\ Overcoming Difficulties | Working Online - Sweet Elyse

Overcoming Difficulties | Working Online

Running an online retail operation can be rewarding, but challenging at times. If you have been making custom items and selling them on your website, you might have come across periods when sales were low, still, your raw material and operational expenses remained the same. If you want to avoid having sleepless nights over your finances, you might need to rethink your business structure and put a plan in place.

Find out more below.

Improve Your Billing

You want to get paid as fast as you can, no matter what. You invest in materials and put hours of work into creating the perfect products, just to get the order cancelled, and not seeing any money. You can protect yourself by asking for a holding deposit from customers before you start customizing their order. If you sell your own creations, you might not want to work for free. Always ask for the payment either up front or upon delivery, so you don’t end up short of cash.

Monthly Product Subscriptions

If you have products that customers need regularly, such as makeup or natural facial scrubs, you can offer a discount for subscribing to a monthly package. This way, you can get a regular income, even when your one-off sales figures are down. You can keep on buying from your suppliers, and make more merchandise to sell.

Cut Costs

If you are still using an accountant or a virtual assistant, it might be time to automate your sales and customer service processes. There are several web tools that will take care of your orders, and give you financial statements real time, without having to waste hundreds of dollars every month on services you can take care of yourself. You might also use the quiet periods in your business to find cheaper suppliers or negotiate better deals.

Get Finance

Sometimes you need to invest in your business to make more money. You can apply for a merchant cash advance, getting you through the difficult times, and allowing you to make improvements that will deliver higher profits and efficiency. If you have to finance a large order, you could apply for an advance payment, and pay it back once you have delivered the goods and have billed your customers.

Collect Your Debt

Keeping an eye on your invoices and due dates is important. If you don’t yet have a cloud accounting system linked to your online store, you might want to set one up. You can send out reminders automatically before and after the payment is due, so you get paid on time more often. If you have customers who have been owing you money for a long time, it could time to talk to debt collection agencies to recover the amount.

Running your online custom design retail business has its beauty and challenges. To get you through difficult phases, you might want to cut costs, review your finances, apply for temporary finance, and invest in technologies that improve the profitability of your venture long term.
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