Advice from web-based businesses

Discussion in 'Website Development & Design' started by Jillybobilly, May 8, 2010.

  1. Jillybobilly

    Jillybobilly
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    Hi,
    I am in the business plan stage of starting an online baby/kids boutique out of BC, Canada and am looking for some advise from those who are selling online. Would you be willing to answer any or all of these questions? If you prefer you can email me the answers at [email protected]

    Business name:
    Based out of:
    Selling:
    Where are your customers from? (Local %, Canadian%, American %, Worldwide%)
    How many hours a week do you work? Any employees?
    How many hours a week do you spend marketing?
    Most effective methods?
    What % of sales do you spend on Marketing?
    How do you do inventory management?
    Who is your target market?
    What is the mark-up you work with?
    What months are busiest?
    How do you deal with getting rid of stock before next season?
    What level of inventory do you carry? (If uncomfortable with this)...I am thinking of keeping 5-10k in stock, does that seem reasonable?
    How many years until profitable?
    What % of items do you have to mark down? What is the schedule (Ex. 20% for a week, then 30% for a week...)
    What does your day look like (Ex emails for 1, market for 2, order for 3...)
    What are the trends in business (are you growing)?
    What was the hardest lesson you learned?
    Any advice?

    Thanks so much!

    Janet Skolka
     
  2. Kay

    Kay
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    Hi Janet, welcome to Business Advice Forum. :) I don't sell physical products online so am not the best person to answer your questions.

    Have you had much response to your questions? With all due respect, some seem to be a bit too much like asking for insider information, such as what's the markup you work with or how many years until you're profitable, and what's your markdown schedule for example.

    I wouldn't share answers to such questions with a stranger, and especially not on an open forum where both my clients and my competitors could see those answers. I know you said they can email it but still, I think you're asking some things that only should be shared with spouses, business partners and your bank manager. But that's just me. :) Others may not be as guarded as I would. I thought I'd mention it in case your response rate wasn't that grand as that could be a reason why.

    Good luck with your store! :)
     
  3. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Janet, thanks for asking your business questions. I'd agree with Kay, in that a lot of the information you are asking for is confidential in nature. You will get more helpful responses from our community if you ask for business advice, as opposed to asking people for their confidential business information.

    Good luck with everything and please do post any questions you have.
     
  4. Jillybobilly

    Jillybobilly
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    Thanks for the response.
    I know its a lot of information and I am having a hard time getting answers. I am going through a business start up grant and in order to get on they are asking me to find 10 web-based business to answer these questions. Some just skip the questions they aren't comfortable with. Which is fine.
    Hope someone can help though.
    Janet
     
  5. JuicyCafe

    JuicyCafe
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    Jillybobilly, Just to let you know I was selling on eBay for about a year now and I could say that its really hard to get customers. I just read that you would like to sell baby stuffs which I can say that you can get customers up to 10% to 30% in eBay but that is just my opinion. First of all. Customers is looking for a quality and a trusted seller which they could buy comfortably. Since you were just a *new* seller, people would doubt if you are trusted or not so my advice is to give them discounts or free (if ever) so that you could get a testimonial and feedbacks from them.

    As for your question of What % of sales do you spend on Marketing? My answer is that is *nothing* because I don't really throw some cash from my sales. I did the marketing by myself. There is a lot of website which you could use to market it like social networking sites which is for me is a good method of marketing.

    I'm sorry I couldn't answer all of your questions because I'm not a pro seller/businessman. Just sharing my experience.
     

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