This year has been a year full of sporting events especially in these summer months. It started with the French Open in late May, followed by Euro 2012 and then Wimbledon, Le Tour De France (happening now!) and the Olympics in London at the end of the month which everyone is looking forward to! If you’re a sports enthusiast like me, I guess you will practically be glued in front of the tube catching the events and cheering for your fellow countrymen.
But what I really want to talk about is Roger Federer’s win at Wimbledon last Sunday. You may be wondering what has his win got anything to do with business or eCommerce for that matter? There is quite a few lessons that we can learn from the Swiss master’s win actually. As I was sitting there watching the match cheering RF on (sorry Brit fans!), all these thoughts just came to mind and I just wanted to share with all of you here.
Lesson #1: It’s easier to go from 16 to 17 than from 0 to 1
It definitely seems to be the case! Roger has already collected 16 Gram Slam titles making him one of tennis’s greatest player so far and he just added another trophy to his cabinet. All Andy Murray was hoping for was to win his FIRST ever Grand Slam title and yet he’s been denied once again. He’s been in 4 Grand Slam finals and he’s been denied all 4 times!
So what exactly does that mean? In business sense, I am linking it up to how hard it is to make your FIRST sale on your eCommerce store. When you have made your 100th sale, it’s easy for you to add on to that number and go on to make your 110th sale etc because you already have an upper hand of making a sale before and have the confidence that you can make it! However if you’re just starting out and waiting for your first sale and somehow it just doesn’t seem to come, you will start to doubt yourself and wonder if you can make it work. It will happen but you will need to plan and strategize, which leads me to my next point.
Lesson #2: Plan and Strategize To Get Where You Want To Be
We all know that Roger Federer didn’t become one of greatest player of all time just playing his game the same way. He’s a very intelligent player on court and changes his strategy as the game progresses. It’s the same with our business, especially online business where we can very easily make a change and see the difference sometimes almost immediately! That’s the beauty about having an online business. You may have this grandeur idea before starting out your website – how you want the site to look, what you think your customers want and what kind of pricing they are looking at etc. However, the moment you launched your site, there are a lot more elements and circumstances that come into play. Tweak as you go along!
You will need to study the website statistics to see if there are visitors to your store. If there are, are they putting anything to their cart? If yes, then why aren’t they checking out? What items are frequently being added to the cart and yet still no one is completing the check out? By asking yourself all those questions, you can then start to promote the product that is frequently added to cart more prominently, perhaps have some kind of deal (free shipping or voucher for your next purchase at your store?) for your customers to take that plunge and check out. Also with InstanteStore, we have a way for you to follow up with your customers who aborts their cart. You can view the list and send them a follow up email. It’s all automatically set up and you can just work to customize the email.
Don’t just sit there and murmur and complain that you’re not getting a sale and yet you don’t work at the store at all! Don’ t wait for the miracle to happen, be a go-getter and make that miracle happen for yourself! Work on getting your store ranked for keywords, do research etc and you will get THERE!
Lesson #3: Age Does Not Matter
Both the winners of the Men and Women’s Singles at Wimbledon this year are above 30 years of age. Roger Federer will turn 31 next month. The last time he won a Grand Slam title was way back in 2010 when he won the Australian Open, again defeating Andy Murray (poor Murray!). Then he went on to lose his #1 spot to Nadal and then to Djokovic. Critics have started to say that perhaps RF is getting too old and losing his touch. Well I guess, this win proved to all the critics that he’s still got it in him to win another Grand Slam title!
With an online business, it’s never too old to get started! Firstly, it takes way less capital to start up an online store and with sites like Doba, you can easily select and research what products you would like to sell and then just get started by having them dropship the items off for you. You do not even need to tie up your cash stocking up all the inventory. When you’ve already got a proven business model, then you can start to source for other alternatives to meet your demands. InstanteStore is fully integrated with Doba and you can very easily just select which products you want to sell and have it automatically added to your store. Online business creates a more level playing field and has a lower barrier to entry as compared to the usual brick and mortar ones. So if you still got in you, do something about achieving that dream, it’s never too old to get started!
Lesson #4: Keep Believing In Yourself!
This sounds really corny but it’s true! You can’t just give up at the first sign of adversity. You should do a research and plan out a good business plan with feasible products that you can sell, a good marketing strategy, the profit margin (you need this!) and be sure to stick to it and continue at it although you may need to tweak and readjust your plans as you go along the way. Before he became a tennis great, Roger Federer also did try his hands at football (soccer) and golf. However, he found his passion with tennis and stuck at it, trained really hard along with making lots of sacrifices along the way to get where he is today. This genius on the court doesn’t simply surface due to plain talent but it has to be coupled with lots sweat and hard work! He keeps believing in himself and doesn’t give up! “But I knew how close I was for the last few years, and some people didn’t quite see that maybe for different reasons. But I knew and I think the belief got me to victory.” – Roger Federer’s winning speech after winning his 7th Wimbledon title.
Working with so many clients throughout the years, I do see many different characters. There are some that are very determined (but realistic!) and knows exactly what they want and gets there, some faster than others. Then there are those who has a rough plan and who discusses them with us and we provide them with our opinion and together we’re able to make it happen as well. And then there are still others who comes in with a grand plan and thinking that the moment they put up their domain name, visitors will come knocking and just start buying! When that does not happen, they simply just give up or start looking to sell other items instead. Treat your business like your baby – give it time to nurture. It will need to time to grow and you can’t expect a baby to start being independent at the ripe young age of 2 months! It’s the same when working on optimizing your store. You have to give it time for the search engine to index your store and get the keywords ranked and rank well.
The key is to keep believing in yourself and don’t give up easily! Chances are, you’re closer to making that first sale than you think. But be sure to start off with a feasible business plan….
I sure hope that this article and Roger Federer’s win will inspire more of you during these harder economic times. You can do it!