Getting Started is hard

In the last letter, I shared that we (my wife and I) decided to sleep over the idea of starting an online store.

During this period of time, I’ve spent all my time researching and dreaming. You might think that I’m researching if it is actually viable to start selling on Facebook and if there are actual customers that wants the canvas.

Well it is wrong 😩

I was spending time researching on tools.

  • What email service provider? Mailchimp or Drip
  • Is it alright use to use Facebook Page without Shopify
  • If yes, what about SEO? There are reviews that shared that Facebook page have poor SEO. Moreover, you run a risk when you are selling on a platform that you do not own. Having a Facebook page is like renting a store online. Facebook can bring down your page if they do not like what you are doing.
  • What about payments? How do I collect payments? Internet Banking? Paypal or Stripe? or even COD? In the US, you can collect payment straight from Facebook, but not in Singapore.
  • What about shipping? Singpost, Ninja Van or 3rd party logistic?

Leon shared with me that using Shopify is easy, plus you have control of your own brand. ie you own the domain name and it is your property, no one can take it away.

Personally, I also have been exploring Carousell and Shopee. Both apps look pretty much the same and getting started to sell on both platform is easy. The interesting part about Shopee if the ability to take payment on the platform which I think it makes it easier for us sellers and it also have a more defined logistic integration.

shopee-logistic

Needless to say, the thought in my mind was to list my products on every platform but that would also mean that there are lots more things to manage and take care of.

As you can see, up till now most of my discussions are still on “what platform to use” which the exact reason on why starting is hard. Simply there are too many things to consider.

In fact, we should be spending more time on doing user research to see if people are actually interested in our stuff. No point setting up all products on these platform but no one is buying. If no one is buying, this is not a business at all.

Or should I fall back to Woo-commerce?

What! Another service? How many services are there?

Yeap. There are tons of services are there, the ones mentioned here are the common ones.

I use woocommerce for Bikeroger in the past. It is build on top of WordPress and most importantly it is free. But if you need other services or plugin, you need to pay. The good thing here is that it is free to start but as you grow bigger, you might it a pain just to pay for every other thing. Which is also why it leads to my thought of just using Shopify at the start. You pay monthly and you have everything. You just focus on selling.

Up till now I still have not make the decision on what platform to use. I have to do something other than conceptualize forever and ever, endlessly.

What should it be? Hmmm…

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First, there was a problem

A story of our experience setting up an online store and selling physcial products in Singapore
If you wonder if you can ever be making a living by selling online? These series of story will be helpful.

If I could remember correctly, the problem occured when one of my friend was getting married. He wanted to get some of his pre-wedding photos printed on canvas.

He placed an order online but towards as delivery draws near, he got an email that the printing was unable to deliver. I think it was two days before the actual wedding. I used to work event company and they have those large format printing machine. So I called in and ask for help and these prints were born.

bossleecanvas

So I thought maybe there could be an opportunity for me to sell these canvas printing online. Plus my wife was into digital marketing. She can do the marketing, I can do the production, we can run the business together.

not sure if a husband and wife team is a good fit for business, I will keep you updated

The next thing I did was to buy a domain name, set up a Facebook page and we are ready to sell.

But is it really that simple? What if we don’t sell anything? We don’t know anything about what it’s like to be an e-commerce business! What if we mess it up?!?

So we wait…

Get this letter in your inbox.Β Launchbyte Letters #01

Resources: These are some of the questions we have in our mind during that period of time.Β 

Where can you get domain names?

You can either used Namecheap or Godaddy. These are the common domain name providers. I’m a big fan of Namecheap because I’m used to the interface. It is up to you to choose.

What should you go for? .Com or .SG?

For us, it is .Com

A .Com domain is much cheaper and although there are lots of debates, I personally thinks that .Com offer SEO impact. Plus if you are planning to sell overseas, people might not be used to .sg too.

Should I set up a Facebook page to sell or a real e-commerce store?

We were not sure if we really wanted to do it but since we have gotten the domain name. We might as well set up a Facebook page to test out the idea. Setting up a Facebook page is much easier than setting up an e-commerce store, for sure.

How do you come up with a good name?

This question calls for a blog post itself but here is a short summary. We anyhow come up with the name. I have a similar idea for bossleecoffee.com; which I used to sell cold brew with a group of friends so I think bossleecanvas.com will be quite cool, plus no one is taking that domain.

 

Welcome to Wash Wash!

This is my “dunno how many donkey times” trying to start a vlog. Finally I discover that there is no better time than doing it while washing dishes / laundry! 

This is the article I share about in episode. Survive

While doing this episode, I realised that I cannot multitask because usually I wash my dishes quite fast but if I need to talk, it seems to pull my attention away.
Take away for this episode:

  • You hate your job and you envy people who are starting their own thing and are able to make a living

  • You are concern about making a living if you are starting your own thing

  • Stability is like a drug -> dunno who told me but I believe it is true. 

  • In life, there is always trade off. You are using your time as the bet for trade off.

  • How are you managing your time?