sun over sea inspiring scene for entrepreneurs

Draw power from others.Grafting away at ecommerce can be hard and lonely. I remember taping up those first order boxes at all hours of the night, just hoping for a positive review. Or having to face all my friends who said I was crazy to venture on with my idea of earning money online. When I felt like it was all seconds away from crumbling down, these seven maxims kept me going.

You have to keep hustling and working hard

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart.

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.”– Estee Lauder.

Now, Amelia Earhart was a tough cookie and a pioneer for her time (rumour has it her husband was sometimes known as “Mr Earhart”).  The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, she tragically went missing in the 1930s (more about Amelia here).

Estée Lauder was another inspirational businesswoman who launched a multimillion dollar business with her husband.

Both of their quotes are about being tenacious and working hard. Success doesn’t come overnight and it isn’t easily won. Ecommerce is a competitive and tough business, and you have to be ready to work hard.

  • Don’t give up, even if things are looking tough. Keep grafting and hustling.
  • Remind yourself what got you into the business in the first place.

You have to adapt to change

“You can only lose what you cling to.” – Buddha

Buddha is an infinite source of wisdom when it comes to letting go and adapting to change. This quote is an awesome reminder of not getting too caught up in the incidentals of the business just because you’re being stubborn and holding onto a hunch. You have to be able to react to the market and change your priorities quickly.

  • Don’t get stuck in a rut and keep plugging at things that you don’t really need.
  • React to changing data and user behaviours on your site. Don’t close your eyes from data.
  • If you find out you’re selling out of a certain product, order more and go with it.

Don’t try to control everything

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” – Thomas A. Edison

Selling online is unpredictable, and you don’t know how things are going to necessarily pan out. You can’t control everything, and failure will probably be part of your initial journey as ecommerce entrepreneur.

  • Don’t get knocked down permanently if something doesn’t quite go your way.
  • Be prepared for the unpredictable nature of selling online.

Serve people well, because people talk

“Word of mouth is the best medium of all.” –  William Bernbach

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” –  Henry Ford

Being in the ecommerce business is about being in the service business. Great customer service has absolutely got to be at the centre of what you do.  Not sure what great customer service looks like? Check out these must-have customer service skills.

  • People talk. Make sure they’re saying nice things about you by going the extra mile with your ecommerce service.
  • Go above and beyond with you deliveries and returns. It’s the one thing that makes ecommerce business ecommerce, so make sure there’s no friction there for your customers.

Selling is about attitude, so create the right environment

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.” –  W. Clement Stone

You are the in the business of selling. And selling hard. You can’t rely on the nice timbre of the sales guy’s voice or a well thought-out display to entice your prospects, your web environment is going to have to do all the hard work.

So don’t start designing and building your ecommerce store with the wrong attitude. You need to look at sales from day one.

  • Every information architecture decision you make will impact sales.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, you’ll only get distracted

“Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.” –  Richard Carlson

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with a million things on your to-do list, but it’s important to remain calm and realise what your true priorities are. Getting overwhelmed by the incidentals will only slow you down.

Build beautiful things with great design

“Good design is good business.”  – Thomas J. Watson

People don’t buy from ugly stores (unless they have to). Create beautiful and user-friendly things that people will want to return to. Your digital branding will have a big impact on how much people purchase from you, so don’t just throw up any old logo as an afterthought.

  • Avoid designs that are too loud and confusing, opting for a sleek sales machine instead. Here are some awesome ecommerce designs.
  • Balance good design with good usability and don’t slow your site down with unnecessaries.

Ecommerce is one of those amazing adventures in life that teach you a lot about yourself. But don’t get so caught up in the everyday commerce that you forget the bigger picture. What helps you stay focused and inspired?

Written by EcommerceTips
Patrick Foster, ecommerce coach & entrepreneur.