Business is not an easy road to life. Anyone who convinces you otherwise is being kidnapped and covertly signalling you for help (call 000). As business owners, we usually start out with big dreams and then, sooner or later have too much other stuff to do. We become too "busy" to be creative and grow. We get tired, comfortable or stressed and end up just turning the cogs to get through another week.
This article is not meant to belittle anyone, it's based on the excuses I hear as well as the ones I have given. If one of them sounds like you, you're in good company. So here goes; five common excuses brick and mortar shops use to justify why their e-commerce game is B league at best.
"Tried it. It didn't work for us. Besides, our shop is unique."
You may well be experimenting with e-commerce on a small scale or did so in the recent past. Still, it never made a massive difference to your business, so you gave up or scaled down to keep doing what is familiar and comfortable to you. That's normal. But that's not going to help you grow, is it?
Learning new skills and ideas takes time and effort. Implementing them takes even more time and puts you in a vulnerable position. You have to decide how much skin to put in the game, you need to have time plus faith in your idea and your ability. When you are trying to keep the family business going, messing with what pays the bills is not an easy decision to commit to. Similarly, admitting that you just don't have the skillset means giving up, asking for help or investing more time in learning.
I sympathise as long as you acknowledge that not doing a "thing" right is not a licence to say the "thing" does not work.
"I'm just too busy to do all of the work required."
One of the greatest "stunters" of growth is saying the words "I'm too busy". "We are too busy running our physical shop and keeping the doors open that we don't have time for frivolous ideas of growth. We've read the articles, we know we should send more emails or try running some Facebook ads. Still, we don't have the time to learn, the money to pay someone or the faith that any of it will make us more profitable".
Busy is an attitude in as much as the definition of "attitude" is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.
If you always tell yourself and others you are busy, you will categorise your state of being instead of the stuff you're doing. Why not look at the things that are taking up your time and classifying them by importance to you. We use the term busy to convey that we have a lot of stuff to do. Then we use it as an excuse for not doing other stuff. So which stuff is the priority stuff?
I challenge you to look at it like this: The priority stuff is the stuff that is going to mean, down the track, you'll have less stuff to do.
"We're doing fine! Besides, we don't want to get too big and lose our focus on our loyal customers."
Chances are pretty equal that you either love your existing business or it's a stock around your neck. Either way, when it comes to taking that growth step, the excuses pile up evenly on either side. "I love my business, it's perfect for me. Besides, I don't want to grow too large". Sound familiar?
Whether you hate your business or love it, most of us prefer the devil we know. We like the comfort of familiarity. If we have a routine and familiar surrounds, we understand what we need to do every day, and we can plan our lives around that. We have an expectation of income, and we are okay with that. We're comfortable, why rock the boat? It's not unusual to think this way - It's how our brains are wired.
But as a wise man once said: "You can't grow if you don't change". And if you don't grow while others around you do, you get smaller and smaller by comparison.
If you're in the unenviable position of being trapped by your business and hating it but can't seem to trade out, you need help. I feel for you. But there are ways to rise above the waves that are drowning you. Contact me today, and we can chat.
"I'm not paying someone else to do it. I can't afford it."
One thing we business owners are really good at is attracting people who want us to spend our money in exchange for them doing "something" for us. Similarly, we are also good at trying to do that thing cheaper or free by having a crack at it ourselves.
There's one lesson I've learned over the years that I would like to share. If there's a reason to do it for your business, there must be a Return On Investment (ROI) associated with it. If there's an ROI, don't waste time learning to do something a professional can do in half the time for less than your hourly worth to the business. Get it done and cash-in the ROI.
What if I told you that a smart, inexpensive, e-commerce system could double your annual turnover for less than the cost of a decent holiday in Bali? That the cost of future-proofing your business could pay for itself while it made your business stronger and more profitable? That the right system could lead to you having more time, less stress and more fun.
Let's imagine your physical store is turning over $300k a year being supported by your local and occasional walk-by traffic. If that's the case, it can easily earn that again by reaching more of the same people across a wider geographical area. And the costs of getting that setup and hiring or employing someone to run it for you is negligible compared to the advantages.
A smart e-commerce system is an automated money machine that runs with very little input. Let me show you how.