I just discovered the website My Wife Quit Her Job, and let’s just say I’ve done quite a bit of browsing through the site’s many fantastic articles and resources. Steve Chou’s experience running a wedding linens online store and using his experience to create even more value by sharing with readers is fantastic. Steve shares 10 ways to mitigate risk when first starting an online store. Here are the three I found most valuable:
Pick the Narrowest Niche Possible- If you’ve decided on becoming an e-tailer, the best way to differentiate yourself is to focus on something extremely long tail. Something very few people are doing, and then excel. Too many people try to sell goods in too broad of a category and are spread thin instead of pinpointing their efforts.
Test, Test, Test- Don’t assume there will be demand for your product without testing it first. It’s never too early to test demand, in fact Steve mentions a story where a car salesman wanted to sell cars online but wasn’t sure if it would work (this was way early in ecommerce). So he posted ads to see if there would be a response before even having the product on hand.
Be Prepared if Things Don’t Work Out– Don’t quit your day job before gaining tangible success and make sure that you have enough money to live in case the venture doesn’t work out. This will make your judgements more clearheaded and will teach you time management.