5 eCommerce Skills You Can Learn in School and 5 You Can Learn From Life
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own online business? If so, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people take the leap and launch their first startup. Thousands more hold back and continue to dream but not to act. There are a few reasons for this hesitation. Some may have concerns regarding the financial investment of entrepreneurship. Others worry that they don’t have the time. Still more are afraid that they don’t have the skills required to successfully create a business. This last concern is perhaps the easiest to overcome: every person can pick up a new skill with a little bit of effort. Take a look at some of the most important ecommerce skills that can be learned in school and from life:
- School: Marketing
- School: Writing
- School: Accounting
- School: Design
- School: Fundraising
- Life: Adaptability
- Life: Determination
- Life: Creativity
- Life: Networking
- Life: Leadership
The word “school” may be daunting to a few. It conjures up thoughts of stuffy classrooms and major student debt. So, allow us to preface the rest of this article with a disclaimer: entrepreneurs do not have to return to school for a new degree in order to become entrepreneurs (unless they want to). Rather, the term school in this context simply refers to learning new ecommerce skills from an expert. While you can absolutely enroll in a class or two at your local university, many skills can be learned through online and offline courses, seminars, or short-term “camps.” A little bit of research to find the option that best fits your lifestyle will help you decide which method of learning will be the most effective. Alright, preface over.
Moving on, the first skill that is best learned through school is marketing. A formal course can help teach you how to research your competition, and then to promote and sell your products and business, from social media to SEO. The reason marketing is best learned from an expert is because it covers a very broad range of tasks that an entrepreneur must perform. Attempting to self-teach yourself could result in crucial elements being missed. The tactics involved in marketing also change frequently and having an expert teach you the most current methods is going to be more helpful than outdated online articles.
eCommerce Skills from School: Writing
Writing goes hand-in-hand with marketing. Your best marketing efforts are unlikely to amount to anything if the copy associated with them is poorly done. An ecommerce writing course is likely to cover a variety of topics including how to write a business plan and pitch, how to write copy for your website and social media, how to start a blog to improve your SEO, and how to write content for email communications, among others. This skill is best learned from an expert because that expert can provide crucial feedback and suggestions for improvement that you wouldn’t get by teaching yourself. They can also help explain the theories and reasoning behind the most effective ways to write.
One of the best ecommerce skills to learn is accounting. The success of your online business is generally determined by money: how much money you earn, how much you spend to keep your business running, and how much you need to expand your business down the line. Understanding the basic principles of accounting, such as budgeting, investing, and forecasting, will help you understand just how successful your venture is. In addition, accounting skills will help you remain compliant with any applicable laws (such as tax laws) that may impact your company. Learning this skill from an expert is going to ensure that you have and fully understand the basics for continued financial success.
Design covers a wide range of ecommerce skills all entrepreneurs should learn. Graphic design will help you create stunning graphics for social media, newsletters, and more. Meanwhile, web design will allow you to create the stunning, functional store of your dreams. These skills are generally considered to be highly technically which is why it’s best to learn them from an expert who can guide you through the process of learning and provide you with a list of best practices that will make your online business stand out.
Some business ventures require relatively low capital to begin. However, others require plenty of money to develop and launch successfully. For entrepreneurs whose bank accounts aren’t flooded with tons of disposable income, that leaves them a few different options. One is to take out a loan, which may be risky if the business fails to take off. Another is to turn to fundraising. Fundraising can be done a few different ways. Pitching a concept to venture capitalists and other investors may be a great way to secure a steady startup amount. Thanks to the rise of crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, many entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to consumers to fund their projects as well. However, with so many projects seeking funding, having knowledge of professional fundraising techniques is absolutely crucial to cut through the noise. Learning this skill from professionals who have been in your shoes and know what makes a fundraising campaign should result in greater success for your own campaigns.
Many of the ecommerce skills necessary to be successful can also be taught by a more abstract teacher: life. Experiences shape our skillset so the more experiences you have, the better you likely are at life-skills. One such skill that all entrepreneurs should have and hone is adaptability. By being able to modify a plan at a moment’s notice when everything seems to be going wrong is crucial in a business-setting. For example, what do you when the company you use to ship products goes on strike? How about if the supplier you normally use goes out of business? A quick and clever response to these issues will keep your business operating with the least amount of upset that could potentially lose you customers.
The road to being a successful entrepreneur is not an easy one, nor is it short. A business owner who lacks determination is more likely to give up when things get tough, or if success isn’t presenting itself immediately (which is rare in the ecommerce world). However, an entrepreneur who powers through obstacles and keeps trying even after failure will turn their determination into knowledge that can bring success down the road.
There are a lot of different businesses out there. How do you make yours stand out? Well, creativity can help. Creative thinking is great for everything from unique product design to interesting marketing efforts that cut through the noise and actually make consumers take notice of you. Creativity also goes hand-in-hand with adaptability, in order to solve problems with creative solutions.
A business’ success starts and ends with the people who stand behind it: its employees, sponsors, and especially its customers. That’s why networking, or the process of building up the various communities behind your business, is so important. Good networking can bring you closer to other entrepreneurs who can offer advice, and it can also help you generate sales leads to develop a wider audience for your products. Although you can take classes on public speaking and communications, the best experience is what you gain by actually striking up a conversation with someone.
Perhaps one of the most important ecommerce skills a person can have is that of leadership. When your business grows and you need to expand your team, that team will look to you and your expertise to guide them through the process of making your company even better. Good leaders can recognize and utilize the talents of their staff and should bring out the best in everyone.
What other skills do you think entrepreneurs should have? Let us know on social media!
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