A good friend of mine used to run a successful e-commerce business selling specialized electronic products to a very niche group of consumers. He was bought out of his ownership stake almost two years ago. His non-compete runs out in a couple of months and we have discussed launching a start up of our own.
Our goal is to make this business as lean and automated as possible as we both have successful careers going for us. That means drop shipping from distributors, outsourced client service, marketing automation, automated pricing models, one click batch order processing, Google Ad Words, etc... our goal is to spend less than an hour a day managing this business once we get it going and iron out all of the wrinkles. Once we're passed the hurdle of setting up the website, incorporation, distribution channels, pricing elements, etc... we should have minimal operating expenses.
I'm sure there are a few folks on WSO that have e-commerce businesses going on the side. I know a lot of people with bricks and mortar small businesses, but none that are specifically e-commerce only.
Anyone currently operating an e-commerce business? What would you do differently if you were in the startup phase again? Any advice you can offer?