4 Common Challenges of Starting an Ecommerce Business


Getting an ecommerce business off the ground can be challenging. Entrepreneurs wear many hats and do a bit of everything, all while facing a roller coaster of emotions trying to earn a living. Here’s a look at some of the common challenges of starting an ecommerce business that many entrepreneurs face, plus a few ways to handle them.

1 | Controlling tight budgets

If you’ve just launched your business, odds are your capital’s invested in inventory or tied up in legal fees so it’s unlikely you have much money to play with. At this stage, it’s so important to get value out of every customer who comes to your website.

Even if you’re not generating a sale from a site visitor, you can still collect an email address. It costs nothing to email your current and potential customers, and email is a powerful channel to build relationships and grow your sales.

Once you have email addresses, you can take things a step further and build a powerful automation series that’ll save you time and effort. For example, you can create a welcome series that engages your new contacts and potential customers. This is not only a great way to welcome new customers, but it’s a great way to generate a sale from a first-time customer—all while introducing them to your brand.

2 | Managing your time

Making sure you spend your time wisely is essential if you’re an entrepreneur. One of the challenges of starting an ecommerce business is that it’s easy to lose track of time and be pulled in a million different directions—from customer service to developing a marketing strategy, running a business is an all-encompassing task. Here are a few ideas on how you can effectively manage your limited time:

  • Set goals. Creating weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals can help you make sure you’re staying on task and on pace to achieve what you want.
  • Be proactive. Instead of waiting until the last minute to plan for an upcoming event (say the Fourth of July), lockdown a plan for it months in advance so you’re not scrambling to put together a plan at the last minute. This takes time away from other tasks and it’s something you can avoid with a bit of advance planning.
  • Unplug. Having a cell phone next to you can be distracting and can lead to multi-tasking, which is unproductive. Spend a few hours each day away from your phone and other technology so you can be strategic and do impactful work.

3 | Deciding what to prioritize

Not knowing what to prioritize is tough when you’re faced with a laundry list of tasks. Is it more important to get back to an angry customer or to finish your inventory planning for the year?

Entrepreneurs constantly face these types of issues and often have to make tradeoffs on what they’ll focus on at any given point in time. Generally, it’s important to prioritize the things that will lead to growth. Put simply, growth is the secret to staying around and being a relevant brand. Any tasks you prioritize instead of growth can have a trickle-down effect and stop your business dead in its tracks. Focus on prioritizing the tasks that will put you in a position to be a successful long-term company.

4 | Growing your business

You may reach a point in time when it feels like you can’t grow your business any further. In some ways, you may feel like you’re the bottleneck because you simply don’t have time to take on more things that’ll ultimately help you grow your business.

That’s where the technology you choose comes in. For example, you can target customers who abandon their cart on your website by setting up automated messages to reach out to them after the face.

Email automations are a powerful way to help you grow your business and they don’t require a lot of upfront work or ongoing manual effort, which helps you save time and focus on other things where you can make an impact.

If you’re trying to grow you’re business and you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Entrepreneurial brands face challenges like these and many more on a daily basis. With the right technology and some strategic planning, you can continuously find ways to optimize your time and let many of your tools do the work for you.

Check out this Entrepreneur Growth Guide, which is chock full of resources designed to help you grow your business.

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