Advice required for someone who will need to run online business out of necessity

14 replies
I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

I was just wondering if anybody on this forum have had to run their own online business from home due to necessity out of health or other lifestyle restriction and whether this has worked out.

10 years I was under threat of redundancy and in my spare time started running an online business selling video games. Just near to starting this I attended a free local course run by the UK government TEC that was very useful to explain finances and cash flow. A few weeks within starting my company the items was not selling that well at all. I went back to a TEC advisor and he told me very bluntly to give up the business as I could never compete with Amazon.

I was very down about it. Within a week I had a new job offer and the threat from redundancy evaporated. I sold the remaining stock and soon after wound up the business making a minor loss.

Fast forward to present day and I am thinking on running an online reselling business again due to necessity. For the last few years I have been a senior developer on one of the UKs largest consumer sites. I have picked up and learnt a lot of technologies along the way being Drupal and various other CMSs as well as other smart phone mobile development. I also know a lot SEO and performance etc.

I have however hit on bad times recently. Both me and my eldest son have been diagnosed with serious illnesses in the last 2 years and my energy to do a job and travel to office is fading. What I would like to do is for me and him to work on an online reselling business. He is studying IT at college and as stated above I am very experienced with very large and popular sites.

I may have the option coming up soon to have a payout from my company that could last me a while giving me a chance to setup a business with some back up.

However, what I would like from this forum is whether anybody has had similar experiences as me and whether they have made a good success of their business. Have you found this more stressful than a full time job or was it hard initially and now you won't look back. I need to get past the mind block I have of what that TEC advisor told me 10 years ago.

Thanks for reading and would much appreciate any replies.
#advice #business #necessity #online #required #run
  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    I suggest you read this:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...desperate.html

    Regards,
    Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    There are many who have made it but those that are successful pale in comparison to the failures... That's just how it is offline and online when it comes to running a business.
    The best advice is always to keep a paying job until you see significant returns from your new venture or you could end up like a lot of pretenders, broke and living in your Mama's basement...

    Please don't believe everything you read or hear online, for every legit story there are probably 5 that are BS...

    Good Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    What background did this advisor have? Had they run a successful business?

    A lot of these people talk well but have never run anything. And you took the opinion of a single "expert" as your only source of information and feedback?

    You didn't provide much info about your business idea. And no, you don't want to compete with Amazon. But you don't have to. Plenty of people sell things from their own storefronts online.

    "A few weeks within starting my company the items was not selling that well at all"...what does this mean, exactly? Did you have traffic? Did you know where to go to bring buyers to your site? Or were you relying on organic traffic?

    No one can diagnose without more complete information.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tim John Jr
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      What background did this advisor have? Had they run a successful business?

      A lot of these people talk well but have never run anything. And you took the opinion of a single "expert" as your only source of information and feedback?

      I think most people who are online searching for a solution rather than making solutions. More people are "wantrepreneurs" rather than entrepreneurs. These "wantrepreneurs" are super-educated, but lack in the action department.

      I found the term "wantrepreneur" from Dan Norris' book "7 day startup"

      I've been a "wantrepreneur" for years. Now I'm going from that to taking action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    On reading your original post, I had the same reaction as Jason.

    You took advice about whether to run your own online business... from someone who is working for someone else.

    His advice is probably pretty good for him, but then there is nothing entrepreneurial about his chosen employment, and since he has (presumably) chosen that career, there is probably very little about him that is entrepreneurial. What qualifies him to advise anyone in this regard???

    edit - There is an old saying that goes something like this..."Those who can, do... Those who can't, teach"
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    Coming Soon... Rapid Action Profits (Pro)

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    • Profile picture of the author jamesm74
      This person in question was a supposedly an experienced advisor of the local business hub. After you attend the days course you can return to an advisor within a period of time for a free consultation session.

      So naturally after a pilot period I returned for advice. I was going there to talk to about how to manage suppliers better and stock strategies. I was buying video games from them and selling them on my site and tried a few titles as a pilot run. However, as previously stated he advised not to compete, shut down and don't even bother registering for tax. I did actually register weeks prior to this as wanted to run this properly.

      Bad advice from a bad advisor.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by jamesm74 View Post

        This person in question was a supposedly an experienced advisor of the local business hub.
        Bad advice from a bad advisor.
        2 weeks later I spotted your old advisor. He was running an online business selling video games.

        The success rate of how this all works out for you is really not much different if you are sick or not sick. The only added edge you may have is if you really are feeling the desperation of this has to work - but that's still no guarantee.

        Plenty of people here on this forum are making plenty of money.

        Plenty of people here on this forum are making no money at all.

        Much of it has to do with how much business sense you have. Some of it has to do with what niche you go into and how well you've researched that idea.

        Determine there is a demand for what you are selling and if that demand is high enough to keep you busy and make you money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Happybidr
    jamesm,
    I get the sense that what you are looking for is not so much ideas as to what will work, but an assurance that something can work at all. So that's what I'll focus on.

    Two things: first, I, too, have chronic health issues but before that I wanted to work from home because I wanted to be there for our kids. So what I did was to focus on the skills I already had. I was very, very successful in doing that and had a long time consulting business with clients large and small, public and private sectors. It sounds like you have some skills that can open opportunities for you. Call friends you know and see if their organizations need help with particular projects. That's how I started. It sounds like you have some marketable skills in several areas so you're ahead of the game there.

    Second, what that "advisor" said. We have a saying here in the States: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So make it easier on yourself and sell your products through Amazon. They bring the traffic to you so you don't have to worry about SEO. Do it in the UK and US markets if possible, since we're much larger. Source your products through Alibaba.com, if you're going to sell your own products. Or buy locally at very low prices, and re-sell at higher prices through Amazon. The latter option will not require much up front money to pull that off, and it has lower risk in terms of losing money. But selling your own products on Amazon will be more lucrative (and easier physically, referring to having to mail things yourself) over the long term. There's lots of training around on how to do this, and I personally think selling on Amazon is a terrific option for someone with health issues.

    There's no better motivator than necessity, and it sounds like you are in the position where something MUST work, so let me assure you: IT CAN WORK FOR YOU. That guy who said that was a bureaucrat, and they are the opposite of self-employed entrepreneurs. They cannot even imagine how to compete against sites like Amazon. And yet tens of thousands of retail sites do just fine, every single day, making literally billions of dollars. Because if you think about it, since Amazon sells pretty much everything, every other ecommerce site is competing with them, too. So obviously it can be done. There's plenty of room in the entire world market for you, too. You're already ahead on two fronts: you have marketable skills and experience in those fields, and you've narrowed down your choices of what to do online to make money. I would have no problem betting that you will be successful.

    Best of luck to you and your son.
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    • Profile picture of the author jamesm74
      Happybidr

      Many thanks for your positive reply and best wishes. I hope all is good for you too.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by jamesm74 View Post


    However, what I would like from this forum is whether anybody has had similar experiences as me and whether they have made a good success of their business. Have you found this more stressful than a full time job or was it hard initially and now you won't look back. I need to get past the mind block I have of what that TEC advisor told me 10 years ago.

    Thanks for reading and would much appreciate any replies.
    Sorry to hear the dilemma of having a major illness for you and your son. That is tough to deal with and I can truly empathize.

    For me, I have found it so much less stressful than working a full time job for someone else. Some may find it hard since you have you be a self motivator. But for a lot of people this is what they thrive in


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    As for Amazon: I have been selling on and off on Amazon for over 10 years now. I can tell you that the only way to make good margins (or any at all) on Amazon is to private label your own brand of [insert today's popular item here], which takes a lot of starting capital.

    Also, with Amazon strict metrics these days and the way they harbor fraudulent buying behavior with nearly 0% seller protection, it just isn't worth it for the little guy anymore. You will eventually get defrauded out of business or your metrics will plummet (fast), leading to your suspension.

    In order to be safe and make money on AZ, you have to...

    1. Have a high margin product portfolio (very hard to do without your own private label product)
    2. Sell in high volume (so that the metrics don't bite you in the ass - the way Amazon is set up, the more you sell, the less of a problem metrics are UNLESS you sell a really terrible product or a "high risk" product that attracts a lot of fraudulent buyers...like popular electronics, in which case you're screwed from the start).
    3. Use Amazon FBA, which will help to minimize the problem of metrics in a major way (I won't get into the specifics of this, but I can say it is expensive so #1 and #2 are prerequisites...otherwise FBA is not cost effective).

    My suggestion to you is to learn all you can about Search Engine Optimization and how it applies to building and ranking affiliate mini sites (50-75 page web sites, gone are the days of mini sites being 5-10 pages lol) in moderately competitive yet profitable niches. There is a steep learning curve to this and therefore a large barrier to entry for someone who has no knowledge. But it can be done.

    There is also product creation. Create your own set of information products that you can sell via a sales funnel in a niche you have some knowledge in but that is profitable. Here, too, is a big learning curve.

    There actually are ways to make money quick online, however this involves staying current on trends and seeing "the next big thing" coming down the pike, getting on it fast, then moving on to the next. This is hard to do and is only a viable option for certain types of people who have the knack for it.

    So the short answer is, yes, it is doable. But whether it's "worth it" or not is really for you to decide.

    Anyone who tells you there is a quick way to make money online (other than being the trend-chaser I described above) is trying to sell you a worthless program or info product just to get your email address to pitch you other worthless products either of their own or through affiliate links.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eagle07
      To be an online entrepreneur, we have to think for our own and decide on our own... and if we have to accept ideas from other people concerning our business, it has to come from those people who are on the top of their game. Be ready to disregard a bad advice from good advice. In business, there are lots of ups and downs and we have to accept that as part of winning.

      I have been there in those kinds of times. You are not alone... but we got to keep moving forward and hit our goals in life through our business.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialsite
    What you have actually is the best golden opportunity a person could ever have. Your about to get a lump sum of money and have plenty of time on your hands. That is perfect for anyone wanting to work online.

    That means you can research many money making avenues, traffic methods, and etc. Plus you will have money to test different methods on making money and traffic. So I say run like hell with it. Study everyday on methods that your interested in and start applying the things you learn. Start out small and use any money you make to leverage your way into higher money. So I say start today.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      I have only deleted a lot of the excellent advice in the quotes below because I only want to comment on a couple of points.
      Originally Posted by Happybidr View Post

      jamesm,
      Source your products through Alibaba.com, if you're going to sell your own products. .
      As someone with experience in product sourcing and importing since 1987, I would say that Alibaba is definitely not the place to look. It is the biggest by far but does that make it the best?

      Here are a couple of threads that might interest those who think that Alibaba is THE place to go for product sourcing. Latest News From Alibaba China's Consumer Protection Watchdog Reports On Alibaba

      Scammers abound on Alibaba, and the verification process does nothing but establish that the business exists (at least for the time being). Gold Suppliers go through the exact same verification process, so all you know about them is that they exist and have paid some money to buy a badge that makes you think they are trustworthy and reliable, even though Alibaba specifically state on their website that it does not prove anything of the kind.
      Originally Posted by MSutton View Post

      As for Amazon: I have been selling on and off on Amazon for over 10 years now. I can tell you that the only way to make good margins (or any at all) on Amazon is to private label your own brand of [insert today's popular item here], which takes a lot of starting capital.

      In order to be safe and make money on AZ, you have to...

      1. Have a high margin product portfolio (very hard to do without your own private label product)
      I totally agree that you need a high profit margin, but some people think 30% is high, or maybe 100%, but there are posts on Warrior Forum by people who are making 300% and 500%. That's what I call a high profit margin, but when you buy direct from genuine manufacturers overseas you can make jaw dropping margins.

      I don't agree with the statement that private labeling requires a lot of starting capital. I have plenty of students who have managed to succeed with very small capital. It's slower, but can be done.

      Walter Hay.
      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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      Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND https://Labelsthatexploit.com Safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally. https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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