How to Start a Successful Online Retail Business

Tip to have successful online retail business

Starting a successful online retail business is a lucrative and interesting way to become an entrepreneur. However, you must be aware about certain things which are vital for the sustenance of your business idea. For example, you will require the necessary business licenses to start operations. So, check with your local, state, and federal authorities regarding the same. You will have to create a thorough business plan which will give a definite structure and flow to your idea. You should be completely aware about the costs of starting an online retail business before you kick-start your venture.

Firstly, starting an online business can be cost-effective as compared to starting a full-fledged retail store. However, it will require some serious investment in website development, marketing, advertising, product acquisition, logistics, manpower, etc. It is important that you choose and register a catchy business name and a URL of the same name so that customers will be able to identify your business easily. You must conduct a thorough market research to invest in a profitable product category. If you want to know more about how to start a successful online retail business, read the following points.

Decide the Product/s

» There are several products or services which you can choose from in order to start an online retail business. If you intend to sell products, you can offer clothes, accessories, shoes, digital devices, appliances, books, home decor items, etc.

» You can also offer music or e-books download in various formats which are compatible with specific devices. If you choose to go with the latter, you will require special legal sanctions so that you do not infringe any DRM laws and regulations. Conducting an in-depth market research will help you understand your target market and

List of Different Types of Management Styles

Different types of management styles

Through the years, economists and business gurus have fostered and developed several management styles, each surfacing from a different school of thought. However, they all have the same bottom line – profit. They may follow different routes, but are headed to the same destination – good business! Different “styles” are also propounded with reference to the leadership style that a manager follows. Styles of management have seen an evolution of sorts due to the dynamism of the corporate world as an entity.
Types of Management Styles
Taylorism (Scientific Management)
This is one of the earliest management styles. Propounded and developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1900, the concept of Scientific Management is also known as “Taylorism.” This method believed in the concept of “One Best Way”, to perform a certain task.
In general, Taylorism believed in the following principles:

Decision-making should be under the purview of the management. This ensures that emotions are not the governing factor for a business. More so, decision-making is more professional in the hands of managers because they can be unbiased and have a scientific approach towards management.
Developing a standard method to perform each job. This helps in having uniformity in the production. Standard methods speed up the production process and create an environment of expertise.
Selecting workers with appropriate abilities for each job to create an environment of excellence and complete understanding of the task.
Workers to be trained on the standard methods that were previously developed and fine-tuned.
Providing complete support to employees so that they can plan their work and eliminate interruptions.
In case of increased output by a certain employee, he/she is rewarded with a wage incentive, or bonus.

Fayolism (Process Approach)
The process approach was propounded by Henri Fayol in the

How to Set Up an Online Bookstore

Tip to set up an online bookstore

If you are planning to start the next Amazon.com for books, you should conduct a thorough business viability research and have a business plan in place, which will help you plan your business strategies. Today, Internet-savvy readers prefer to ditch the queue and time involved in getting to a bookstore. Instead, they shop for books at the click of a button from the very comfort of their homes. Apart from actual books, many people today own devices like iPads, tablets, Kindle, e-book readers, mobile phones, etc., which read e-books in various formats. However, paper books have a huge fan following. Hence, e-books will not replace their popularity among the readers. So, if you are planning to set up your own online bookstore, which offers electronic as well as paper books, it can turn out to be a very lucrative venture. However, you should know how to conduct the business properly in order to make it successful. Here are few tips that will aid you in this regard.

Website to Sell Books

You have an option of either paying for your domain name and starting your own website, or having an account on websites like eBay and Amazon that host accounts of booksellers. While going for well-known websites like eBay and Amazon is cost-effective, they may not deliver books all over the world. However, you will certainly save on a lot of cost if you opt for this option.

If you plan to develop your own website, remember the following:

✦ Have a trendy domain name based on your business name.
✦ Have it search engine optimized.
✦ Give it an interactive and user-friendly interface.
✦ List it on various directories.

Tip: If you are a small business, opt for selling books through other

Basic Business Management Skills

Basic skills in business management

The verb manage comes from the Italian word maneggiare which means handling (especially a horse), which is derived from the Latin word manus meaning hand. In the 17th and 18th centuries, meaning of the English word management evolved from the Old French word mesnage.
“Management is the art of getting things done through people,” says management consultant Mary Parker Follett. People are perhaps the most valuable resource of a business. But there are others, like financial resources, infrastructural resources, inventory, and technology, whose optimum use is essential for effective business management. According to Peter Drucker, “Managers give direction to their organizations, provide leadership, and decide how to use organizational resources to accomplish goals.”
Management skills are classified as political (used in building power and business networking), conceptual (used in analysis of situations), diagnostic (used in taking an action in response to a situation), technical (domain knowledge), and interpersonal (people skills).
Management quote by Peter Drucker
Frenchman Henri Fayol describes management as a composition of five functions, namely planning, organizing, commanding, coordination, and control. Modern texts have reduced them to four, which include, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

Planning
Planning involves identification of your business goal and finding the way to reach it. It involves the estimation of various costs that will be incurred and evaluation of the time required to attain the business goal. A business plan has to be documented and reviewed on a regular basis. A plan is worth it if the attainment of the business goal is feasible with the allocated resources.
Organizing
It involves the assignment of tasks and allocation of resources throughout the business organization. It includes determining the primary goals of the business and strategies to reach them. It includes division of activities into tasks

Advantages and Disadvantages of E-business

Pros and cons of e-business

E-business is a monolithic term encompassing the various business processes that aim to integrate the vendors or traders with the consumers and suppliers using the Internet. The entire process of setting up a website, helping the prospective customers navigate through the website, showing them the available products, offering discounts and vouchers and doing everything possible to woo the prospective clients and converting them into customers, comes under the purview of e-business.
E-commerce, on the other hand, is a subset of e-business and refers to online transactions that can be accounted for in monetary terms. For instance, accepting credit card payment for products sold to consumers or making payments for shopping online are examples of e-commerce. In other words, e-commerce refers to the last stage of e-business, which involves collecting payments for the goods sold by the business firm.
Advantages
Worldwide Presence
This is the biggest advantage of conducting business online. A firm engaging in e-business can have a nationwide or a worldwide presence. IBM was one of the first companies to use the term e-business to refer to servicing customers and collaborating with business partners from all over the world. Dell Inc., too, had a flourishing business selling PCs throughout the U.S., only via telephone and the Internet till the year 2007.
Amazon.com is another success story that helps people buy internationally from third parties. Hence, worldwide presence is ensured, if companies rethink their business with regard to the Internet.
Cost-effective Marketing and Promotions
Using the web to market products guarantees worldwide reach at a nominal price. Advertising techniques, like pay per click advertising, ensure that the advertiser only pays for the advertisements that are actually viewed.
Affiliate marketing — where customers are directed to a business portal because of the efforts of

Choosing the Right Software for Your Business

Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding an existing one, the software you use can make things much easier – or much more complicated. There are about a zillion different programs of varying function and capability, ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars – but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily go for the most expensive one you can afford.

Cost is always a factor in business management (though it may not be the leading factor), so the goal is to find software that does everything you need it to do without paying for bells and whistles or functions that don’t apply to your business.

Before you even start looking at individual programs, carefully evaluate your needs – then simply find the program that fits them (don’t ever alter your needs to suit the software).

Business Type

If all you need is general accounting, your business type doesn’t matter much when it comes to software. Heck, you could take care of that yourself with a well-designed spreadsheet on your existing software. More specialized programs, however, are designed with certain businesses in mind.
Restaurants may want a program that also handles recipe cost and allows front-of-house to back-of-house communication. Medical offices may need something that integrates insurance coding. Manufacturers could use materials tracking and supply chain info, while service-based businesses may prefer a task-timing option.

Business Size

There is software out there that will all but run your business for you – but they may cost several times the total value of your business itself. You don’t need an M.B.A. to recognize that as a bad investment. Chances are, that mega-software has entire areas of function that you just wouldn’t use.

The right software investment is one that doesn’t require a tremendous loan, and

How to Set Up an Online Furniture Store

Tip to set up an online furniture store

Tip
While a customer is about to checkout, offer him/her more products, tagging them as “people who bought this also liked”. This technique often works, and lures the customer to shop for more.
Selling furniture online has become a lucrative business as more and more customers are preferring to shop from the comfort of their home. There are many websites which offer competitive prices for the same brands of furniture. If you too want to capitalize on this business, you will have to first complete certain registration and licensing formalities. Ensure that you have a business name that would seem easy for customers to remember. Also, you will have to source initial funds for the business.

These days, resorting to crowd funding for any online business venture is fast gaining in popularity. You will also have to prepare a business plan which will help you take the right decisions. However, in order to be successful in this business, you must know exactly how to initiate it. Hence, if you are planning to open an online furniture store, we will tell you how to go about setting it up.

Decide Furniture
Since there are numerous types of furniture in the market, you will have to decide the type of furniture you plan to sell. Apart from this, you will also have to decide if you intend to sell used or new furniture. There are online sellers who even auction antique and vintage furniture. Also, there are too many different pieces of furniture like couch, table, chair, shelf, recliners, bar stools, beds, bean bags, etc. While it is recommended that you concentrate on one type of furniture initially, you will still have to order separate pieces. For example, if you want

Worst Business Decisions of All Time

The American corporate culture has helped sell millions of copies of press due to their irrational decision-making. Well, it is hard to believe that just one bad decision, or underestimating a single brilliant individual, can actually turn out to be the last mistake of a billion-dollar conglomerate.

However, that is not the case in every situation, and not all bad decisions have affected companies drastically. Take the case of General Motors or GM. The company made several mistakes since it was formed, but none of them were as harmful as the idea of manufacturing large vehicles at a time when hatchbacks were trending. This, and many more silly decisions, led to the fall of GM during the recent financial crisis. Though GM was saved by a government bailout, not every company has a happy tale to tell.

This article just doesn’t talk about big conglomerates and the mistakes that led to their downfall, it talks about some of the biggest bad business decisions made by individuals that altered their road to greatness forever.

Lehman Brothers

Who can forget what Lehman Brothers did? They took full advantage of the real estate market boom by maximizing the amount they borrowed to purchase more mortgage-backed securities and real estate. By 2007, their leverage ratio was 31-to-1, in simple words, they were borrowing $31 for every $1 in equity. This risky move proved highly successful for Lehman Brothers, and earned them billions.

However, the party was short-lived as real estate prices dropped significantly. The firm ran from pillar to post, but was unsuccessful in unloading those assets onto the market, as the real estate market crashed. Other financial institutions like Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley saved their heads by becoming bank holding companies, which made them eligible for government bailouts. Help did

How to Establish Business Credit?

With the rapid change in the financial world, everything related to finance is changing, whether it is credit facilities or investments. Steps are being taken to make everything simple, convenient, and fast. There is a consensus among financiers that businesses have different financial requirements, and there is a need to resolve them. One such step taken by these, which may help businesses, small or big, is to establish business credit. This is an option which you can avail of, where financial institutions provide loans, without needing the credit rating or the personal assets of the owner as security. And, most importantly, the organizations of every size and age can avail of it, whether it’s old or new, big or small. Whether you need finance for setting up or expanding the business, purchasing material or equipment, or advertising, this facility is always there for you.

Steps

There are various steps involved in establishing it. The first point that you should remember is to ensure strong fundamentals of your business. Moreover, you should also take care to see to it that you meet the requirements of financiers. Ensuring this would make listing of your business with commercial credit reporting agencies easier.

The next step is to develop a connection with suppliers and vendors. These suppliers and vendors should be such that they not just extend credit payments, but most importantly, report the history of your payments to the respective agencies. You need to have the backing of at least five such vendors, and they should not tie your personal guarantee or social security number while giving you such credit.

Obtaining credit cards for the same is the next step. You should get three such cards, but make sure that they are not connected to your personal credit. Moreover, you should

How to Develop a Business Plan

Developing a business plan is not exactly an easy proposition, as there are innumerable things involved in it, from the very basic to the extremely complicated and tedious aspects. Basically, while creating such a plan, you should include an executive summary involving:

A brief description of the history of the company.
The company’s objectives
Description of the company’s products or services.
The market the business intends to compete in.
A persuasive statement as to reasons and method for the success of the business.
Projected growth for the company and the market.
Mention of the core management team.
A description of funding requirements, with a time-line and the usage of the funds.

Homework on the Service or Product
Forget the business plan for sometime. Decide what the product or service is that you are going to offer. Without that, it is impossible to go ahead and consider what comes next in your proposal. Researching on the market trends and what the products and services are which will be a hit with the consumers is fundamental. If you have had an experience in a product or service, then your task might become easier. In addition, also think of the name and the overall profile of your company.

Money Matters
Once you are done with the overall profile, think of the capital required for it as well as how much you intend to make from it or can make. To be clear about that, you will have to chalk out and create a financial profile of the company. When you mention this while writing the plan, it should include your current assets, your liabilities, projected income, and monthly expenses within a range of six months. Having all this data will help you establish a viable financial objective for your business.