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?


Comments (4)


Make sure you get equity.

Financial Modeling


supply an MVP as fast as possible. A tonne of the stuff you mentioned is not essential to get a sale done. Supply, payment and advertising is about all you need early on.


A minimally viable product (MVP) isn't really applicable here since you'll be dealing with drop shippers of third party products.

1.) I imagine your friend that already successfully did this will have better advice than most on here

2.) Pick something that isn't easily available on Amazon.com or else you'll have no chance to compete. The more niche it is, the better it is.

3.) Check out Mixergy for some tips. It's a cool site with a bunch of info on startups of all different varieties.

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