Setting up an e-commerce business from home can be an ideal solution for mums looking to juggle family responsibilities and progress their career. However, for the first-time business owner there are often unforeseen overheads which can seriously impact upon your profitability.
Here are 5 money-saving tips to help you improve profit margins and increase your e-commerce performance.
Employ Freelance Experts
Starting an e-commerce business requires a lot of different skills. From choosing a brand name to designing a logo to building a website, there are a number of important tasks which need addressing. For these tasks affordable freelancers can be sought. People Per Hour is a portal with tens of thousands of skilled freelancers available to complete the necessary jobs for your business, so you can concentrate on the company’s main objective.
Take on an Apprentice
If your business requires an extra pair of hands throughout the week, apprenticeship schemes are an affordable option for doubling your workforce. Apprentice wages start at £2.68 per hour for 16-18 year olds so you could be able to take on an apprentice for 37.5 hours a week for just over £100. The Government Apprentice Scheme also rewards applicable employers with £1,500 grants for taking on apprentices. This can help cover the apprentice’s wages for the first 15 weeks whilst they get to grips with their responsibilities.
Cut Down on Delivery Costs
One of the biggest overheads for many e-commerce businesses is postage and delivery. Whether you are selling small knick-knacks or larger items, the cost of sending these by reliable courier can soon mount up. Therefore it is important to choose the most cost-effective courier service. Rapid Parcel is a courier comparison service, which allows you to enter the details of your package and choose the most affordable courier, saving you money with every delivery.
Be your Own Marketing and Customer Service Team
Social media and instant messenger services have made it easier than ever for businesses to communicate directly with their customers and vice versa. Staying active on Twitter can help provide your business with free marketing. Search for terms related to your business and piggyback on conversations to achieve free exposure to relevant parties and potential customers. Provide a Skype contact on business cards so customers can talk to you directly and feel as though they are receiving a more personal service.
Be Creative with Meeting Spaces
If the central hub of your business is based in your home, setting up meetings with potential clients and partners may be a little daunting. You may be reluctant to invite them to your house for fear of appearing unprofessional. But at the other end of the scale, hiring a meeting room for just an hour can be very expensive. Avoid these issues by finding a local public space which best suits the image of the business you are trying to portray. If your business sells artisan foods, then a quaint independent coffee shop may be the best place to meet with potential clients and partners.