Today’s interview is with Steve from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com.
What exactly is an online store?
An online store is simply a website that allows you to sell goods online in an automated fashion. For a store that carries many products and manages inventory, there are many complete shopping cart solutions available that allow you list and organize unlimited products, accept various forms of payment, manage shipping and allow for a multitude of sale and discount options. These days, many of these shopping carts are open source and free which makes it easy for anyone to get started.
How and why did you get started?
My wife and I strongly believe in having a parent stay at home with the children especially during the early stages of childhood. So when my wife became pregnant with our first child, we both knew that she was going to quit her job. The problem was that we couldn’t really stand to lose 50% of our household income. Either we had to drastically cut back on our expenses or we had to find another source of income within 9 months. Ultimately, we decided to start an online business and haven’t looked back since.
Do you do this full-time?
The term “full-time” is somewhat of a misnomer when it comes to the internet. Because a computer server is running the business for you 24 hrs a day, when and where you decide to work is entirely up to you. In the case with our online store, my wife runs the store during the day and I help out at night. I would say that she puts in maybe 3-4 hours a day.
I work full time still while managing all of the technical aspects of our online store and my blog at MyWifeQuitHerJob.com. I really love my job as a computer processor designer and my company is extremely flexible so I plan to continue working for the foreseeable future even though I could probably quit my job and still get by. In addition, having my job allows me to provide health care insurance for my family.
How much do you actually make doing this?
Although I won’t divulge exactly how much our online store actually makes, we did make a little over 100K during our first year of business. If you follow the blog, we’ve had significant increases every year and have been in business for 3 years. If you really want to know, you can check the blog and do the math.
What skills make you most successful at running the online store?
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a skill, but I think our motivation is what has made us successful. Most people start a business and start coasting once things get going. But my and I are always constantly finding new ways to improve the business and drive traffic to our store. Our kids provide us with inspiration because our online business allows us to spend more time together as a family.
How do you maximize your efforts?
My wife and I get questions all the time about how we manage to run a business, a blog, a full time job and two kids at the same time. The key is that we break up tasks into small pieces and do a little work whenever we have a free moment. If you look at your typical day, you can always find a small chunk of time to get something done. My wife and I used to waste a ton of time so it helps to analyze your day and prioritize. It’s all about making constant progress no matter how small.
What mistakes do people make when trying to make money with an online store?
The biggest mistake that most people make is that they think they can simply throw up a store and the customers will come automatically. The bulk of the work isn’t in getting your website up and your products ready to sell. It’s a constant process that involves marketing and promoting your store.
In addition, many people give up shortly after their store launches because they don’t have patience. It takes time for a business to develop. In fact, our online business made very few sales during our first months of business and we wanted to give up as well. But if you stick with it, good things always happen.
What other advice could you share about building an online store?
The best advice that I can give is to get started now. The sooner you start, the sooner you can become entrenched in the search engines and the sooner you can build a business reputation. These days, it is extremely cheap to start any business online. In fact, my wife and I only invested around 600 dollars to launch our store and it only cost us about $30 a month to maintain. It’s easy and cheap to start so why not give it a shot?
Thanks for your great responses, Steve. If you have a question for Steve, fire away in the comments below…
Learn to Start Your Own Online Store!
As you can tell from the interview, Steve loves to teach and share his successes. He’s offering up a full classroom style course called: Create a Profitable Online Store. I’ve seen the materials from this course and I can tell you that it’s the real deal. Steve provides the specific blueprint to get your store up and making money.
Photo by Señor Codo