E-Commerce Blueprint

While this isn’t a technical ‘how-to’ list on how to start an ecommerce company, it’s the top 10 list I’ve developed on how to start an ecommerce company in 2013:

  • Give back – be a socially conscious company with a cause
  • Use keywords in your titles (the most impactful part of SEO)
  • Make it shareable and shareworthy (Gamification/viralness)
  • Write about peoples problems (and how to solve/escape them)
  • Go small within a niche first – build up a “beachhead” then expand
  • Repurpose your content (ex. record you reading a blog post)
  • Build a platform for marketing (ex. a website + social media)
  • Be a real, transparent person (as a opposed to just a company)
  • Don’t worry about anything you can pay for (ex. design elements)
  • Start with the product first, then build out from there #sellfirst

As I wrote on my Twitter profile, I am “an IT business analyst in Indianapolis specializing in WordPress web design & technology consulting & I’m now building an ecommerce business.” I have decided to document the building of this ecommerce business on this blog and a lot of these ideas have to do with content development, which I have talked about in customer development and how to get more customers. It’s really about creating systems for ecommerce and developing success by management. According to Steve Blank, startups are simply a, “organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” An e-commerce business is not a startup because it is already a well-defined business model that is proven and repeatable. The only question is to how you will run your e-commerce business. This is not a search for a new way of making money, but of your way of making money. Essentially it’s a question of how you will run, or manage your business. In other words, it’s a search for your internal business model, or management style, that can be repeated and replicated within your own company (or e-commerce business). This above list on how I choose to run my e-ecommerce business is a glimpse into the how I think an ecommerce business should be ran.

IT Business Analyst with Dentrix Experience

I do IT services for dentists and dental offices, specifically Dentrix training and implementation, Google Apps intranets, and WordPress websites.

I’m an IT Business Analyst that provides IT services for dental offices. I’ve been providing IT services for 7 years after graduating from IU in Indianapolis. I’m A+, Network+, and Microsoft certified. I have experience with Dentrix G4 and G5 and am looking for other dental offices who are considering switching to Dentrix.

IT Business Analyst and Indianapolis Dentrix Expert

I recently upgraded a dental office in Indianapolis from Dentrix G4 to Dentrix G5. I’ve also helped them with their dental website design and online marketing efforts from Facebook to Twitter to Google Adsense. In addition to technical design and implementation, I also do business consulting in the form of staffing models.

It’s become cliche to say you’re experienced at Microsoft Office, but I’d say I’m a pretty advanced Excel user. I even made an analogy at my last Indianapolis Marketing Meetup meetup that Google Analytics’ database could be manipulated similarly to a pivot table in Excel. Excel is a great tool and one I’m fond of for organizing and displaying information, which is something I really like doing.

In fact, you could boil almost everything I do down to organization and display because whether I’m setting up a Windows server, a network architecture, a website in WordPress, an Intranet in Google Apps, or a custom dashboard in Excel, I’m always doing the same thing: categorizing, organizing, and displaying information so it’s easy to follow, easy to read, and useful.

Do I always succeed? No, but I’m continually seeking ways to get better – and I adapt to my users. Dentrix is a perfect example of this. I didn’t set out to learn Dentrix, but when no one in the dental office knew how to use it, they asked me to learn it and teach others – so that’s what I did. Now I realize that Dentrix is just CRM software to organize and display patient information to dentists. Who would have thought?


Business On the Side

The days of working as a business analyst by day and a business consultant by night are starting to wear on me.

For those of you who don’t know, I run Watershawl Technology Consulting and do Internet Marketing for Cost Publishing “on the side” while maintaining a day job as a business analyst. I’m Microsoft Certified and have worked as a network technician in the past so I tend to understand both sides of the fence. I realize the balance that needs to exist between business needs and technical specs. This makes me a good business consultant.

The problem is time, which is the same problem we all have. I know I am entrepreneurial by nature and enjoy solving problems, but I can’t be in two places at once and this causes stress. Its stress I put myself in, but like I said, its starting to wear on me. I’ve been working “on the side” since I graduated from college in 2005. Even before graduating I worked full time while in school. I know what it means to balance work and life goals. Every once in a while, though, you have to ask yourself, “Why?

Why do I do what I do?

I enjoy watching my clients businesses grow while my business grows at the same time and I’ve learned to relish that growth, but what am I growing into? What is Watershawl? I dream of the day this company is able to employ myself and others for the good of the community, creating and updating new and exciting solutions for customers online and off. I would love for my children to have someplace to work or learn new skills as they grow into their careers. I would love to be able to work from home. Those are all the goals I am working towards. That is who Watershawl is. What can Watershawl do for you?

August 2011 Update: My First Day of Work After Quitting My Day Job