Guide to Starting an eCommerce Business

The eCommerce industry continues to grow and expand at a rapid rate. Businesses are now abandoning their brick and mortar setup and opting to go online. I have successfully take a towing service business online and results have been tremendous. Shopping online used to be luxury and convenience – now its necessity.

the future of eCommerce is so bright. But starting an eCommerce business is not easy and demands getting a lot of things right. In this guide, we break down the process, to help you start and run a successful eCommerce business.

Find your niche

The first step to starting an ecommerce business is by researching the ecommerce space and finding your niche. You need to consider what exactly your business is going to offer. Choose the products or services you will be selling. If you are selling products, decide on where you will be sourcing them from. You will also need to decide on the type of business model you will adopt. Also, plan on your distribution channels, and how you will get your products or services to customers.


Set up your business legally

The next step is to select your business name and choose a legal structure. Like any business, you will want to choose a business that is unique and clearly indicates what you do. Be sure to choose a name that doesn’t have any copyright issues. Additionally, choose a legal structure for your business. For a start, you may choose to operate a sole proprietorship.


Apply for EIN and Other Business Licenses

You will need to apply for Employer Identification Number. This application will be important to help you separate your personal and business finances. Additionally, obtain other business permits and licenses so as to operate legally. Most startup eCommerce businesses are home based and do not require many business licenses as compared to brick and mortar setup. That said, you will however need to determine what specific requirements are needed to be met, in the area of your operation.


Choose your eCommerce Platform

Once you have obtained all business permits, the next step is to choose your e-commerce platform and create your website. At this stage, majority of what you have done has mirrored starting a brick and mortar business. However, instead of searching for a physical location for your operation, you will start by creating a website and online store. Your website will be the face of your business and is what your customers will see first. So, get a good domain, that is short and memorable for your customers to remember. In terms of e-commerce platform, you can decide to operate on Shopify, Big Commerce, Woo Commerce, Magento or sell on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, among others.


Source or develop your products

Once you have chosen your ecommerce platform and started your website, you will have almost reached the end of the whole process. However, what will be needed next is to source your products and list them on your store, so that customers can purchase online. Ensure you have good distribution channels and that products can be delivered to customers within the shortest time possible.

Once everything has been set up appropriately, you will need to market your business through SEO, Google search and shopping ads and Facebook ads.

Tips to Becoming a Great Manager

Being in control of teams and processes can be an overwhelming experience. While managing teams in a roadside assistance company, I came to map out the most common characteristics of what makes good managers stand above the rest. Managers nurture the biggest assets of a company, and that is employees. From all phases, starting from recruiting top talent, to maintaining work systems, policies, and procedures, managers have just a lot to handle.

It has to be noted that employees don not leave their companies, they leave their managers. So if you are manager of aspiring to be one, here are to follow for greatness.



Leadership is about having the ability to influence people to have them achieve better results on their projects. Leaders are always looking for the big picture inspired by company vision and mission. They listen more and learn from others. To have success as a leader, you need to be thoughtful and approach every situation from a different angle.


Gain expertise from experience

In most cases, managers have several years of experience in their lines of work. They have been looking after others consistently and taking responsibility that have helped them excel above expectations. Successful managers put a lot of time and resources to master the industries they are managing. Doing so helps in understanding company dynamics and provides vital support for teams.



A successful manager is a reliable manager. Managers are the ones who answer tough questions when companies are going under. They are the ones who take credit for success and equally absorb all the blame for non-performance. To be a successful manager, you need to be trustworthy, honest, reliable and respectable and learn to own up for projects and situations that are going against the set plan.


Time Management

Successful managers are masters of their time and productivity. They also know how to allocate time and other resources to their teams, to get the best from the limited resources they have. They create daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals that are realistic, and push their teams to have all set goals achieved. They optimize the time they have for their teams, delegate effectively and trust their sub team leaders to help them meet objectives.



The success of any management process rolls down to proper communication. Great managers have learnt how to effectively communicate clear expectations for their teams, both in written and non-written format. Great managers set clear channels and communication and hierarchies to help each member of their team collaborate seamlessly. They embrace a culture of open communication and promote collaboration. They set in place a feedback and evaluation program to help everyone know how they are performing.



Lastly, there is no great management without proper organizational skills. Organization is very important especially when supporting each member of a team to work towards meeting their goals. Managers use their time management and communication skills to set clear expectations and goals that team members follow. They consistently set vital meetings and evaluations to ensure everyone is aligned with objectives.

How to Build a Positive Company Culture

team buildingWorkplace happiness comes down to people and culture. While working with deck builders Fredericksburg, I learned the importance of fostering strong and positive company culture. Every company has a culture that defines what the company’s values and vision are all about. Many companies focus on the importance of their goods and services and fail to place a critical focus on the employees. The result is a demotivated workforce and high levels of turnover.

If you are looking forward to learning how to build a strong and positive company culture, here is how to go about it;


Focus on employee wellness

No company can expect to have a strong company culture without focusing on the health and wellness of their employees. You need to ensure your employees feel the best emotionally, mentally, and physically to contribute to a positive culture. Employee wellness is the foundation of a positive corporate culture. As a leader, ensure your employees have the resources, tools, and healthcare opportunities that give them the healthiest and happy life.

Peer to peer feedback

You don’t want to be in a situation where employees are working for your company and doing a great job, but do not get any feedback or praise for the good work they do. Employees love feedback and to be appreciated. A culture of feedback and appreciation will make your employees want to stick with you for a long time. To develop a peer recognition program, define and communicate the goals of the program, make peer recognition easy, and give peer recognition weight.


Hire for Cultural Fit

When talking about employee engagement, satisfaction, and happiness at work, coworkers will matter a lot. Employers need to think about the people they are hiring and bringing to their organization. Evaluate how these people will fit within teams and be aligned with the principles and values of an organization. Employees who fit well within their organizations and coworkers will normally have greater job satisfaction. The work of employing culturally fit employees should not only be left to human resources, but members of teams should actively be involved in the selection process.


Foster workplace friendships

Research has shown that work friendships boost employee friendship by at least 50 percent. People who have their best friends at work are seven times more likely to have full engagements in their work. To create a positive company culture, employees need to create internal social groups where people can share their concerns. They also need to create and sponsor traditions that help people to get united.

Encourage positivism

To build a strong positive culture, employees need to encourage positivism in their workplace. Employers need to lead by example by promoting and expressing gratitude and remaining optimistic even during the most difficult situations. Besides remaining positive, employers also need to listen keenly to their employees’ concerns. An employee will feel more valued and satisfied if they are given a platform to air their concerns and grievances even if they are not acted upon. A negative culture is one that subdues employees and halts any mechanisms they can use to express their concerns.

Best Ways to Keep Your Employees Motivated

We can all agree that employees are the main anchors and lifeblood of a company, and play a critical role in ensuring organizations stay functional and profitable. Most companies face a challenge in figuring out what motivates their people. I was able to crack motivation strategies for my employees while working at towing services in Raleigh. It is not always as simple as giving them a high compensation money-wise. When employees are respected, appreciated, and listened to, they are more likely to stay motivated and deliver on the vision and mission of a company.

If you are looking forward to motivating your employees, here is how to go about it.


Provide supportive leadership

Leadership is one of the main factors and a contributor to employee motivation. Supportive leaders have a tendency of working closely with their employees. If you show to listen and show trust to your employees, they will be more focused and motivated. Leaders should also hold themselves to a level of accountability which sets an example for others to follow.


Empower your employees

Employees need to feel appreciated and valued. No one wants to be put down when they try to voice out their concerns. Ensure that all members of staff are given an opportunity to express themselves. You also need to encourage your employees to showcase their skills and aspirations towards personal goals. If employees can anticipate a future reward on what they are doing for a company, they will be more motivated to work harder.


Develop a positive environment

Many working professionals spend most of their time at the office. This calls for the working environment to be a place that puts employees at ease to be able to augment their productivity. To create a productive and happy environment, there is a need to encourage employees to share knowledge and information. You need to be a supportive leader who does more listening than talking. People need to be encouraged to accept their mistakes without any fear of intimidation. You also need to give your employees new and challenging tasks that will get them out of their comfort zones.

Recognize and Reward

Motivated employees will work to get the best out of their workforce. You need to develop a reward program for your employees when they exceed certain expectations. Such a program would be a huge motivator. Ensure you announce all the rewards publicly. When you reward and recognize on a regular basis, it will remind employees that they are appreciated. You can also include corporate gifting on holidays and festive occasions to ensure your employees remain motivated.


Encourage teamwork and collaborations

One of the biggest motivators of employees is encouraging teamwork and collaborations and making them belong to a team. It is through teamwork that employees learn to appreciate and trust each other. Teamwork and collaborations make them look beyond themselves and creates a healthy competition. Come up with regular tasks and activities that encourage collaboration, as doing so will make your team members learn from each other.

Steps to Building a Strong Team

team buildingEvery year, millions of businesses are launched across the United States and the world in general. Unfortunately, 80 percent of these businesses close the door within the first five years of operation. I have had the privilege of working with tow trucks in Athens and I have a lot to write about on why some businesses fail while others succeed. Some of these factors may include access to capital, the constitution of management, poor timing, wrong product or service, among others.

However, there is one factor that should never be overlooked, and that is the constitution of a team. The team that you set up plays a key role in determining the success or failure of your company. If you are looking forward to setting up a great team, here are key steps to follow.


Understand what a great team is

Seamless teamwork doesn’t occur overnight – it demands committed and conscious effort from all individuals within the team, as well as their leader. There are a few elements that must be present if you are looking to have a great team. There should be clear objectives and each team member must be aware of what the team needs to achieve. There should be clear goals and everyone in the team must be aware of the hierarchy and their roles in it. There should be flawless communication, cooperation, and individual development within the team.


Establish strong leadership

To know about how to build effective teams, you must first learn how to become a great leader. Its only effective leaders who have influence, even in situations they are not around. That influence will push teams to work effectively throughout all groups. To lead teams effectively, you must first establish your leadership with each team member by building relationships of loyalty and trust, rather than one of fear, based on your position. Have a big picture vision, delegate tasks, and responsibilities, communicate goals clearly, and be honest and friendly to an acceptable extent.


Build connections between team members

As a leader, you need to evaluate the way members of your teamwork together. Your job will not be done just by forming a team and giving them instructions. Rather, guide your team to work together with one another in a more efficient way. Come up with team building activities to help members build trust and make them learn they can depend on each other. Improve cooperation, collaboration, and communication among team members.


Establish strong connections


When leading teams, you must know each team member individually. Each person has a specific set of skills, interests, and weaknesses. When you know the potentials of your team members, you can easily match each member to the right task. That way, you will boost their productivity and also make them feel more confident. Build trust and engagement with each employee on a personal level, but avoid getting too personal.

Invite collaborations and contributions and harness the power of employees sharing their ideas to help your company grow. Create an environment that rewards collaboration and makes each member feel valued.

How to Evaluate Candidates Before Hiring

Employees are the backbone of any organization. As a result, the hiring process should be done most appropriately to ensure the on-boarding process brings the best. There is nothing more crucial to the success of an organization than bringing the right people to your team and encouraging their growth. However, hiring the right talent is a challenging process.

You need to confirm and evaluate candidates by testing their hard and soft skills. Evaluation can include cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence. If you are looking forward to hiring the right talent for your organization, here is how to go about it.


Technical Skills

Creativity and presentation skills are very important for marketers. Programming skills will form the backbone of success as a software engineer. An accountant will need to have analytical skills. So, whatever the position you are looking forward to hiring. ensure the technical skills are well met. Ensure the candidate is competent and has the right technical skills for their success.


Ego and Humility

Ego and humility can be a difficult area to create a balance. With too much ego, candidates may end up suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is a situation where under performing individuals overestimate their abilities. On the other hand, if a candidate has too much humility, they will have problems getting their point across their fellow workers. A good candidate needs to have a balance of both ego and humility

Accountability and Project Ownership

If a candidate has the required technical skills, it will be easy for them to do what they are required to. However, that should never be enough. A perfect candidate for your hire will be proactive. They should come up with new ideas and make proposals of key improvements that are in line with the vision and mission of their organization. For projects that they are involved in, they should show full ownership and accountability.


Communication Skills

There needs to be a deeper knowledge of what motivates a person. If employers know the ambitions and work ethic of candidates, the hiring process becomes easier. A good candidate must be able to have a clear line of communication with their coworkers and supervisors. They should be able to put forward their concerns and points in a clear manner free from doublespeak. A good candidate will also know how to ask for help and who to ask.

Cultural Fit

Once you have gotten past the functional aspects of a candidate, the next step you need to evaluate is personality and cultural fit. This form of evaluation will be important to determine if you can work with a candidate or not. As an employer, you can’t afford to spend half of your time dealing with character issues of an employee- and this is the reason personality fit is very important. You need to work with candidates on real company projects alongside current employees as their mentors. That way, you will get a better perspective on how it will be like to work with these candidates in real life. It is a type of pre-hiring evaluation that is priceless and invaluable for improving on your long term employee retention rate, reducing turnover, and aligning candidates with company culture.

Top Ways to Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills

We live in a world of limited resources and unlimited wants and that makes life to be always about making decisions. You make decisions everyday about work, life, school, your future, just to name a few. It may seem overwhelming at times to have many responsibilities and decisions to make. You need to learn on how to make decisions thoughtfully by gathering all the required information and giving yourself ample time to think and evaluate situations.

When you are faced with situations to make decisions, here is how to go about it to make better and faster decisions.


Use rational thinking

The first step to making better decisions is to gather information about situations and understand the factors involved in each situation. Talk with all parties involved and gather any additional information required to help you make informed decisions. You need to avoid making decisions based on limited information. Have a critical though process about what information is needed to make better decisions.


Avoid making emotionally charged decisions

If you find yourself too emotionally invested in an issue, there are high chances your judgement will be clouded. You need to avoid acting impulsively, but instead, use careful and rational thinking. Focus on all facts of the situation rather than your ego, impulsive desires and personality preferences. When you make decisions when anxious, upset or stressed, you will most likely make poor decisions. Learn to always take a step back to avoid acting out of emotions.


Take time when making decisions

You need to give yourself time to thoughtfully make a decision. In most times, you may fee rushed to make decisions. Those decisions may be big enough to require more thought any careful examination. You don’t need to feel any pressure or obligation to make decisions before you’re ready. Depending on the situation you are facing, it is good to give yourself a few hours or days to make the best decision.

Evaluate Options

For any decision you have to make, is it important to evaluate the costs and benefits of every option. When you weigh on the pros and cons of every situation, you will be more likely to have control over your decisions. You need to think critically on how your decisions will impact you professionally, financially, physically and emotionally. For big decisions, you need to write down the pros and cons of each option and evaluate critically on the best option to go for.


Focus on high priorities

When making a decision, it is advisable you consider ranking your priorities from high to low. You need to understand what matters most to you in every situation. Learning how to put your priorities right will help you with long term planning. In case you fail to complete your projects, you may only face a lower grade or outcome, that will not have heavily impacted negatively on you.  Consider all alternatives possible and avoid black and white thinking. Always be flexible and ready to make amends and compromises to achieve the most desirable decision.