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    7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 6, 2012 12:43 PM by vanessa1111

    At what point does online retail become profitable?

    dreams2reality Adventurer

      I have an online clothing retail store in the works at the moment. I am not taking any loans to begin with. Its pretty just my own cash and some family and freinds investing in me as of now. My plan is to have a supply of items built up before I start puting anything up for sale. and restock as needing according to demand.

       

       

      Of course popularity in my site and gaining customers depends on this. But I am really confident in my social and  amateur marketing skills. My investors, if thats what I should call them, are aware that this is a gamble. That I cannot promise them their money back in the immediate future. That if all else fails I will at least not have a loan to pay back. If nessesary I will just liquidate my inventory to repay them.

       

      But from anyone with experience in close to the same buisness. How long was it before you felt as if your effort was paying you back?

        • Re: At what point does online retail become profitable?
          LUCKIEST Guide

          So you want to have an online store.

          There is one key to business success. YOU

          You need a business plan, The bus plan is your road map to success.

          Your investors believe in you.

           

          Good luck, LUCKIEST

          • Re: At what point does online retail become profitable?
            UncleLeon Scout

            All-riighty, then.  Please allow me to add a few thoughts.  It may sound as though I'm "beatng you up"; but I'm not, really.  I really do want what I say to be productive for you.  Here goes:

             

            First,you should have answered your first question (at least tentatively) before beginning..  When will you become profitable?   The recommendation to request help from SCORE was an excellent one.  - Especially for this question.  A SCORE counselor can help you create a chart explaining, - - considering your cost of goods sold, gross profit on sales, and overhead expense, Exactly what volume of business  is necessary to enter into "Positive cash Flow" territory.

             

            I assure you that Luckiest was not just 'idly preaching" when he suggested the "Business Plan".  Here's why the Business Plan is such a great benefit (even if you never plan to apply for a loan)

             

            First, It forces you to THINK.  It forces you to consider things in detail, that you probably have been "shooting from the hip".   It not only contains what your prospective business is, and who the principal operators are.  - That's just a formal beginning.  More importantly, it contains two very important plans within the Business Plan.

             

            The first is a "Marketing Plan" identifying who you are compared to the other similar businesses and products that will be you're competition.  It, very coldly, asks you to identify your "Unique Selling Propositions" relative to your competition.  The bottom line of the marketing plan is simply: "Why should anyone buy your product of service?"  It's one thing to say "We're better." But something else, entirely to get customers in your door.  Keep in mind that it makes no difference whatsoever whether you're better, cheaper, prettier, etc.  What really matters are two things. One: Do your potential customers THINK that you're better, cheaper, prettier, etc.  And the Second is:  How are you going to get the information to your potential customers that you're better, cheaper, prettier, etc.  (Marketing)

             

            The second important plan contained in the business plan is the Financial Plan.  This helps you project your

            start-up expenses and your continuing monthly expenses over the first two years.

             

            Often, a business plan will "slap the prospective business person in the face", bring them sharply into reality, and cause them to forget the whole thing.  If that happens, the business plan will have served it's purpose and saved someone valuable time and sometimes a great deal of money.

             

            I've taken a great deal of time to write this.  I hope it's some benefit for you.

              • Re: At what point does online retail become profitable?
                dreams2reality Adventurer

                Uncleleon,  Thank you for your input. I didn't mean for my comment to Luckiest to sound derogatory. I was just acknowledging the fact that he recommends the business plan often and that is why I wanted to use it.

                And yes I am using the bus plan for these reasons. I am going through and taking notes on things that I need to look at more in depth. I am weighing the pros and cons of it all.

                 

                I  appreciate it very much that you took the time to write this for me. That is what the forum is all about.

                 

                (I have no idea why the font size is larger at the top of this post O_o)

              • Re: At what point does online retail become profitable?
                vanessa1111 Wayfarer

                I think, you need get good price for your business, then it brings good profits to you. Go find trust suppliers.