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How to Cut the Overheads of Your E-Commerce Start-Up
by Alastair Cameron
E-commerce businesses can experience significant success with minimal investment. However, it is important to ensure all expenditure and overheads are carefully monitored and considered – cutting unnecessary costs and saving money wherever possible.
Rather than plunging a big chunk of funds into investing in the products your e-commerce start up retails, consider the benefits of drop shipping. With drop shipping, you do not actually hold the stock but rather act as a middle man between the customer and the wholesaler/manufacturer when orders are placed. This can help you expand your product list without the risk of investing in a large quantity of items.
Many e-commerce businesses will stock their best selling products and drop ship the items which receive a lower volume of orders.
It can be tempting to try and complete all tasks yourself when starting up an e-commerce business from creating a bespoke website to designing the logo. However, these wide-ranging tasks require a varied skillset, so it can be beneficial to seek the help of experts. Rather than employing full time designers and photographers, seek out freelancers from sites such as People per Hour which house tens of thousands skilled professionals across a range of disciplines.
The Government has made a huge push in recent years to increase the number of apprenticeships in the UK, offering great incentives to employers who take on apprentices. The Government will offer grants of up to £1,500 for businesses taking on apprentices in the UK. The lower pay rate for apprentices also makes it more affordable for small businesses to attain a full-time employee, helping complete labour intensive jobs.
One of the largest overheads for many e-commerce businesses is delivery costs. Significantly cutting these costs can help increase the profit margins or help you pass savings on to customers. Rapid Parcel is the useful tool helping you determine which courier service is most suitable for your company and delivery needs – helping ensure you never pay more than necessary for a delivery.
Strive to go paper-free to cut printing and paper costs and reduce your carbon footprint – helping you decrease the overheads and environmental impact of your start-up. Using cloud storage services such as Dropbox or OneDrive can help you store and share important files, documents and information safely and securely. These free tools are a cost-effective method of streamlining the whole storage process.
Free Business Number
Rather than investing in a telephone number with digits which lend themselves perfectly to a catchy advertising jingle, find a free business number with Just 0845 Numbers. A dedicated business number can lend an extra sense of professionalism to the business and separate your e-commerce responsibilities from your personal life.
Free Market Research
Comprehensive, relevant market research can help you effectively plan every aspect of your business from the stocklist to social media marketing campaigns. It can be expensive to buy existing research, but online tools such as Survey Monkey can allow you to conduct your own marketing research absolutely free. This can help you better understand your audience and potential customers.