The Best Time to Start An E-commerce Business
Have you been considering starting an e-commerce business but just aren’t sure when you should take the plunge?
How about right now??
And here’s why.
Fourth quarter is the best time to start an e-commerce business.
So if you’re reading this in October or early-November, then you’re in LUCK. (take that as a sign!)
In this article, I’m going to show you the top reasons why starting an e-commerce business (think ebay, Amazon FBA, shopify, etc) at the beginning of the holiday shopping season is the best time and why you should take advantage.
And just to be clear. By “best” I mean that you will have an increase chance of success, more sales, more profits, and thus want to actually stick with it and give it a chance.
The best part of all?
This means very little risk in your investment.
Reasons why you should start your e-commerce business NOW
So, here are the top reasons why the holiday season is the best time to start an e-commerce business
1. Increased online shopping due to the holidays
This is the biggest reason that starting an e-commerce business during the 4th quarter is so profitable. There are simply more people shopping online.
Think about how busy the holidays can be.
A lot of people are not braving the swarms of people and are turning to online shopping to get their holiday gifts in.
This is where you can take advantage.
When I first started my ebay business, it was October 2015. I really wasn’t sure what to buy or if anything I bought would sell, but I remember making my first sale really quickly after that and I was hooked!
I had bought a vintage doll and sold it someone for $15 but I didn’t care. I had only spent $1 on it! That’s an amazing return on investment.
If I hadn’t started my store during that busy shopping season, it may have taken longer for my items to sell.
There are of course a number of variables that go into that, but chances are the holidays will really make your test run of an e-commerce business be more successful than other times of year.
2. Black friday and Cyber monday
To go along with the holiday shopping are two of the biggest shopping days in the United States: black friday and cyber monday.
Black friday can be a great time for you to actually get items a great price in order to sell them in your store (retail arbitrage) if you like that style of buying items. Even local thrift stores will often have specials or sales during this time.
Cyber Monday of course is mass online shopping as people scrambled to get those amazing deals. If you are selling online, then you too can benefit from this shopping frenzy.
While most think of Amazon for this, there are plenty of stores that run Cyber Monday specials and that could include you!
If you sell on Amazon FBA, this would be a HUGE sales day for you. But warning: you have to get your items into Amazon well in advance (think like a month or more) to have them be available for Cyber Monday. Plus if you are a new seller, they may restrict you during this time because they want the best customer experience and if you are new, they aren’t sure you can deliver.
The go around for this is to either have your own ecommerce site like a shopify store or to sell items on ebay.
The benefit to selling on ebay is that you can do both used and new items, so you could really take advantage here.
Another thing is that ebay isn’t going to restrict what you can sell as much as Amazon, but again, if you are new, they will restrict how much you can sell. They need to know you get how it all works before just letting new sellers loose on the platform.
Again, customer experience is everything. Even though that can feel like a pain as a new seller, we should be thankful for this practice.
If consumers hate a platform (e.g. ebay) due to tons of issues, then people won’t be coming back and you wouldn’t have this awesome opportunity to make money online. In your pjs. On the couch. Just sayin’.
3. Increased variety of products to sell
Because it’s the holidays, the types of items that you are selling increases a lot.
People are buying everything from travel gear to gifts to holiday specific items. And don’t forget about weight loss items (think the new year right around the corner) and things for planning and organizing etc.
Of course you can technically sell anything all year round, but this time of year is particularly special.
This allows you to go our sourcing (getting product) and not feel as limited or unsure.
If you see a great Christmas item in May, you might not be so sure you want to invest the $5 in it. But if it’s October with Christmas just around the corner, you are more apt to try it; and honestly, more likely to sell it faster. .
Which brings me to the next point.
4. Longtail items can sell faster
Longtail simply means items that are really unique that not too many people are searching for most of the time. Think something like a Green Jack in the Box from 1986 (made that up).
Now in this example, I’m thinking about ebay.
It would potentially take this item awhile to sell. You’d have to wait for that right buyer that wanted this particular thing to come and find your listing and buy it. And normally that means that any money you have invested in the item is held up until that buy comes along. That could be 6 months.
If you are just starting out and cash flow is limited, this can really impact what you are willing to buy or take a risk on when starting your store.
But at the holidays, this process speeds up.
People start looking for unique gifts. Things from childhood or something that really meant something to a person. Maybe Joe had one of these Jack in the box toys when he was a kid and now wants his son to have one, too. So he gets it for Christmas for his son.
I personally love selling antique and vintage items, so this aspect of the holiday shopping season is my favorite. It allows you to really be open minded about what types of items you can invest in and try out in your new store.
I hope you can see that these reasons provide pretty compelling evidence that if you started an e-commerce right now, that you just might be able to kickstart those dreams you have of working for yourself one day with an online business.
With the increase in online shoppers, cyber monday, increased product variety, and those unique items sell faster, these all point to online selling success.
If you’re not sure which e-commerce business to choose, check out more information about the different options here.
If you’re thinking of starting with ebay because it’s a low cost of entry and has very little limitations, then check out this post for tips on getting started. If you’re really ready to dive into it, I have an in-depth beginners course for starting your ebay business (just $47) that shows you everything from how to decide what will sell to listing the item to shipping it.
So give it a shot. What are you waiting for??
If you decide not to make the leap, I challenge you to ask yourself what is really holding you back. Is it money? Risk? Fear of failure?
Otherwise, I’d love to know if you decide to open a store and which platform you decide to go with. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have along the way.
If you’re ready to make next year THE year you finally make the move toward owning your own business, get started on your own online business NOW so you can start the year off with a bang and really make it happen.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have your tasks written out, you know what you need to work with.
1. First things first. Go ahead and fill in any obligations you have. That way you can see what time you have left to work with for the rest of your tasks.
2. Now, look at your to-dos from above and figure out which things you can do with kids and things that need to wait until the kids aren’t around.
This is so important.
Otherwise, you’ll face a lot of frustration and failure.
Trying to do something that requires quiet and focus while your kids are around is setting yourself up to struggle to complete that task. Instead, find a time when the kids aren’t there to do things like that.
3. Now take each task on your list and fill it into your calendar based on when the kids are there and when they aren’t.
Tip: It helps to mark each item off the list until they are all in place.
This will take some time for you to figure out which tasks need to go where.
And remember, this is not set in stone.
If you set up your schedule one way and it turns out that it doesn’t quite work out, then tweak it.
You’re the boss! It will take some trial and error to figure out the best flow for you and your business, so give yourself grace. The important thing is you are trying.
Crush your goals and move your business forward
Setting out on your own to run a business is hard enough but add being a mom and wife on to that and things can get pretty chaotic.
Having a plan and a schedule are key to making sure that you succeed in both your business and in life without losing your sanity in the process.
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to making this journey a success:
- Define your goals
- Determine all of the things that you HAVE to do in your business
- Write out all of the household tasks you have to manage
- Identify Any Obligations You Have
- Determine How Much “Kid Free” Time You Have
- Get A Planner
- Putting It All Together
I hope you found those tips helpful and practical. And remember, you’ve got this!