Running Own Business Takeaways

In 2OO3, it was clear to me that future marketing and business is going to be moving onto internet. At that time, e-shops were launched like mushrooms.

There were lot of challenges. You may remember internet penetration was below 30 %, shopping online was not trusted, common people feared of internet as they did of PC applications, internet was perceived a good source for grabbing information but not for any activity, etc. By the way, Facemash, a social network for Harvard University students, had yet to come a long way before it was renamed to Facebook.

I knew nothing about HTML, PHP, CSS. I had no experience with graphical desktop applications. I did not understand how website can be built. Example? At that time, I thought dark website background is not good just because black color density slowers site loading. Of course, it does not, it is just a question of choosing between these character sets: #000 or #FFF.

But I was fascinated by Internet. So I started my own e-shop. I was sooo fascinated by Internet and e-commerce, I paid just a small attention to a business plan. Just consider – I decided to run an electronic shop in a niche segment of luxury and design home accessories. All the products were premium priced and majority of products were so expensive because of design, let’s say perfect form and function, which is a product category that people require to see, touch or try. Early e-commerce was about nothing but lower price in comparison with classic retail. My virtual e-shop did not allow none of that. I would say it broke most of pre-requisities for a successful online business.

However, what seemed to be just a hobby for my evenings became soon a phenomenon in Czech home and living magazines and discussions on Internet. Why? I think the site became a window to a virtual life as well a window to a luxury life style. Simply, there was a market gap which was appealing for both early-adopters and women.

To be short, I spent next five years of my life with a niche segment e-shop called mandarinka.cz.

Five-year long self touching and teaching internet environment and e-commerce explosion brought a new horizon to my life. It was like a rebirth, only a small portion of my previous experience in market reasearch and multional company brand management could have been used. Internet and e-commerce was different in all aspects – target group, communication tools, shopping behaviour, brand building, potential customer perceptions and expectations, split of business expenses, skills requirements, etc.

WHAT I LEARNT

Running own business strenghtens your responsibility approach

Having been responsible for dozens of market research projects and nultionational brand, nothing can beat a weight of being responsible for your brand and your business. I am sure any of my future projects and consultancies will be managed with remarkably more personal approach.

Running own business makes you see complexity of enterpreneurship

Being „that marketing guy“, I had to face much more tasks from much more business angles. Though Iran very small business, you have to deal with most of those angles like any other business – ordering, invoicing, maintenance, administration, people, long-term cash-flow, suppliers, warehouse, keeping stock, etc.

Daily routine on e-shop flow gives you background

Learning internet and e-commerce from the bottom of the line, I can consider business in much wider and more thorough horizons.

Knowing source code gives you a power

I learnt basics of HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL, Adobe Photoshop. I found recently it is very helpful in cooperation with big communication players like digital advertising agencies, media and media agencies. I can be their partner now.

Internet is totally different but internet business is just like any other

Internet environment has many many special rules and is still perceived to be run by geeks and nerds, but coming to business, it is just like any other. If you want to succeed, you have to follow classical business rules, including strategy, earnings and management. In near future, internet will be a huge business having just a little room for crazy enthusiasts.

Internet, e-marketing and e-commerce will never be easy again

I ran the shop with minimum expenses, often relying on pure factor of attractiveness of new media and new shopping channel, but those times are over. For many reasons, successsful start-up launch will be as hard and expensive as opening a showroom in a shopping mall. Barriers to entry are built every minute. So do not waste your time.

Open-source community is great entrance door for newbies

I can never give back to open-source community what I was given. It is hard to believe that I learnt so much for free. And I am happy that open-source applications are able to live their life and be profitable under this pre-requisite which is a great message for any newbie planning to start e-business. My advice – use and support open-source community.

What I did well

  • What you give is what you get.
  • Try. Learn. Absorb.
  • Combine, synergize and exploit everything you know or learnt.
  • Focus just on one goal.
  • Passion and dedication move mountains.
  • Enjoy the ride!

What I did wrong

  • Do not sell rocks when you can sell mountains.
  • Do not miss right time for hiring people.
  • Do not be conservative when growing.
  • Do just what you do best. Delegate.
  • Do remember local market or national specifications.

INTERNET

I can help build your site

Still considering your website layout or functionalities? Does your website design remember stone age? Is your competition stealing potential customers from internet? Or visitors just leave your site with no action?

MARKETING

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Not sure how to increase ROI on internet? Do you need to find best digital agencies? Is your conversion rate decreasing? Do you have problems to integrate offline communication to website or online marketing?

CONSULTANCY

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To start anything might be the hardest though the easiest step. Just do the easiest one – contact me! Let’s have a chat what I can do for you.

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