New Online Business - Good time to start?

Hi All, I was planning to create a new online store prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, selling my craftwork and also buying in other products from suppliers to sell on (all around my love of fairies!) Since the outbreak I have put everything on hold. I have refrained from buying from suppliers or even launching my website as I am fearful this is now not the best time to launch a new business. Has anyone else launched an online store during this pandemic? What has your experience been like?

Comments

  • Although my knowledge of business is rather sketchy, if the product is aimed at children then maybe now is a good time (as children are bored at home), if it’s aimed at adults then maybe not as craftwork isn’t really top of people’s priorities (sorry). That’s really all I can say.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,007 Forumite
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    GabiB said:
    Although my knowledge of business is rather sketchy, if the product is aimed at children then maybe now is a good time (as children are bored at home), if it’s aimed at adults then maybe not as craftwork isn’t really top of people’s priorities (sorry). That’s really all I can say.
    I wouldn't be so sure about that ... those who have been furloughed and / or have to self-isolate and / or shield may be absolutely DESPERATE for craft activities. 

    But having said that, there's no doubt that redundancies are coming, that unemployment's going to be high, and money's going to be tight, so for THAT reason it may not be the right time. 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Is this a hobby business or a business to earn money, the 2 different types come with different goals.

    If the former then go with your plans, if the latter, as @Savvy_Sue said, there might not be the volume of sales to give you a viable income, a lot more due diligence required before launching into this; being self employed myself i require X amount, to earn, to give me a decent living and anything under that means a less than happy time !!!

    With the public having less disposable income, at the moment, it could be a nonstarter, due diligence, due diligence, due diligence; the last thing you need is to invest in materials to just have them sat there as dead money tied up as stock for X number of months.

  • martindow
    martindow Posts: 10,207 Forumite
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    You need to be realistic about how many people will visit your site.  Putting up a web site can be relatively cheap and easy, but driving traffic towards it is not. 
    Having said this many businesses start small and grow organically.  If you are happy to start this as a hobby business I would give it a go but not invest too much cash until you are sure that it is viable. 
  • Mistral001
    Mistral001 Posts: 5,348 Forumite
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    edited 11 June 2020 at 12:10PM
    Have you thought about selling on Ebay?   I have often bought something on Ebay to later buy direct from the Ebay seller's own website.   I suspect many businesses see having a presence on Ebay as a way of directing traffic to their own website. 
  • Montysmam
    Montysmam Posts: 22 Forumite
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    Thank you everyone, I am hoping eventually for this business to become my main source of income, however I do have other part-time work so can start with a soft launch and gradually build it up. I have sold on other platforms in the past including ETSY but haven't tried EBAY yet. I'll have to let you know how I get on!
  • Montysmam
    Montysmam Posts: 22 Forumite
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    GabiB said:
    Although my knowledge of business is rather sketchy, if the product is aimed at children then maybe now is a good time (as children are bored at home), if it’s aimed at adults then maybe not as craftwork isn’t really top of people’s priorities (sorry). That’s really all I can say.

    Thank you, my work generally comes as a finished product and is enjoyed by young and old, but I can create some of my products into moulds that can then be painted by children at home, so will look at this idea. 
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