Once it pops into your brain, you’ll likely be stunned by just how simple and just how excruciatingly obvious the idea actually is — or, at least, just how obvious it should have been. The idea, in fact, probably occurs to most people — likely almost everyone — at some point, nowadays. With some, it’s a fleeting spark soon dismissed and forgotten. With others it manifests itself in a more significant and lasting way. And, with others still, the thought becomes somewhat obsessive. Of what idea do I speak? Why, this one, of course: Why don’t I just make a ridiculous amount of money for myself by opening an online store and selling stuff on the internet?
C’mon! You know you’ve thought about it. And, you’re likely the type of person who falls somewhere into the more ‘obsessive’ category regarding that thought, right? Why else would you be here, reading this very web page right now, if you weren’t? You’ve thought about making money selling stuff online, and now you’re looking into what your prospects for doing so are, are you not?
There’s good reason for this, of course. Opening up your own online store truly has become much more of a simple and easily attainable process than it ever has been before. And, the idea is an attractive one — there is a potential to earn money… even BIG money. And, you could actually earn this living for yourself right from the comfort and privacy of your very own home. Your daily job would entail various things that involved you sitting in front of your home computer… something you do anyway, right? Heck! It’s beats digging ditches for a living, or dealing with the general public all day, or sitting in a soul-draining cubicle crunching numbers, or some other such income earning task that humans were never meant to occupy their lives doing.
Yep, it’s all very attractive — the stuff dreams are made of, no? But, how do you turn those dreams into reality? It seems as though it should be a simple task. After all, there’s never been a time when more ‘turn-key’, ‘plug-and-play’, ‘set-it-and-forget-it’, (and a number of other clever catch phrases) services have been available to someone wanting to start their own online store.
I mean, there used to be a time when setting up such a business would require massive investments in time, money and effort. Not now, however. When planning to open an online store, there used to be a time when acquiring the services of tech-head programming geeks who charged exorbitant hourly fees was required in order to program a shopping cart system for your site. Now, of course, there’s no shortage of web-based companies offering plug-and-play shopping cart services you can use for your online store, and all that is required is a few seconds of mouse clicking. Successfully marketing your online store used to take real know-how and a lot of leg-work and elbow grease. Now? Spend some time calculating profit to cost ratios and just throw some money at Google Adwords— done. What about storing merchandise and taking care of shipping from your point of warehousing? There’s even companies now that will do all of that for you! Services such as Shipwire will warehouse your inventory and take care of everything that needs to be taken care of between the time a customer places an order and the time they take possession of it from the shipping agency at their own home’s front door. You don’t even need to have products to sell! There’s services that will provide you with all of the goods you could ever want to sell through your own online store… and you never even have to see or touch the products yourself.
Yes, there’s nothing for you to do except sit behind your computer, enter your credit card information here and there, click a few mouse buttons, and hit a few keys. …oh, and, of course, collect the big, fat giant checks that are soon to be flooding your mailbox.
It all seems just too good to be true, does it not? Of course, the reason it seems this way is because it is, in fact, this way. It is too good to be true. Even with all of these services in place, the vast majority of upstart online stores fail and close up shop within their first two years of operations — many within the first year. Why? Because all of these services exist to facilitate the starting of, and the operations of, an online store — but, they don’t exist to facilitate the starting of, and operations of, a SUCCESSFUL online store. That, I’m sorry to say, still requires know-how. It still requires planning. It still requires putting in hours. It still requires elbow-grease. All of these services are like puzzle pieces that one may use to begin running their own online store. And, when the puzzle is completed — the last and most crucial piece in place — the image that is revealed is that of a profitable business. But, the most important piece of that puzzle — the piece that is absolutely required for the puzzle to be complete — is YOU!
Ultimately, you’re going to be the one operating your online store. And, whether or not your online store is able to make any significant amount of profit is going to come down to your abilities. All of these services that are set-up to aid in the operations of, and the beginning and running of an online store, are merely tools available for you to use. But, like all tools, what they are able to create is entirely limited by the skills possessed by the one wielding those tools.
The fact is, if you want to start and run your own online store, you can do it — no problem. You can take advantage of all of the services mentioned above and be up and running with your own online store in no time flat, very easily. But, if you want to run your own successful online store, that’s a different matter entirely. Even with all of the wonderful services available to you today, you’re still going to need know-how, you’re still going to need to put in work, you’re still going to need to plan, and carry out those plans with wisdom, intelligence and business savvy. If you don’t, your online store will fail. That’s just reality.
Before you start in on going about opening your online store, you must — must, must, must — thoroughly educate yourself regarding everything you’re going to need in actually working your online store to a point of profitability and success. So, if you haven’t done that already, everything else should go on hold. Do that first — make sure you know the business as well as you can know it. Set your mind to developing a workable plan for your online store. If making a decent living by running an online store truly was as easy as sitting behind a computer and clicking some buttons here and there, everyone would be doing it. It’s true. And, Brother (or, Sister), everyone ain’t!