This post is about Some wrong assumptions about e-Commerce .
One: Business requires huge capital. e-Commerce is no exception. Where do I get so much money?
a. It is true that business requires huge capital but there are people who are doing business with small amount. Malik Khalek, owner of the famous Keya Cosmetics started his business by selling chicken. Mr. Azad, owner of Azad products started his business by selling cards and magazines on footpath. You do not need capital, you need courage and self-confidence.
b. Anyone can be an e-Commerce entrepreneur. If you decide that you are going to sell to sell cakes from home by through facebook , OLX, Ekhnoi.com, bikroy.com, you can do it with small amount. Three thousand taka will be enough.
c. Suppose you are selling a software products through email marketing. The company would give you a commission 10000 taka for each sales. You sell only two products in. How much money you invested ? Your monthly Internet bill and phone; that is all.
Two : e-Commerce requires computer, IT knowledge, website. I have no idea about these things. I didn’t even study in Computer Science. How can I become an e-Commerce entrepreneur?
a. Every Business has small and large players. A goldsmith is doing business from his small shop near your house is a businessman and Apon Jewellers is also selling gold. All businesses has small and big entities.
b. Many people are selling thousand products every day through Facebook, Bikroy.com, Akhoni.com. Are all of them IT experts? You do not need to be an IT expert to run e-Commerce business. Facebook will suffice.
c. If you are planning to have your own e-Commerce site then you can also have it. There are many companies that provide service to e-Commerce sites. Many of the successful first generation e-Commerce entrepreneurs are not Computer science majors. All successful businessmen are not BBA or accounting students. Business is all about your idea, determination and diligence.
Three: All the content are in English- online, email, Internet English is everywhere. I am weak in English. How am I going to run my e-Commerce site?
a. If an uneducated person from Bangladesh can go abroad and can successfully handle English speaking customers then why can’t you?
b. A three-year old child has word stock up to 1500-2000. With these word he/she can express thoughts and ideas. On the contrary, an educated man in Bangladesh has more than 5000 word stocks . So, why are you afraid?
c. If your customer is a Bangladeshi or Bangla speaker then why you are so worried about English language?
d. You use 30-90 words to operate you cell phone. For smartphone this reaches to 250-300. You do not know the meaning of all these words. Yet, you can operate your phone when you understand the function. In case of operating online shop, aside from the name of your products, around 75-125 word will appear in front you frequently. So there is no need to be worried.
e. People learn language through using. You will know your words upon using them.
Four: You have to do so many things in a short time. So much hassle!!!! Buying goods, expenses, storing, showroom decoration, advertisement, attracting customers and the list goes on. After all these, there is the fear of incurring losses. This is nothing but headache?
a. Show me a line of work that is hassle-free. Today you ate rice in your lunch. How many items did you eat with the rice? The items were brought from different shops in different times and then they were cooked. The whole process is repeated daily. We only see the end result that is the food. We do not know how much labor goes behind preparing those foods.
b. It is possible to do business with less hassle. You do not need to buy and stock goods and sell them to customers. Why not do that?
c. Yet, I would suggest you take the rough road.
d. Loss is a part of business. Visualize your losses in advance and try to find out the reason behind those losses. If you incur loss then take necessary steps to cover them. If you can take the right decision in every step then you would become one of those lucky persons on earth who became successful in their first business ventures. Consider the losses as your learning curve. Be careful not to invest too much when you are uncertain about the outcome. There are many people who established their businesses by incurring losses in the beginning. This is a part of business.
Five : Starting a business from the ground is an uphill battle. You need to have trade license, TIN, VAT, trademark, company registration, office space rent, hiring employees etc. After all these you need money for your business.
Ans: You can do all the above-mentioned things to start your business or you do not do anything and simply start your business. The street-side chotpoti seller runs his business and earns money. Why can’t you run your business from home?
Six: I do not understand how can one do business online from the comfort of his house?
It is possible and again impossible at the same time. Take the house where you are currently living. The owner who built that house did not do it from the comfort of his home. He hired a property developer. Around 150 business- people were involved in the entire process- bricks, sand, cement, so on.
You can hire a third party who will do all the heavy lifting of your business such as packaging, delivery, marketing etc. You can also involve more than one person or businesses to do those jobs. Remember, you can do business from your home but you can not learn it from your house.
Yet, I am suggesting you to start your business from home. However, do not get comfortable. Visit all the places even for once and then take your decision. Solve the problems yourself. This will be more fruitful.
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