MARCH 2016 ;e Costco Connection 13
I WOKE UP this morning re;ecting on how well
my life is now working, both personally and in my
business, without any e;ort on my part. I thought
about how di;erent things are now, without any
bumps in the road, and how good that
feels. As I examined what I was doing
differently, the one thing that
came to mind was I had totally
given up being in control.
Years ago, too many anxious moments were causing
unrest and challenges in my
life. As I began to dig deeper,
I discovered that during
those moments I was not
allowing love to take control.
On a deeper level, I was in control, and that was causing disruptions and failures in my personal
and business life.
Being in charge was so ingrained in my
consciousness that I needed something more. I
decided to completely remove myself from the pic-
ture. A message I once read said, “For peace of
mind, let go of being general manager of the uni-
verse.” I am learning to get out of the way and
receive the constant love that is ;owing into my life.
Not only did I identify the problem, I
did something about it. Beliefs without action are useless. It worked. I
now consistently work with associates from a much deeper level
of consciousness, on the “we”
level instead of the “I” level.
Our new company, The
Cookie Kahuna, is growing
from a strong foundation of
love with a terri;c team.
What beliefs are hidden
deep within you that need
changing? Identify them and
clean them out. I promise you, life
will become so much more productive,
peaceful, fun and enjoyable. It works if you
work it. Everything will be resolved when you put
love ;rst. C
Spring-clean your spirit
Wally Amos is the founder
of The Cookie Kahuna.
You can reach Wally at
MORE IN ARCHIVES
search “Wally Amos.”
By Maniraj Singh Juneja
IF YOU’RE LOOKING to expand your business, launching an e-commerce site may seem
like an obvious step. However, what looks like
a low-investment, fast-growth business idea
could be a huge mistake. I love to see businesses succeed, so take this as a call to caution
from a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in e-commerce. Here are key concerns I
hope you’ll consider before taking the plunge.
It’s capital intensive. E-commerce is a
bigger, hungrier form of physical retail, with
all the same troubles, such as warehousing,
inventory and supply chain. An e-commerce
store is expected to have an enormous product range, cheaper prices and fast delivery
times. All this makes stocking inventory a
must, in most cases, which requires capital.
Start looking for investors now—not an easy
task unless you’re a big shot—or get ready to
invest huge sums of your own money.
All that glitters is not gold. This comes
as a shock to anyone outside the e-commerce
industry, but almost everyone is currently
bleeding investor money. The biggest names
in the industry are burning through millions
every month to acquire customers and reach
a massive scale. They’re waiting for others to
die out before they can start making a profit.
They’re taking returns, replacing products
and pampering their customers while bearing
all these expenses, just to become larger.
The true cost of selling goods varies.
In e-commerce, the sourcing margins and the
final effective margins are very different,
mostly because of gateway costs, packaging
costs, shipping and handling costs, and effective cataloging costs. Because of these unit
economics, some products are a better fit for
e-commerce than others. Items such as jewelry and apparel are slow movers and harder
to sell online, while items such as books and
beauty products are quicker and easier to sell.
Lost or damaged merchandise is a
factor. Business owners forget to take into
account lost or damaged articles, which nei-
ther the delivery service nor the customer will
be liable for. Who is left to bear the burden of
lost or damaged inventory? You. This is espe-
cially harmful when you’re counting on low
margins with huge volumes to drive profit.
You’ll have competition. Since you’re
on the Internet, customers expect you to save
on the cost of renting a physical storefront
and pass on that benefit to them. Moreover,
pricing on the Internet is very transparent, so
you have to sell at the lowest margins possible.
In fact, cash-rich competitors will sell at a loss
just to drive you out of business. They will do
everything—low prices, expensive advertisements, relaxed return policies, free shipping,
etc.—and these things will start to be must-haves instead of differentiators.
These aren’t the only concerns.
Despite rumors to the contrary, marketing an
e-commerce site requires specialized knowledge. Ranking No. 1 on Google is like snatching flesh from a hungry lion: It’s hard. Also,
you’ll have to depend on third-party partners
for delivery and other aspects of your business, and their performance will reflect
on your company, positively or negatively.
You’ll need an amazing tech team that understands the business from end to end. But if
you address these points, you will have a
much better chance when you enter the world
of e-commerce, where there will only be a
handful of survivors. Prepare for the heat
before you enter the furnace. C
Maniraj Singh Juneja is a serial entrepreneur who now manages Amitoje India
A no-brainer, right?
Points to ponder before you
launch an e-commerce site