Over the years, I’ve noticed e-commerce players go through these four distinct stages of growth.
- The Newbies – They have opened an online store but it’s not profitable. They may be brick and mortar entrepreneurs who have decided to start selling online. Or they may be 9-to-5’ers dreaming about the financially independent life. Either ways, they are still trying to crack the game of getting traffic to their stores and converting the traffic into profitable customers. Unfortunately, most people don’t make it beyond this stage.
- The Hobbyist – These are hobbyist who sell online as a side hustle. They have full-time day jobs and run their online store on nights and weekends. They have figured out how to find customers but the business is not big enough to support them full-time. Usually they sell something that they are knowledgeable or passionate about. And yes, they are profitable.
- The Sprinters – These are entrepreneurs who have figured out the ecommerce game. They know exactly how to get new customers and have a system in place to bring in a steady stream of new customers every month. They are looking to systematize their business to grow profits and to have more free time.
- The Pros – These are entrepreneurs who have not only figured out how to get new customers, but they have systems in place for customer service, for upselling, for repeat business, for shipping, etc.They have taken a step back from day to day operations, and are engaged in strategic stuff like recruiting talent, or increasing the value of the business for a potential exit in a few years, or starting another e-commerce business in a more profitable niche.
I’ve noticed that the sprinters and pros are quick to take action, even if they are unsure whether it’ll work. They believe in trying rather than being sure. They are also very customer-focused.
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