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Ecommerce Forum

Fulltime job and a ecomm site, possible?

 9:33 pm on Sep 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is it possible for 1 person to handle both a fulltime 9-5 job and run an ecommerce site?

Keep in mind, the actual shipping will be managed by a fulfillment company, but I will still have to obviously purchase products and monitor inventory levels etc.

Other than that, I will have to do the rest of whatever it takes to run a online store: email, Credit Cart charges/issues/etc., etc.

I'm thinking it is doable, but will probably take 1-2 hours out of my day, or am I nuts? hehe



 7:49 am on Sep 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

If your site really takes off, no way. You will be surprised how much work can be involved on a successful site. Not only the items that you have already
listed but also returns, complaints, fraud blocking and more.

But if its a roaring success, bail on the job!...KF


 3:09 am on Sep 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

All of my products are drop-shipped from my distributors, so I don't have to spend time packing and mailing.

Still, there's a lot of time involved processing the orders, answering questions, dealing with returns, dealing with customer problems (they don't always read the directions), etc.

A few months ago I added a toll-free number, and that's brought in more orders. I couldn't do that if I weren't by the phone all day.

There are sites in my niche that are obviously run by people who do their business after their day job. I have no idea how much they do in sales, though.


 11:33 am on Sep 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't leave your full time job until the e-commerce store is

a) complete
b) indexed in google
c) taking some money via paypal/google checkout

Once it's actually earning, then I'd consider leaving full time job to start an e-commerce career, but no sooner.


 3:16 pm on Sep 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Its alot of work, but its worth while


 5:28 pm on Sep 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Dreamer,

I agree with Nick.

I just want to add that automation will take care of the ordering and inventory. You should only need to deal with corresponding with customer emails, Google and PayPal. Don't post your phone number til you quit the day job. And then, you may still want to keep it private ;)


 5:53 pm on Sep 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

From personal experience, it's the most stressful and frustrating thing not having the income in once you leave a full time position (even though you think your shop should be making money). If I could wind the clock back I would've stuck it out, completed the site and actually learnt the industry a bit more before quitting my day job.

Write the best product descriptions you can! (spend 2-4 months sorting it all out - titles, seo stuff, product images and speak to suppliers/ask them to check out your site) and you'll be in great shape. If you plan on using paypal/g checkout, that they can be setup very early on as is fairly straight foward and free to implement.

Once you are taking some money and can see progress, move over to a merchant account, get a phone # etc - that's the stage I'd consider reaching before leaving.

I know, bit of a killjoy but unless you've got some actual e-commerce experience and good funding it's worth considering the above factors before a complete switch.

Good luck whatever you choose :)

As for doing them both - I suppose you could, but you'd have a lot less personal time and if you play your cards right could almost switch from one to the other without losing much money.


 7:59 pm on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe you can get homeless to move in with you (give the poor man a home) and he can run it for you? LOL. No, but really...the other posters are right...it is a LOT of work, be careful!


 8:55 pm on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

LOL. Run it for him. Show me the money. I'll use it to pay someone to run mine.

It's a lot of work. I easily work 12 - 16 hours a day on mine. I don't even have enough time to start another site.

8 hours sleep, what's that. Catnaps for me. Just like Henry Ford. I don't even know if I nap by choice.

Not trying to scare you Dreamer. 1 - 2 hours a day for now...Full time job later. The 9-5 won't work for long, there will be too many things you will want/need to take care of during those hours.

homeless not poor anymore. No more shelters. No more bosses. Hopefully, homeless will have his house back next year. Should be plenty to choose from by then.

Good luck ( When you tell your boss, ur the man now :)


 9:43 pm on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree, homeless...shoot, I work a FULL time job at an ecommerce site and then work almost every other hour in the day on my own sites... at LEAST 16 hours. Basically I squeeze in a couple of minutes on the crapper, a few in the shower, get a few nibbles of dinner in, sleep a couple and back at it. Oh, man, I GUFFAW at these commercials I see where they say work no hours and make it RICH on the net, HAHAHAHA, sigh. Right. In this business, there is ALWAYS something you have to do. I don't HAVE to work at my regular job, but I love the company and at least I can get out of the house, LOL. Anyway, AffiliateDreamer...if you are a man/woman of hard work, you can do it... good luck! PS, I plan on winning the Powerball this Wed., so I don't know if I'll see all anymore :)


 2:57 pm on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)


When you win, please come spend your money at my sites... :o)

Has anyone here ever tried to get funding from venture capitalists? or from any other non-traditional source?

I was not working for my current company at the time, but we were purchased by a large company in our industry for our URLs/real-estate and brand, which allowed those working part-time or on-the-side to receive benefits and devote themselves the sites. This may be a later stage in the game than the OP is at...but still. Is the experience of my company wholly out of the ordinary?

I suppose being picked up by another company is not an option for sites in many niches. However, AffiliateDreamer, if you consider it viable, you may wish to find a company with a substantive B&M presence which is under-serving the web and try to integrate with them. That way, you can work "9-5" (I don't think anyone in my office has ever been able to limit themselves to these hours...so 12-16 hour days must be the norm for e-commerce -- damn the web for never sleeping!).


 6:48 pm on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a twist...

At times it seems people want to estalish an ecommerce site to create a J.O.B for themselves with better flextime.

I always thought creating an ecommerce venture was more for passive income, in that you innovate an automated (or semi-automated at least) framework while working off some niche and applying some creative marketing, branding and excellent fulfillment practices. Not to mention the high competition levels, low margins and security measures.

boy was i wrong...

4 years in, i have an ecommerce entity pulling $20,000 a month (100,000 a month in holiday season Nov and Dec) while we fulfill all orders at a 50% or so margin. And still, we are in the red 10 months out of the year. At the end of day, ive just created a J.O.B whereas I make the same at my full time JOB where i only work 40 hours a week (versus the 80-90 hrs per week I do now)

And every holiday season, i have to quit my full time JOB for my internet venture because, well, we ship over 100 parcels a day and generate over $10,000 a day in Nov and Dec --- try doing that with a full time job.

So, id say that if you want to benefit from ecommerce, you better have a business model thats scalable, marketing plan and business plan with ample credit opportunities.
Its not an "on the side" PASSIVE INCOME WITH MINIMUM EFFORT venture like the infomercials say.


 6:57 pm on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm kinda hoping both can be done....for a while anyway. My full-time job is about 60hours a week. Got a site about to go live, and reckon revenue will be slow - mainly because I realise I can't devote enough time to get things really going quickly. That being said it just might make decent cash one day but I personally wouldn't quit the day job until I knew the mortgage could be paid.

An alternative is, once revenue picks up, to hire staff to run things for you. One day, though, the choice will come between day job or site and that is where I think it depends on how much risk you are prepared to take in life. One thing many entrepreneurs seem to have in common - they have had to gamble everything they had to make it big. Guess the best thing is to limit the risks before making the leap!


 8:05 pm on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

At times it seems people want to estalish an ecommerce site to create a J.O.B for themselves with better flextime.

I always thought creating an ecommerce venture was more for passive income, in that you innovate an automated (or semi-automated at least) framework while working off some niche and applying some creative marketing, branding and excellent fulfillment practices. Not to mention the high competition levels, low margins and security measures.

boy was i wrong...

it can be be done, I haven't worked more then a couple hours a day in over a year. Most days I don't do any work at all.

Outsource, outsource, outsource

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