People too frequently forget that starting a business venture from scratch is no simple undertaking. That has never been more true. There are countless variables to carefully weigh and prioritize, despite the rapidly changing landscape. Successfully navigating the risky global marketplace demands an exceptional mindset. Forbes contributor, Linda Peia, emphasized as much while highlighting precisely how entrepreneurs cope with uncertainty. “Our brains are wired to seek certainty and avoid uncertainty,” wrote Peia. “And yet, to be an entrepreneur requires going all the against that.” She revealed through a series of industry interviews that seasoned entrepreneurs are, in fact, compelled by very different rationales.
The aspirational mission is sometimes the motivating factor, but not always. Some entrepreneurs actively seek out the uncertainty because it’s considered exhilarating, whereas others develop resilience out of pragmatic necessity. The specifics appear to matter less than expected. The ability to cultivate a positive outlook does matter. It stands to reason, then, that veteran entrepreneurs have devoted serious thought to their possible endeavors. The cognitive work that unfolds behind the scenes is, of course, only half the puzzle to building a business. Applying sound discretion is the other half and can be equally, if not more, difficult than preparing an appropriate mindset.
Unfortunately, far too many individuals do not recognize the inherent link between having an appropriate mindset and making the right business decisions. Those that underestimate or neglect the connection run the risk of making avoidable miscalculations. Paula Andress at Entrepreneur made a point to promote ten pitfalls that perpetually plague startups. “Mentors, venture capitalists, and serial entrepreneurs all say they routinely see others fall prey to a common set of mistakes,” according to Andress. Illustrative examples included everything from inadequate delegation to ignoring data and scaling irresponsibly to confusing a product with a business. Almost all of them can be prevented by ample assessment combined with prudent planning.
There are abundant opportunities for startups and small businesses thanks to technology enablement. Ecommerce is clearly one such case and industry professionals have long since realized it. Tim Chang at VentureBeat shared the same sentiment while describing how startups can win against Amazon. That probably sounds unrealistic to outsiders but his explanation was superb. “Amazon wins when you already know the specific SKU you want to buy,” reiterated Chang. “But half the shopping experience happens when you don’t know what you want.” In other words, while Amazon and similarly large brands might offer reliable predictability, they rarely offer value in terms of novelty and discovery.
Startups and small businesses that depend on ecommerce have access to more benefits. Everything from order processing and fulfillment to warehousing and product shipping has been made more manageable by different industry advances. Some fledgling upstarts are better positioned than others to adapt to technology, but none of them have to do it alone. There’s no shortage of specialized groups that focus on helping businesses maximize the value of their technology investments. Tapping into ecommerce accounting services is one proven way to leverage existing assets with outside expertise.
Tim Chang is just one of many professionals who frequently champions ecommerce on behalf of the business world. Sunny Dhillon at TechCrunch is another industry insider with a thoughtful perspective on ecommerce. He is a seasoned investor who deliberately searches for investment opportunities that can rely heavily on ecommerce. Why? “For one, ecommerce margins are better,” stressed Dhillon. “But it also offers the potential for scale that retail simply can’t match.” None of this means that ecommerce doesn’t have its own obstacles to overcome, but suffice it to say that it is definitely a worthwhile pursuit.
We could probably chalk up building a business to a mix of art and science. The former translates into the different positive mindsets discussed early on whereas the latter often involves decision-making with tools and data. Ecommerce might have been the main focus for this article, but there are, in fact, numerous technologies that startups and small businesses could explore.