owners have had the same idea as you are high, so it’s important that you’re able to specialise and can capture a niche market. Although the number of customers in the market may be lower, the chances of establishing a loyal following are much higher.

Update Your Business Plan 

Many new businesses begin with a solid business plan but neglect to update it as their company evolves. If you’re getting your eCommerce business off the ground, you will already have a business plan, but it’s important to make it reflect your current position in the market. Do you need to add additional costs – such as shipping or software – to your original budget? Do you need to account for additional employees or changing roles? What are the new problems you foresee, and how can you address them going forwards? Being prepared at the beginning of a new business venture is important, but it’s vital that you’re just as prepared for new challenges as the business advances. This could be key to giving you the edge over other new eCommerce ventures.  

It is estimated that by 2040, 95% of purchases will take place online. This makes eCommerce a sensible business idea, but it also means competition is high. To give your new business a competitive edge, think beyond the basics, partner with established brands, and be prepared to keep evolving.

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