A few months ago for the Hawke Talk podcast, Erik Huberman was speaking to entrepreneur Marc Randolph about the foundation and small beginnings of Netflix. At one point (about 36 minutes in, if you want to skip ahead), Marc talked about how long it took to develop the framework for the original Netflix website. He joked that what they spend countless hours (and lots of money) on just takes a $20 a month Squarespace subscription nowadays. This got us considering how it’s the best time to start a small business.
It’s easier to become an entrepreneur now than it ever has been before. It’s more than just the modern simplicity of website development that makes starting an online business compelling. Here are the top reasons why launching an e-commerce venture in 2023 is an excellent idea:
1. Record-low start-up costs
One major advantage to starting an ecommerce business is the relatively low initial investment required. This is the kind of stuff Marc Randolph was noting.
With affordable website-building platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Wix, it’s easier than ever to create a professional-looking online store without breaking the bank. Many ecommerce businesses can launch with minimal inventory, reducing the need for significant upfront capital.
Moreover, digital marketing tools such as social media advertising, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) provide cost-effective ways to promote your online store. These tactics allow you to reach a large audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.
2. Unlimited marketplaces
The modern internet landscape offers a vast array of marketplaces where ecomm entrepreneurs can sell their products or services. In addition to having your website, you can expand your reach by selling on popular platforms like Etsy, Amazon Storefronts, Facebook Marketplace, and Instagram Shopping. These marketplaces provide increased visibility and access to millions of potential customers, helping SBOs grow their customer base and boost sales.
3. Remote work benefits
Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering several benefits for e-commerce entrepreneurs. Working from home makes most workers more productive. The remote location provides increased flexibility, allowing you to manage your business around your schedule and personal commitments. This flexibility can lead to higher productivity and reduced stress levels, contributing to the overall success of your e-commerce venture.
Furthermore, remote work eliminates the need for physical office space, reducing overhead costs and allowing small business owners to invest more in marketing and inventory.
4. Financial stability and diversification
Starting an ecommerce business can provide a stable income source, helping you diversify your earnings and reduce dependence on traditional employment. By diversifying your income sources, you can create a financial safety net that can help you weather economic downturns and protect your financial well-being.
5. No marketing expertise is required
While having a background in marketing can be beneficial, it’s not a prerequisite for starting a successful ecommerce business. Here at Hawke Media, we offer services for every digital marketing need (plus some physical marketing, as well) with flexible contracts tailored to your goals.
By outsourcing your marketing efforts, you can focus on other aspects of your business, such as product development and customer service, while still benefiting from CMO-level marketing strategies.
6. Easy access to vendors and partners
Running an ecommerce business often requires working with various vendors and partners, such as shipping carriers, payment processors, and manufacturers. Hawke’s Partner Network connects you with trusted providers, making it easier than ever to find the right partners for your business needs.
These networks not only save time and effort but also ensure that you’re working with reputable companies that can help you scale your business efficiently.
7. AI assistance
If there’s an entrepreneurial skill in which you feel insufficient, AI will help you make up the difference.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant advancements in recent years, offering numerous benefits to e-commerce entrepreneurs. AI technologies can optimize product descriptions, streamline grant applications, and enhance paid ad targeting, giving your business a competitive edge.
Additionally, chatbots can handle routine customer inquiries, freeing up your time to focus on more strategic tasks. By leveraging AI tools, you can improve your overall business operations and enhance the customer experience.
8. Government support
The U.S. government recognizes the importance of small businesses and offers various grants, loans, and other measures to provide financial support. These programs can help SBOs fund their ecommerce venture, purchase inventory, or invest in marketing efforts.
Owning a business can offer significant tax advantages, enabling entrepreneurs to save money and invest in growth. Some common tax deductions for ecommerce businesses include home office expenses, advertising costs, and inventory purchases. Consult a tax professional to understand the specific tax benefits available to your business and ensure you’re maximizing your savings.
9. Future passive income
Don’t wait till retirement or some other date when you’ll “have time” to start a business. Start it now so that when those moments come up in life, you have disposable income.
Starting your ecommerce business now sets the foundation for potential passive income in the future. As your business grows and becomes more established, you may be able to automate various aspects of your operations, such as order fulfilment and customer service. This automation can free up your time and generate consistent revenue with minimal effort, providing you with passive income and financial freedom.
10. Stay ahead of the curve
The digital landscape is continually evolving, and waiting to start your e-commerce business risks being left behind as industries rapidly change. By launching your venture promptly, you can stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on new trends and technologies as they emerge.
When Marc Randolph started Netflix in 1997 (the first DVD went out in 1998), they were already eyeing the possibility of a streaming-first future. But they couldn’t have evolved into that without the foundation they laid with physical media. If Netflix had waited and only jumped in the game after the streaming wars had begun, it would have been eaten alive.
Start NOW to build the foundation you need for the future.
Doesn’t Mean It’s Going to Be Easy
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying it’s easy to start a business. And we acknowledge that an MBA would be really helpful in this endeavour. But the fact remains even without those things, it’s easier than it ever has been. If you have an idea you believe in, now is the time to pursue it.
There’s no better time than 2023 to start your e-commerce business. Embrace the available resources, technologies, and support systems to turn your entrepreneurial vision into a reality, and secure a successful future for yourself. The opportunities are endless, and with determination and the right strategies, you can create a thriving online business that stands the test of time.