This week, I welcomed on a number of new clients for Business 2iC who are launching an eCommerce business.

One conversation, in particular, had me thinking a lot about the mistakes we all make in launching and building our first eCommerce business.

The mistake –

You are hiring in verticals, without knowing what you need, how deep you need it done and for what result.

Let me explain.

My potential client came to me. She was launching an eCommerce business and in the process of hiring a logo designer, a brand strategist, a website designer, a photographer and a videographer for her new eCommerce business.

Her total quote of work was upwards of $50,000.

She was, understandably, a little blown away by the cost but she was also willing to pay it if it meant her eCommerce business would launch successfully.

What she didn’t understand was that not only was she not the best person to make those hires, but she wasn’t the best person to create the strategies to drive the execution of the project to drive the results she was looking for.

And how could she be? She’s never done this before.

That’s precisely the problem.

If you’re starting an eCommerce business as a professional, I’m going to assume that a) you have some capital to throw in and b) you want the business to be successful, so you’re willing to invest into what you know you need to do that.

  • An in-depth brand strategy
  • A good-looking logo
  • A comprehensive visual identity
  • Some tone guidelines
  • A great website
  • Enough great photography
  • Some videos which will sell your product

And you’re bang-on the mark. You DO need those to launch impactfully.

But having never done this before, you will find you run into some huge problems.

Here’s what will happen as you hire for launching an eCommerce business

  1. You’ll be quoted to the hilt because each professional is looking to do the best and deepest work they can possibly do in each vertical, without thinking of your business as a product that needs to have cycles of iteration and improvement (this is critical in early-stage eCommerce businesses).
  2. You’ll not really know what you’re getting and if you need it, so you’ll say yes to everything and walk out of each project with something that’s awesome, but no clear tangible path forward from each.
  3. You’ll hire creative based on what you think you need (a website to display and sell your products), rather than what you actually need (a website that works for your chosen acquisition channels and is optimised for conversion).
  4. You’ll make the wrong hires. This always happens at the start of any business journey, because you don’t know what you don’t know.
  5. You’ll get to the end of this phase and launch your products with very little sizzle, because you’ve invested tonnes of capital into the preparation of launch and none on the launch itself.
  6. You’ll work with people who don’t understand running a many-moving-parts business like eCommerce nor will they understand what you need to be thinking of as you come into launching and building your eCommerce business.

This is precisely the reason why I launched the Business 2iC Launch Accelerator Program.

Because I could see smart, savvy and successful professionals bringing amazing products to market and making huge mistakes along the way.

You might be thinking –

But I’ll just hire eCommerce specialised professionals to help me with each component.

Great idea. Not so great in reality.

Let me break down why that’s also a mistake.

Why hiring eCommerce specialised professionals as a first-time eCommerce Founder is a mistake

Okay, this part is going to blow your mind because we’re about to pull back the curtains on how little you know. Never have we seen any eCommerce blog, agency or professional reveal this type of information to customers before.

Let’s do this.

Yes, a specialised eCommerce website designer will give you a great website designed to convert.

But will they work with you to on the Go To Market plan and Digital Strategy, which will identify which channels are best and what content they need, so that when you send potential customers to it, the website is designed to convert based on the content, platform and persona you’re sending there?

Yes, a specialised eCommerce brand strategist will give you a great brand strategy, visual identity and tone guidelines.

But will they carry that through on the creative that we need to scale your business and will they understand that story, brand and to be completely honest, fluff, often doesn’t sell in most paid advertising formats? And will they know that whatever they create in the brand strategy has to be relevant and useable in digital, retail and print?

Will they recognise that eCommerce company ethos is granular and execution-based, where what you say is the company’s values also has to be executed right down to the way you answer customer’s emails? Will they help you do that? Would they understand how to help you do that?

Yes, a specialised eCommerce marketer will help you develop a great digital strategy.

But will they do that in parallel to your website being developed so that the website supports marketing and advertising? And will they be involved in the creation of your creative assets (photography and videography) so that whatever is created for your website is also relevant and likely to convert for social media marketing and paid advertising?

The answer to all of these questions is no.

Because how could they? They are specialists in x, y and z – not building successful eCommerce businesses.

Are you launching or have already launched an eCommerce business and you need help?

If you don’t have the background in eCommerce, then these (plus quite a few more) are the mistakes that you will likely make.

These are the mistakes that I want to help you avoid making.

But I can only do that if you reach out and ask for help. If you don’t, I don’t even know what you’re working on or what you’re going through.

That sucks, because not only am I hugely passionate about eCommerce as a whole, I’m passionate about helping eCommerce founders build successful eCommerce businesses.

So please, give yourself the chance to do that and get on a phone call with me. Because I can absolutely help you and I want with my whole heart to do that.