Ask Dan : how to keep business growing

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Ask DanSean asked: “With bricks and mortar businesses there is a recognized time when the business will peak and unless either change of direction or additional outlets are added trade is likely to decline. In our experience this happens on the third to fifth year of trading. My question is does this happen with e commerce and in particular eBay businesses, and is there any suggestions to keep growth going, i.e open another eBay shop or website?”

Dan says: One of the brilliant things about trading online and the internet in general is that we can chuck out all those old business orthodoxies. Like reaching a peak in 3-5 years or that it’s normal not to turn a profit until year 4 of operation or whatever. Online you can set up, sell and profit in days rather that months or years.

If you’re not flexing, changing and adapting on eBay you won’t last long, let alone 3-5 years before hitting your stride. You actually need to be constantly reassessing and planning your next moves and having new ideas from day one. If you do keep on top of your business I see no reason why on eBay you shouldn’t hit a peak and keep that going for as long as you want. The difficulty, if I’m honest, is finding the additional opportunities for growth once you’re at your peak.

On eBay, I reckon that sellers don’t find additional growth for two reasons. Firstly, an unwillingness to change is the most worrying and prevalent attitude amongst eBay sellers and there’s frankly not a lot than can be done about that.

The other barrier is inefficiency. Many eBay sellers hit the wall because their working methods are not making them as efficient as they can be. It can be a case of reorganising your workspace, reviewing your work practices or just being more disciplined. Ditching bad habits, such as checking your auctions every two minutes, could save you hours every week.

If you’re efficient and willing to adapt, there are a wealth of opportunities. I think that every serious eBay seller should be setting up a mailing list, building a website, branching out into new lines and exploring other sales channels and sites to find the growth. In fact, I firmly believe that the demand is there if a seller has the products and the willingness to pursue the opportunity.

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3 Responses

  1. Dan says: Ditching bad habits, such as checking your auctions every two minutes, could save you hours every week.

    Oh Dan, have you been watching me all this time??????

  2. Ha. Well, some people do pend a lot of time hunched over My Messages, refreshing My eBay every minute etc etc.

    Once an hour will suffice. ;O)

  3. I totally agree with Dan on this point. I think that a lot of eBay seller really hold themselves back

    a. Because they do not branch other to other channels and consider the whole ecommerce picture

    b. Because they do no invest in the tools which can take their businesses to the next level because. I think that there are two reasons for this. Firstly when eBay sales reach a certain level, they are running round so frantically that they do not have time to take a step back and think strategically, and secondly because the kind of tools which will help (marketworks, channeladvisor, eSellerPro) have the audicity to charge money for their service, typically a % of sales. This really puts off sellers.

    The time that sellers are spending doing tasks which could easily be automated, is time that they could be using to expand their businesses.



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