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E-Commerce/E-Business Start-Up Consulting

Existenzgründungsberatung, Startup Consulting für E-Business & E-Commerce Geschäftsmodelle in der Early Stage Gründungsphase sowie in der Later Stage Wachstumsphase

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E-commerce and e-business is booming, which is why increasing numbers of start-up founders are opting for self-employed ventures in the online sector. E-commerce / e-business business models have been proven to offer a more attractive risk/reward ratio than conventional “offine” models, with a further benefit being that digital start-ups can be founded with relatively fewer resources. Despite these advantages, however, e-commerce / e-business start-ups also demand specific know-how and experience in order to be successful.

FOSTEC supports your e-commerce / e-business start-up with a holistic, flexible 7-step plan. You decide the scope and degree of support you require for each of the phases listed below.

1. Determining Your Goals

Before you embark upon an independent venture in the wide world of the internet, it’s crucially important to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your start-up and where do you want to be in the medium and long-term? Examine your personal desires, goals and visions and take time to answer these essential questions. It makes no sense to begin a long and challenging journey without knowing where you want to end up.

2. Development of Your Business Idea

After defining your goals, you can begin to grow your vision into a concrete business idea. When choosing a field of business, be guided by your long-term wishes and goals as well as by your strengths and skills. Your business idea must be capable of competing in the market and inspiring enthusiasm in a sufficient number of consumers. Consider all these factors in detail before deciding on a particular business model.

3. Development of a Robust Business Plan

After developing a business idea that complements your interests, skills and strengths, the logical next step is to analyse whether your chosen idea is in fact capable of competing on the market and achieving the necessary sales and revenue. To enable you to do this, it is essential to develop a comprehensive business plan. The plan must use market and business environment analyses to derive solid predictions about your income and outgoings. A detailed business plan consists of the following elements.

    • Business idea & approach
    • Founder(s) & team
    • Product(s) or service(s) offered
    • Business goals
    • Legal structure
    • Company structure & organisation
    • Start-up requirements & licences / permits
    • Target group
    • Competitors
    • Differentiation from competitors & USPs
    • Marketing goals
    • Pricing and conditions
    • Distribution routes
    • Communication & advertising
    • Existing and expected orders
    • Capital requirements
    • Liquidity planning
    • Funding

4. Implementation of the Technical and Conceptual Aspects of the Idea

As soon as you are sure of your business idea – and its economic viability has been reviewed within the context of a robust business plan – the next step is to devise a concept for its implementation. Particularly in e-commerce and e-business business models, the implementation of the technical and conceptual aspects of an idea is a vital success factor. It’s important to create a precisely detailed plan covering all elements of the business model – employees, technical equipment, web pages, shop systems, premises, infrastructures, suppliers, service providers and tax and legal advisers as well as the seed capital requirements as laid out in the business plan.

5. Win the Confidence of the Target Group

The level of trust exhibited by potential customers in you and your services/products will significantly influence the success (or otherwise) of your business. Here, it lies to you to realise your business model in such a way that good relationships can be cultivated with your customers. This begins with the design and organisation of your online presence and extends to the quality of your text (and other content) on your website and beyond that to your pricing, process quality and the reliability with which you fulfil customer engagements or orders. The building of trust between your target group and company is an ongoing process and one that requires your day-to-day involvement. E-commerce / e-business business models demand excellence and a continual improvement of processes.

6. Developing the Right (Online) Marketing Concept

While the trust-building process is a crucial determinant of your ability to win customers and achieve sales, your chosen marketing concept will determine the direction and speed of your company’s development. The right marketing concept is an all-important element of any holistic approach to business management and should be closely tied in with your company goals. Online marketing offers the advantage of enabling you to reach your target group with less expenditure and fewer losses than with conventional media. A further advantage lies in the “measurability” of campaigns and the learning effect that can arise as a result. Use this opportunity in a smart and forward-looking manner to aid your business on the path to maximum success.

7. Continuous Monitoring of Results and Milestones

As a founder – and later as a business leader – it is your task to monitor your business’s most important processes, structures, outputs and results on an ongoing basis. This will enable you to react without delay when a particular area falls behind its scheduled performance. It is essential to obtain the tools and instruments you need to analyse and review significant numbers and facts in as efficient a manner as possible. While doing this, ensure that you not only pay attention to your short and medium-term goals, but that you keep your vision and goals from Phase 1 in mind. Use these to measure your progress and to determine whether your business is on the right path.

Inquire with FOSTEC