8. Low cost e-Commerce entry
You don't have to spend thousands to put a shop on the Net. Doing so might actually be a bad idea.
IF you still think setting up a shop on the Internet is expensive, think again. If you can put in some work on a weekend or two, a few hundred Rands will do. That's how much professional software costs which makes it point and click easy - no special skills required. Or get in a student to do the work for you for a little extra.
Unless you have money to burn, or special circumstances, that's all you should spend. The software will ensure your shop has the right look and functions to compete with the biggest stores on the Net.
Your biggest problem comes after you build the shop - it is letting other people know that you have one. So rather than spending thousands on setting up, you should concentrate on promoting your shop to your customers. Smart thinking will take your e-commerce venture far without big spending (I'll tell you some tricks later).
Consider this: two small businesses have an e-commerce budget of R2000. One spends the money on having a designer create a basic shop for him. The other spends a few hundred Rands on software, employs a student to do the work and the rest to promote the shop. Who'll do better?
The answer is obvious. Unless you tell others about your shop, you may wait forever for orders.