There is a light at the end of the tunnel when for Ontario business and the end of the lockdown. Many Ontarians are anxious for Step 1 of reopening, however it isn’t set to begin until the week of June 14, 2021.
While many businesses await this date patiently, others are using this time to kick their E-Commerce into high gear. Those who have been laid off work have been busy turning their side-hustles into a more serious gig.
In either case, here are some important tips to ensure continued success for your business in the world of E-commerce.
1) Research your business structure
If you’re considering starting up an e-commerce side gig, choose your business structure wisely. There are pros and cons to each.
And if you're an established business, know your roles and responsibilities with your chosen structure.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships are relatively simple to set up, as neither do corporate income tax. Instead, earnings are linked to your personal income tax.
However a partnership will need a proper agreement drafted up.
Both sole proprietorship and partnership business structures will have you facing unlimited personal liability.
A corporation, on the other hand, is more complex to set up, and will need to file corporate income tax. However, limited liability exists with this structure type.
Get more information on business structures from the Canada Revenue Agency here.
2) Learn from your reviews – both negative and positive
Having good reviews (both online and offline) is more important than ever when it comes to obtaining customers. With so much competition out there, one good or bad review can, respectively, make or break the sale.
Take the time to respond to each review, whether it be negative or positive. And if you find you don’t have enough, reach out to your best customers with an incentive for their honest reviews. Get some examples of how to ask for reviews here at WordStream.
Make a point of analyzing your negative reviews – they’ll tell you where your business needs improvement – though it can be a tough pill to swallow.
There’s a lot to be said about being proactive when it comes to reviews. Provide an amazing customer experience (think speed, ease and attention) – and make customer support a top priority.
3) Dig into a niche
For many businesses, you face more competition than ever. Looking to start up a side hustle? Chances are there are hundreds of others around you doing the same thing.
But don’t let it discourage you – the niche market can be a gold mine of opportunity. Don’t try to take on everything at once – focus on what you do best and how you can serve customers best. Stuck on finding your niche? Check out this post from Shopify to find yours.
Even if you don’t have a particular niche, you can really play up your branding and presentation to be unique. Use your personality as inspiration – and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
4) Take advantage of apps for productivity and more
Apps can be a game changer when it comes to efficiency and easing your workload. Apps can help with so many aspects of your business – from organization, to finances, to handling the minute tasks that take up your free time.
We know – there are so many apps out there! How could you know which ones are right for you? Subscribing to an email newsletter like App Sumo will give you the lowdown on top apps AND get you a hefty discount, and usually a lifetime deal so you’re not stuck paying even more monthly subscriptions (hello, Adobe, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.).
5) Maximize your shopping channels
When we think E-Commerce, we often just think of a website store.
But customers shop from all kinds of platforms beyond your website – and you can often be more easily found them. Instagram, Facebook, Google Shopping, Amazon, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Skipthedishes, even email marketing.
Be sure to write good copy on your products and be as specific as possible – the more details on a product, the better!
Advertise on these channels for free shipping, flash sales and coupon codes to drive sales to you. If your business suits it, consider contacting influencers to advertise your products.
And remember – you don’t have to be everywhere. If you’re doing well on one channel, focus your efforts there.
6) Get your financials in place – and get help when you need it
Whether you’re in the early stages of a start-up, or you’re an established business, your financials need to be in order. Working with accurate numbers is so important for success and can give you a good idea of your business’s stance.
QuickBooks Online is an incredibly powerful yet easy-to-use software that handles almost every aspect of a small to mid-sized business’s financials.
Need help getting started or migrating? We offer set-up and migration services for QuickBooks Online and hookup to your third party apps (such as Shopify, timesheet tracking, etc.).
QBO offers customizable budget and cash flow reports. But often reports can be confusing and don’t show the big picture. That’s where our advisory comes into play.
We’ll be able to look at your cash flow reporting, and make suggestions on improvements – such as changing payment terms to customers in suppliers, invoicing more frequently, automating bill payments, and more.
Contact us today to get started with better business financials.