eCommerce is alive and it’s gone mobile

I remember sitting in uni lectures hearing about eCommerce and how it was going to be this amazing revolution, that was back in 2002. It’s now 2018 and it’s only been in the last few years that it’s truly become the norm and disruptive to traditional bricks and mortar stores.

According to Australia Post data analysis, online shopping increased by 19.2% in Australia in 2017, up from 11.5% increase in 2016. And it’s expected to grow at a similar rate in 2018.

I think it’s fair to say that it took some time for people to adapt and become comfortable with online shopping. Now we’re extremely comfortable with a bit of retail therapy in our pjs on the couch and we do it on our mobile phone! Gone are the days of using a desktop or laptop, 29% of our purchases are made between 7-10pm and mobile phone purchase increased by 52% in 2016.

More and more retailers are getting on board. Beyond the big platforms of eBay, Amazon and Tmall the emergence of easy to use eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Woocommerce are making eCommerce available to small businesses. Anyone can now start an online store with minimal investment of time and money. It’s possible to have an online store up and running in under an hour. No expensive developers needed.

I launched an online store selling women’s bags called Liv Aktiv 6 months ago using the Shopify platform and I have to say it was incredibly easy to set up. The hardest part was coming up with the descriptions for the products! If I can do this so can you.

Fashion items like clothes, handbags and jewelry are still experiencing growth in sales, up 27.2% in 2017 in Australia.  Globally, other popular items include books, recreational goods, health products and cosmetics.

The emergence of drop shipping in recent years has reduced the risks for small and large businesses associated with holding large amounts of expensive inventory and dealing with logistics. The drop shipper warehouses the product and ships it direct to your customer for you. This is something I’m yet to try, but I think the benefits out weigh the downside if you select your suppliers carefully.

If you’re thinking about launching an online store, go for it. The tools are at your finger tips and the growth opportunities are still there, but make sure you have a plan to get customers to your virtual door.

Information provided by the Rachel Craze is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal situation. It is for educational purposes only and does not constitute formal financial or taxation advice. Before acting, you should consider seeking independent advice that is tailored to your needs.

Looking for tailored advice on growing your business and your people? I’d love to help. Fill in your details below.

business, growth, startups

Tell me about your business challenges

I’m interested in learning about the challenges people encounter when running a business. To help me do that, I’m conducting a survey and your input would be greatly appreciated!

The information from this study will form part of my research on business performance and improvment. Ultimately, it will help me focus on what matters most when I’m working with businesses like yours.

If you’d like to participate in the study click here.

Or sign up to my email list to receive a copy of the report on the results of my study.

Looking for advice on improving and growing your business? I’d love to help. Fill in your details below.


eCommerce, startups

3 Things to get right before starting a business

Starting a new business is incredibly exciting. You’re full of enthusiasm to get your idea up and running and you want to do it as quickly as possible. There’s so much to do and you take the approach that you’ll figure things out as you go. It’s the Richard Branson way of thinking “Screw it, let’s do it.” It’s hard to disagree with Richard Branson, but experience has shown us there’s a few key things to get right at the start. If you take the time to consider them, you’ll have the best chance of success and prevent a lot of headaches and expenses later.

This is my list of the non-negotiable things you need to get right before you launch your business:

1. Bookkeeping software

I get it you’ve got no money and you’re launching your startup on a shoe string, but please skip the spreadsheets and sign up for a proper bookkeeping package. There’s a number of reasons:

  • You’ll save money in the long run because your accountant won’t be going through a shoebox full of receipts and trying to make sense of your spreadsheets
  • There will be less risk of you making mistakes and getting your taxes wrong
  • And the BIG one, you’ll actually be able to see how your business is performing!

Understanding your cashflow and business performance is critical to your success, you need a good bookkeeping package with reports to help you see what’s happening in your business. Mismanagement of cashflow is one of the key reasons why small businesses fail, don’t be another statistic.

We highly recommend going for a cloud based bookkeeping package like Xero, which allows you and your accountant to access live data anywhere any time. It also has lots of add ons and integrations with other software making it an extremely powerful tool for your business.

Don’t be a fool, investing in a bookkeeping package will deliver better results for your business and you’ll end up with more money in your pocket because of it.

2. Business structure

It’s super easy to just go and register a business in your own name and open the doors to customers and clients, but is this what’s best for the longer term? You should be thinking “big” when you launch your business. Be positive and think about how you’ll deal with those mega profits that will be coming. Are you planning to spend them or do you expect to reinvest them in the business? Are you planning on bringing in other investors? Is the business high risk?

A Company or Trust could be a more appropriate structure to deal with some of these scenarios. It might be better to spend a little extra now to set up your structure right from the start rather than pay an accountant and the ATO a handsome sum in a few years when you need to change it.

3. Test your idea

There’s no point starting a business selling a product or service that no one wants, so it’s critical to spend some time finding out. Do this before you invest your time and money starting a business that’s never going to work.

Here’s my advice, ignore what your family and friends think, they’re probably trying to be nice and supportive, but really they think you’re crazy. Or some of them may just straight out say your crazy, don’t do it. You need to find out what people in the big wide world out there think, you need to find out if you have potential customers. They’re the one’s who’ll be paying you, not your family and friends.

Start an Instagram page or blog to test your idea and gauge the interest for your product or service. If your selling women’s shoes, then start posting pics on Instagram of the shoes you’re thinking of selling and see if people like them. You’ll also start building up a following of potential customers to kick-start your launch. You’ll soon know if you’ve got a killer idea or if you need to kill the idea.

Get these things right before you launch your startup and you’ll be set for entrepreneurial success.

Information provided by the Rachel Craze is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal situation. It is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial or taxation advice. Before acting, you should consider seeking independent advice that is tailored to your needs.

Looking for tailored advice on starting your business? I’d love to help. Fill in your details below.


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! Yes the journey begins, however I think it has been a long time in the making. I’ve been working as an advisor in the tax and accounting world for over 13 years and gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience in that time. It’s lead me to the here and now, looking for a new challenge and wanting to have a greater impact on the lives of the people I work with.

I’ve thought about my passions and where I can help most and I’ve landed in the world of startups and small businesses. The stats aren’t to good for startups in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting. I want these people to have best chance of success possible. So I’m breaking free of the corporate world to work with startups, entrepreneurs and small business that I can guide through the complex world of compliance, finance and cashflows.

My family have been involved in running a number of small businesses and I’ve been running my own ecommerce business for the past 6 months, so I’m aware of the challenges and how to overcome them.

Join me on my journey and let me help you on yours!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Looking for advice on starting your business? I’d love to help. Fill in your details below.