Online Toolkit for first Generation Entrepreneurs in India

Since May 2022 we’ve received ample enquiries from new age entrepreneurs, especially first generation, regarding all the technical setups, needs, marketing etc. to run a business online. Since many of the queries revolved around selecting a brand name, Google My Business registration, choosing an online market place, UI design, setting up the online market place, and finally payment integration, we thought of compiling some of the information into one blog! 

In this blog we explore 3 important points: IDEA, ONLINE SHOP and TEAM BUILDING. 

Q: So, what’s needed to setup an online business? 
A: Idea, Platform, and a team that can deliver through good management. 

Yes, you read it right! You most certainly need an idea and an online platform to begin your business. 

If you are already wondering why we did not suggest a legal entity, financial investment, and trademark then you ought to read this blog in detail. 

1. IDEA 


An idea could be absolutely anything. For example, an idea could be a solution to major / minor pain point of our country’s national issues, or something that could make a process or a system simpler and efficient. Moreover, you do not have to be an inventor / manufacturer – you can be a trader! 

(A trader of goods can begin with zero investment and through sales you can build your own capital.)

2. ONLINE STORE 

Step 1: Choosing an online store. 

To be honest, setting up an online store is slightly more affordable than building your own ecommerce website. The only reason for such affordability is that you can opt for a deferred payment system. For example, to pay Shopify upto Rs. 2500/- per month is much more affordable than building your own ecommerce website (approx Rs. 40,000 and above). However, it also depends on your business idea, business plan, and how long you intend to run it. 

Let’s break down the above costs as follows: 

Option A: SHOPIFY (by far the most robust option available!)

As a first generation entrepreneur your business would take anywhere between 1 to 3 years to setup. Right? So, what’s the total you’d pay shopify over a period of 3 years? At approx. Rs. 1500 per month, the total would be Rs. 54,000/- over 3 years. Add to this the time, technical knowledge, and adding other marketing automations to it. You would probably spend upto Rs. 1,00,000/- over 3 years, or in other words, Rs. 33,000 per year + GST. (If your business does not have a GST number, then you will not get the GST benefit)

There is a range of templates (UI. User Interface) you could choose from as the frontend ‘look’ of your Shopify store. There are some really good in-built tools on Shopify which you can use for making your products cart and integrating payments gateway is also very easy. 

Option B: Your own e-commerce website

Based on experience and expertise, web development agencies offer a wide range of rates for building your e-commerce website. The payment is usually bi-segmented: a) for designing the UI, and b) for coding the website. 

Design is absolutely important as it is the first framework that visitors and potential clients see. It’s what the people connect to. Design should ideally be in line with your brand guidelines, but also accommodate easy navigation for the users. 

Web development should be crisp with a few plugins (extra lines of code and tons of plugins affect the website in many ways than you might know!). If your developer is using wordpress, then the developer will add WooCommerce to it. 

Coming to costs, then you might get a well to do e-commerce store with design in approx. Rs. 45,000/-. 

Be very careful when someone offers you a lower rate, as it could be because of one of the following reasons: 

1. Template: A lot of developers download licensed / pirated templates from ThemeForest. Using a template will limit your options to edit the design, edit custom codes, add brand elements, edit currency symbols, or lower the loading time.

2. Wix: Wix is actually a great platform but if you are willing to run the extra mile to do things by yourself. Paying a developer to setup a wix e-commerce store will be expensive. This is because Wix was built so that entrepreneurs like you can become more independent while cutting down on expenditures from startup capital.  

In any case, whether it’s a lower rate or a higher rate, make sure you ask the right questions to know what your website is built on, and how sustainable will it be. Furthermore, every website page needs a standard SEO and you need to track your visitors and their behavior by connecting an analytics tracking tool. 

We’d suggest you to try out Shopify first before getting yourself busy with other ways to sell online. If you have already setup your e-commerce store then we’d suggest you to get a digital presence audit done. 

3. TEAM: 

There will be people or peers who might say that “product is important” or “you need money to start business” or “strategic planning is necessary” – HOLD ON! None of this is important if you do not have a team. 

So, let’s look at 5 important questions about building a team for your startup: 

Q1. What is the minimum number of team members that I need for my startup? 
A1: There is no minimum requirement as such. This requirement depends on the nature of your business. For example, if your startup is trading a food product / supplying clothing, then you will surely need 1 organization manager and 1 errands runner. 

Organization Manager: In the initial days you could ask your friends to help, take a friend as a partner and share the responsibility, get an intern to work with you for 3 months, or get capital to invest on salary. 

Q2. How much should I pay the team
A2: You could negotiate upto Rs. 10,000/- per month depending upon the number of hours per day involvement. The salaries range anything in between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 35,000 per month (starting salary considering perks and raises). 

Q3. How should I handle crisis like situations and cover up for a member when he is on leave?
A3: YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED! We all are humans and bound to land in crises. It depends on your mindset and what result you want from the situation. You could get angry and fire the employee or you could choose to understand their situation and offer help. You could solve the situation for them by taking their load of responsibilities. Having an employee DOES NOT MEAN that you can go on a vacation and make the employee slog. Remember, it is a mutual understanding, respect, and clarity in objectives that will help you bond better. 

Q4. What if they don’t perform – is hire and fire the only way out? 
A4: Make sure you conduct a fair interview. But, after you hire give the employee 3 – 9 weeks to perform. Allow them to make mistakes and nurture their growth. It’s like planting a rose bush – nurture it well but do not over protect.  

Q5. What if I get a team but I don’t get enough orders in a month. Will the salary money go waste?
A5: Selling is the most important activity that an entrepreneur should practice. Selling is an art. Ethical selling is even a greater art! It’s the sales teams’ job to get the orders. But don’t be harsh. Dive deeper into your business, understand your addressable market, your target market, study consumerism, pricing, supply chain etc. and you will find your potential customer. 

By the way,  a potential customer is not always someone you’d want to fool to choose your product; we think that there are unhappy, unsatisfied, critical-eyed, and all such types of customers in the market. If you study and sell ethically then you will hopefully not have this question! 

In addition, financial planning is very important. Consult your CA, business friends, colleagues etc. to get the best advice. alternatively, you could also signup on the following platform to book an online mentor: 

We hope that you have learned something new or revised an old memory by reading this blog.

Entrepreneurship is filled with great opportunities. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and fly high with all your faith. 

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