Business world has been going through a transformation in terms of digitalization for quite some years now. There is almost no sector which haven’t been influenced by this digitalization. From finding a maid for your house to buying big machinery, there is nothing which will not be addressed in the online world. People are socializing and even finding spouses for themselves. When it comes to e-commerce, it is absolutely dominating worldwide. The ease of buying things from the comfort of your home is not only convenient but joyful as well. The e-commerce trend in Pakistan has also taken off and especially from the last 4 to 5 years, Pakistan’s e-commerce industry has been booming. It has provided immense opportunities for small businesses especially the home based ones.
How to start an online business in Pakistan?
As mentioned earlier, Pakistan’s digital sector has been booming in its own capacity for quite some time now. People are putting their existing businesses online and the newbies are storming in as well. Online businesses can be of different types. You can either offer your services or sell certain things. People have been doing a lot of work in through freelancing. You can find numerous people making good money by offering their skills to different businesses. First of all, you need to know where your interest lies, and pick the relevant field of work.
Pakistan is one of the biggest countries in the world when it comes to freelancing. People have been offering their services worldwide by using different freelance platforms. If you have a skill, it could be any, maybe you are a good photographer, graphic designer, Photoshop expert, video editor, translator or literally anything which makes you productive, you will find a room on the internet to make your services available for others and to generate income from it. You can randomly search freelancing platforms on google and even show your presence on social media platforms by joining different freelance groups.
How to acquire a skill for online work?
Let’s say you don’t have a considerable skill that can help you find work online, then you need to acquire a skill. Acquiring a skill does not mean you have to rely on someone else and spend money. You need to be smart enough to have research skills and should use platforms like YouTube where you can learn literally anything in the world for absolutely free. The information on the YouTube seems to be very scattered. All you need to do is to be patient with it and find the most relevant content that will help you acquire a skillset. Learning it then depends on how much you can give it time. Some of the most in demand skills like digital marketing and graphic designing can be learnt in a very short time. Once you acquire a certain skill then you can make your presence on certain platforms where people would be interested in your services.
Experience over Money
One of the most difficult things to do is find work when you have no experience. People usually hope to start making money right away which almost never happens. The competition and saturation is everywhere and you need to play smart. If you are not getting work, you should not waste your time doing absolutely nothing. You must look for internship opportunities, low salary jobs only to make your profile look better and gain experience but never get yourself stuck at one level. Patience is key but you also need to closely monitor your progress and growth.
Ecommerce Business in Pakistan
Online selling is something which is very convenient to most of the people especially the women who can work from the comfort of their homes. However, the start of this online business or anything for that matter is not very easy. You need to make up your mind on the products you will chose, the platform you will use, the money you will spend on purchasing and marketing and most importantly where to source your products from. These are the things which confuse most people and they just end up giving up on their plans. Always remember: “Everything is hard before it is easy”. No matter what happens, do not give up and give it your very best. Here are few steps which you should follow while planning your online business:
- What should you sell?
The first step is to make up your mind on what to sell. Also remember, you do not always have to come up with something unique to be successful. You can also do what other people are doing but in a better way. You should do your research on different potential products that interest you. See if they have a market and analyze your potential competitors. Be patient with your research and then you can move to the next step.
2. Where and how to sell?
You need to finalize your platform as where are you going to sell your product. You can either go for an established ecommerce platform like Daraz in Pakistan, have a website or not, choose one or more social media platforms. It all depends on the budget you have. Let’s say, you don’t have enough in the beginning then you should stick with the free social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Your website can come later. Then you need to plan on how to sell your product. You will have to spend some money on your marketing such as Facebook ads. One can spend on these ads from 2-3 dollars a day to thousands of dollars a day. You should go small and slow in the beginning, having considered and planned your budget.
3. Sourcing Products
Sourcing products is one of the most difficult steps in your online business. You need to find a place where you would get your products at your desired quality while keeping the price checked as well. Dealing and managing your manufacturer can be very frustrating. We at Maheen & Co. can help you with the right sourcing of your products. Or you should physically find the manufacturers and visit them in their factories. Getting the right product at right quantity and price should be your priority.
4. Hiring people
There are certain things in your online business which need to be managed such as social media marketing, social media account handling, website making and handling, stock handling and managing the shipping. These are the things that you will either have to do all by yourself given that you have the skill or will learn to have it. Or, you would need to hire someone who would manage these things for you. We at Maheen & Co. offer these services as well.
Making Business Partnerships
When you plan to start a business, you also need to know if you are going to do it all by yourself or you are going to make partnership with maybe a friend/relative of yours. Partnerships help with the financial side of the business as you would have more than one person to raise the investment. The risk and the work also gets shared. However, people have many issues when it comes to dealing with the partner and one of the main reasons of that is the lack of proper communication. No matter who you are going to make your partner in business, you and your partner need to be very clear about the terms and conditions of your partnership. There must be regular and effective communication. You can also run your business as a sole proprietor if you have enough finances and guts to take the risk.
Registering your Business and Legalities
There are some legalities involved such as registering your business to the relevant authority, filling taxes and managing your trademarks etc. While starting a small online based business, you would not necessarily need all these legalities fulfilled right away however, as the things go by and you start running your business, you will have to take care of all the legalities as well.