Yes, did it for 3.5 years
As far as telephone goes I was lucky as I was not office based for my job so could take phone calls as required without too much hassle - if not, let the answerphone take them as required.
If you are going to do it, you just have to accept compromise in other parts of your life - social life goes out the window as do friends who don't want to understand what you are doing!
But, it's worth it - from virtually no capital, I now work for myself, when I want, how I want, can pay the bills and have a rapidly expanding business.
As I've mentioned in other threads, e-commerce really is so new that if you can get into it now and make it work, you will be made for life - only a fraction of the potential of e-commerce is being realised thus far
Go for it!
Yeah I have done it.
It was really hard work, 8 hours at work then more work when I got home, again Im not truly office based and can disappear from work for days on end with no one noticing, or thinking its odd im not around.
Phone calls wernt a problem I used a phone answering firm in London.
Its real hard work.
Yeah, I am doing it now, and have been for about 6 months.
It is a bit of a strain, but you should be able to do it. It takes me about an hour a night doing Orers and probably another half an hour doing the packing (i only sell small Items). I generally get about 12 sales on a bad day.
It can be a bit of a strain on your social life, but it is easy enough to work around. I always keep Saturday nights free, and I always try and play tennis/footy on my day off, as I have more time. You will find people don't quite understand if you do have to turn them down, but oh well.
If you do decide to go ahead it may be worth having some one that could give you a hand now and again. If you're in a relationship, you're partner may be able to help. I've trained up my 14 year old sister, and she is more than capable of printing invoices and packing some widgets.
I wouldn't change it though, It's good fun, and will hopefully lead to me working full time for myself. I've got another couple of sites planned, so hopefully I will be expanding soon.
It is doable, but I recommend going into it with a partner. It is much easier knowing you have someone to rely on if you can't do your duties for a few days. Also, you'll be able to go on vacation and have your partner cover while you're gone. I don't recommend getting your spouse/SO involved at all. Keep it seperate.
I insisted on email communication. That way I can log even in my work PC and respond to the emails I got from my business. But I do have an answering machine to take the calls.
There are answering services that can take your call. Do a search online for "answering service."
I'm doing it... 4 years now.
I stick to email communications unless an emergency occurs then I'll get buzzed on my mobile. I also meet with my customers every other week during my lunch breaks.
Yea its a bit hard when your doing the this type of business all by yourself. Unfortunately I work fulltime and i do have a Office based job and become so tired when i get home all i want to do is relax. The one time i tried to combine both my fulltime job and tried to pull off working on my Internet business fulltime (basically leaving me with no rest or lil sleep) I ended up getting carpeltunnel sysdrome. Thats when i gave it a break. But i came up with the conclusion that its best if you have partners who are on the same page as you and look to acheive a certain goal as well.
I work occasional contracts and answer a toll free number. I often find myself diving under cubicles when the phone rings. Orders are more often than not written on a napkin or a parking stub.
Either that or my 3 year old is screaming in the background....I am trying to cut down on that.
It is a real juggling act now, especially since we are only getting busier.
I have just outsourced most of my packing and shipping and we'll see how that works out.
Next thing I am looking to outsource is customer service. At least have someone to answer the phone when I can't.
My site is a relatively low transaction how average ticket site so phone contact is often essential to get the sale.
That is my situation right now.
After this contract full time web..that's what I keep saying anyway.