Where to start? Is there a good place to go to get help setting up an on-line business?
I want to start an ecommerce site. Being a novice at this, I would like to start out as simple as possible. Limit the number of vendors/service providers I use (I’m assuming this will make integration easier between the web host, drop shipper, content management system, order processing, shopping cart etc), and using as many “off the shelf” services and features as possible.
My thoughts, for this approach, are:
1- Decrease the number of things I have to learn at the beginning.
2- Allow me to keep my full time job. (for some reason the bank thinks I should continue to pay my mortgage, and kids are insisting that we eat – everyday!)
3- Allow more time for me to focus on the customer - and spend less time on the technical side
4- Allow me to get set up quickly and easily
5- Limit out of pocket expense (for example, no inventory)
Initially, my goal would be to just break even, and just try to learn how all the pieces fit together without upsetting the customers. Then has my experience grows, start adding features and services that can really benefit my clients, and look at ways to possibly reduce costs (for instance, manage my own inventory, so I don’t pay the extra in drop-shipping). Eventually moving to a point where I can focus full time on the business, and leave the desk job behind. My goal is not to get rich quick, or “make hundreds of thousands dollars a week, doing nothing but picking lint off…” My goal is to eventually get to a point where I can support myself and family from the site. I know it will take a lot of work.
So where to start –
What would those of you, who’ve been through this learning curve, recommend to me, a total novice? I’m looking for good educational sites, training, or books. As well as good, trustworthy businesses that offer quality service to novices trying to get set up (internet hosts, shopping carts, drop shipping). Is there a “one shop” does it all package?
Thanks in advance.