Whether your looking to set up your very first side hustle or jumping in at the deep end to start a new challenge in order to change up your career, the journey of starting our own business can likely find us brimming with excitement and lots of ideas!
However, as someone who has been there and wears the T-shirt very well, I can tell you that some of the decisions that you make in the beginning can heavily impact your business later down the line. It’s crucial to avoid making one of the biggest mistakes that many new startups tend to make….Me included!
Imagine if I told you that building your entire business on someone else’s platform is akin to constructing your entire home on someone elses land. In this blog, we’ll delve into why this can be detrimental to your business’s growth and success by only using one of the well-known platforms such as Etsy, TikTok, Amazon or Air BnB without considering other revenue options.
Whilst the giants of commerce can be an excellent resource for your business in the beginning, they key is make sure that in the long term they work for you and not the other way around!
For some, sticking with a well known third party can work and fit in much better with their lifestyle, less admin and paperwork can be the key for some in order to continue to run their business alongside other responsibilities but putting all of your eggs in the one basket can be a risky strategy and render all of your hard work pointless if you become too reliant on it.
Here I explain why its always better to keep your business options open:
Restricted Growth Potential:
When you build your business solely on just one of the giant platforms, you might be in for a rude awakening. These platforms are pretty notorious for changing their terms and conditions as the mood takes them at any given time. By moving the goalposts they make it unachievable for many to adhere to strict policies such as shipping and distribution as well as increased fees and listing restrictions which could hold you back. For example, for some, shipping restrictions could dictate your product choices, especially if you’re into dropshipping. Remember, restricted product choices often lead to reduced purchases, and your customers might end up looking to seek alternatives elsewhere affecting your potential income.
A Small Fish in a Big Pond:
Standing out in a sea of competition on these platforms can be a daunting task. With generic listing and storefront templates, differentiation often boils down to reviews and pricing. Competing with established businesses on these platforms, especially when you’re just starting out, can lead to a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. This results in diminishing profit margins and potentially working for mere pennies which can refer your business no longer viable, literally overnight.
Your Business, Your Control:
Your business’s longevity shouldn’t be dictated by others, especially if they are external platforms. The moment you rely solely on them, they begin to dictate how you operate and they can impact your customers’ experiences. They can change rules and priorities that may leave you scrambling to keep up. Worse yet, they can shut your business down without warning, damaging your reputation and erode customer trust. It might be time to regain control and build something that’s truly yours.
While these platforms can be extremely helpful in the beginning to get your products or services recognised, by solely relying on just one and constantly diverting people to that third party, you drastically narrow the chance of potential business so your ultimate goal in the long term would be to establish your own solid base. Your own website could be the answer. It doesn’t have to break the bank and in many cases when you add up the fees and commissions that the larger platforms charge, the difference can be minimal. One huge advantage of your own website is that it ensures that you’re in control of your future. Imagine if you were holding a garage sale at your house, you wouldn’t advertise your neighbours sale on your advertising poster if they were located first on the street because chances are potential customers may never actually arrive at your door because they would be all spent up elsewhere before they even reached you! With a website, not only are people coming directly to you but your business will no longer be held hostage by someone else’s whims. You can run your business without worrying about sudden changes or shutdowns.
Your business, Your way.
If you prefer to use the larger platforms because it’s a better option for you then try to make sure that you have at least 2 different sources running simultaneously, that way if the worst happens with one, you can soon switch to the other without losing your entire business in one foul swoop and continue to generate income, be sure to get another source in place as soon as you can.
Driving Traffic and Loyalty:
Although creating your own website might take time, the benefits can reward your hard work and efforts. You can still use platforms like TikTok, Etsy, and eBay but to your advantage. Many of the larger sites are now restricting intervention from sellers and services but you can still advertise your website on your social media account. By doing so, you’re directing traffic to your platform, ensuring your customers always know where to find you. Your business isn’t just a part of someone else’s domain; it’s a space you’ve meticulously built for you, so why should you do the hard work for someone else’s benefit? Makes sense eh?
Building a startup requires hard work, dedication, and a well-thought-out strategy. Don’t fall into the trap of relying solely on massive platforms. Instead, diversify your approach and create a solid foundation. By doing so, you’ll own your business’s destiny, provide a consistent experience for your customers, and ensure longevity and success. Remember, its your business – So take charge.
I took on the challenge of setting up my own website earlier this year, To say that I am a complete novice is an understatement! After researching my individual needs I opted for this combination.
Obviously there are so many choices available and you must do your research to find which platform is most suited to your business needs not only now but also in the future.
I found the best fit for my business and the package prices were within my budget, Please note that I am a customer of both brands and may also receive affiliated commission for any qualifying sales by clicking on the links.