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These are books that have benefited us both professionally and personally as entrepreneurs over the past couple of years. When things start to go well in our lives, why do we always find a way to bring fear and worry back in? Reading this book made us dig down and ask ourselves some difficult, uncomfortable questions. Derek Sivers built his multi-million dollar company, CD Baby, by asking one simple question every time he faced a decision. Does this help the customer?

She brought vulnerability and shame into the light so we could name what we were feeling. If you are the kind of person who worries about what someone may think of you and your new business, this book will help you to overcome that constant fear of judgement. Think and Grow Rich — Napoleon Hill. First published in , it is still considered one of the must-reads for anyone interested in starting and growing a business. This book is well researched, motivational, and filled with timeless wisdom.

Give yourself the gift of reading a chapter each night before bed and see what unfolds for you in the coming weeks. Just read it and have a journal and favorite pen close by. Do you see your teaching and work as a craft?

11 Must-Read Newsletters for Entrepreneurs

This time-honored classic gives the artist, writer, or entrepreneur in all of us some brilliant tactical advice for when the going gets tough. For anyone that has ever tried to do something new and brave, there comes a time where we start to run out of motivation. Steven impresses upon us the importance of self-realisation and how to deal with resistance when it comes up in our creative ventures.

This one also makes for a great audiobook to keep on your phone. This is a must for anyone wanting to embrace her creative side, but may be a bit nervous about what others may think. Your mission is to sell products, not drive traffic. To sell products, you have to think beyond your site and look for expansion areas. No matter what and how you decide to sell, the first step is to create an email list.

Running a giveaway is my go-to marketing tactic to get traffic and subscribers quickly. Giveaways have the added benefit of increasing your brand presence and product visibility. Building an email list gives you a group of warm leads to work with, making the sales process much easier. Providing consumers with coupons and content via email helps to keep your brand on their mind, boost sales, and establish credibility. Respond quickly to customer service and product quality issues, and work on building relationships.

No sales interaction is about the first sale; focus on the next one always. On your site, look at how and where traffic flows. Are your product pages targeted to your persona? Are you losing would-be customers in the same place? Use analytics to help with this task. There are tools that can help you monitor and optimize every step of the sales process. Make use of them. Look into partner and affiliate marketing to boost your brand presence by offering affiliate marketing options and partnering with retailers in your shoulder niches. You can also offer bloggers in your niche a free sample of your product in exchange for reviews.

Include a card with each product that asks for an honest review and provides contact information for your company email is enough, unless you have a dedicated customer service phone line. Did this post answer your questions about starting an ecommerce store? If so, please give it a share. Your success is important to me. I really hope you enjoyed the insights Ive shared on starting an ecommerce business. As I believe, a fruitful eCommerce business must be exceptional, unique, and more productive than your competitors to succeed.

As usual Darren, it is a good read. Small business owners should know how to niche down. Some of us want to be a jack of all trades, and it will hurt us in the long run. Nice article. Have learnt a lot from your wealth of experience. What do you think is the best form of advertising an ecommerce on a very small budget. Great blog!!! But they also have good infrastructure to scale.

They have an amazing partnership integration so you can get partners to help you execute tasks directly in their wheelhouse, i. We just attended Unite and got the skinny on some of their new features. Be pumped! Hey Scott. I enjoyed reading this and learned a lot from it.

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It really is quite challenging starting your own ecommerce business. Anyways, overall I love this post. Thank you for sharing them. WOW, I really enjoyed reading this and I appreciated how to the point and simple you made it to understand. I learned a lot and really appreciate all the references you added throughout the article for additional support, def looked through some of those while and even took notes.

Thank you so much! Im actually from the philippines, a very poor country. Anyways,I read so many success stories about making money online. Can I ask? What can be the first move I must do? Is it join a program and series of training? I know success is depending on my effort,what I need is a guaranteed program. Pls send me a reply darren, Im begging. It depends on what business model you like. I think thats the first step — is to learn about the business models and the resources you need.

If you dont have a product idea — or a physical product you want to sell — affiliate marketing is a good route. Take my free course. Research Research Research. That is the first step for many people. I spent nearly a year researching and writing my business plan. It has paid off. I got an investor on my first try, and the best part is the upfront costs are going to be paid through a grant, so I do not even have to pay back the investment. We are currently finalizing the financials and exactly how and where the money is going to be spent. Yes, we went through 3 rounds of changes on the business plan before they accepted it, but the time spent researching has paid off.

That is my little 2 cents. Good luck with your future business. Hi Darren, Just went through your article and it came at the right time. Especially for a startup choosing a single product prevents you from an overcrowded idea. I am about to start an e-commerce business and have been having problems on which products to start with. Thanks for the article. Hello, I want to start an ecommerce store selling homemade natural beauty products.

I primarily want to just create the products from my home but an concerned with the legality of doing so. Could it be possible to do both dropshipping and a home-created product sales with ease? Hey Marissa — thanks for writing in. Yeah its no different than Etsy. I am really good at building wordpress website and I can code I went to school for it. But no idea what to do my business on. Could anyone help me with ideas or a way to start a ecommerce website for low money.

At this Health Summit, the participants dissected the crisis in the health system and proposed immediate, short term and medium term solutions to improve the effectiveness of the health system. The task of building a better South Africa is our collective responsibility as a nation, as the people of South Africa. It is at the centre of the work of every department of government, of every agency, of every public entity.

While there is a broad range of critical work being done across government, this evening I want to address the five most urgent tasks at this moment in our history.

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Secondly, our history demands that we should improve the education system and develop the skills that we need now and into the future. Thirdly, we are duty bound to improve the conditions of life for all South Africans, especially the poor. Over the past year, we have focused our efforts on accelerating inclusive growth, significantly increasing levels of investment and putting in place measures to create more jobs.

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Government responded with an economic stimulus and recovery plan that re-directed public funding to areas with the greatest potential for growth and job creation. Our approach was not to spend our way out of our economic troubles, but to set the economy on a path of recovery. We introduced a range of measures to ignite economic activity, restore investor confidence, support employment and address the urgent challenges that affect the lives of vulnerable members of our society. We are pleased to report that significant progress has been made in restoring policy certainty on mining regulation and the visa regime, crafting the path towards mobile spectrum allocation, and reviewing port, rail and electricity prices.

We also began the process of stabilising and supporting 57 municipalities, where over 10, municipal infrastructure projects are being implemented. The focus we have placed on revamping industrial parks in townships and rural areas has brought about discernible change, as industrial parks that have been lying idle are becoming productive again. We have so far completed the revitalisation of 10 out of 16 identified industrial parks, in places such as Botshabelo, Phuthaditjhaba, Garankuwa, Isithebe, Komani and Seshego.

The levels of growth that we need to make significant gains in job creation will not be possible without massive new investment. The inaugural South Africa Investment Conference in October last year provided great impetus to our drive to mobilise R1. The Investment Conference attracted around R billion in investment pledges from South African and international companies. Official data shows that just in the first three quarters of , there was an inflow of R70 billion.

To prove that our investment conference was not just a talk shop where empty promises were made, as we speak, projects to the value of R billion are being implemented, and projects worth another R26 billion are in pre-implementation phase. We will be identifying the sectors and firms we want and need in South Africa and actively attract investors. Based on our experiences over the past year, and to build on the momentum achieved, we will host the South Africa Investment Conference again this year.

It is our intention that the investment we generate should be spread out in projects throughout the country. In this regard, I have asked provincial governments to identify investable projects and ensure that we build investment books for each of our nine provinces to present to potential investors.

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Following our successful Investment Conference, a group of South African business leaders moved by the spirit of Thuma Mina initiated the Public-Private Growth Initiative to facilitate focused investment plans of leading companies across 19 sectors of the economy, from mining to renewable energy, from manufacturing to agriculture. These industries expect to substantially expand investment over the next five years and create a vast number of new jobs, especially if we can enhance demand for local goods, further stabilise the labour environment and improve conditions for doing business.

As part of our ongoing work to remove constraints to greater investment, we have established a team from the Presidency, Invest SA, National Treasury and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation that will address the policy, legal, regulatory and administrative barriers that frustrate investors. This is an important aspect of our work to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa, which is essential to attracting investment. We have set ourselves the target of being among the top 50 global performers within the next 3 years.

It has long been recognised that one of the constraints that inhibit the growth of our economy is the high level of economic concentration. This has stifled growth and enterprise and has to a large extent kept many young South African entrepreneurs and small enterprises out of the economy or confine them to the margins. As part of our efforts to increase investment, and to foster greater inclusion and create more opportunities, I will soon sign into law the Competition Amendment Bill.

This will give the competition authorities the ability to address this problem but more importantly it will open up new opportunities for many South Africans to enter various sectors of the economy and compete on an equal footing. To stimulate growth in the economy, to build more businesses and employ more people, we need to find new and larger markets for our goods and services.

In line with Jobs Summit commitments, we will focus on the export of manufactured goods and trade in services such as business process outsourcing and the remote delivery of medical services. We will also be looking at establishing special economic zones that are dedicated to producing specific types of products, such as clothing and textiles, for example.

To improve the competitiveness of our exports, we will complete the studies that have begun on reducing the costs of electricity, trade, communications, transport and other costs. The agreement on the establishment of African Continental Free Trade Area offers great opportunities to place South Africa on a path of investment-led trade, and to work with other African countries to develop their own industrial capacity.

Alongside a focus on exports, we will pursue measures to increase local demand through, among other things, increasing the proportion of local goods and services procured both by government and the private sector. Increasing local demand, and reducing the consumption of imports, is important because it increases the opportunities for producers within South Africa to serve a growing market.

Given the key role that small businesses play in stimulating economic activity and employment — and in advancing broad-based empowerment — we are focusing this year on significantly expanding our small business incubation programme. The incubation programme provides budding entrepreneurs with physical space, infrastructure and shared services, access to specialised knowledge, market linkages, training in the use of new technologies and access to finance.

The incubation programme currently consists of a network of 51 technology business incubators, 10 enterprise supplier development incubators and 14 rapid youth incubators. As part of the expansion of this programme, township digital hubs will be established, initially in four provinces, with more to follow. We expect these hubs to provide most needed entrepreneurial service to small and medium enterprises in the rural areas and townships but more especially to young people who want to start their businesses.

Our greatest challenge is to create jobs for the unemployed of today, while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow. The Presidential Jobs Summit last year resulted in concrete agreements between organised labour, business, community and government. These agreements, which are now being implemented by social partners, aim to create , additional direct jobs every year. We have come up with great plans, platforms and initiatives through which we continue to draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity through initiatives like the Employment Tax Incentive.

In addition, we have launched the Youth Employment Service, which is placing unemployed youth in paid internships in companies across the economy.

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We call on all companies, both big and small, to participate in this initiative and thereby contribute not only to building their business but also to building the economy and fostering social cohesion. Progress is being made in the areas of installation, repair and maintenance jobs, digital and tech jobs like coding and data analytics, as well as global business services. These enable us to absorb more youth — especially those exiting schools and colleges, and those not in any education, training or employment — into productive economic activity and further work opportunities. As government, we have decided that the requirement for work experience at entry-level in state institutions will be done away with.

We are focusing our attention, our policies and our programmes on the key parts of the economy that are labour intensive. The potential of agriculture in South Africa for job creation and economic growth still remains largely underdeveloped. There are around , small emerging farmers who are working the land and need support in fully developing their businesses. Agricultural exports are an important source of revenue for our economy, and developing our agricultural sector is key to enhancing our food security and for attracting investment.

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We are fortunate to have an agricultural sector that is well-developed, resilient and diversified. We intend to use it as a solid foundation to help develop agriculture in our country for the benefit of all. Through an accelerated programme of land reform, we will work to expand our agricultural output and promote economic inclusion. Our policy and legislative interventions will ensure that more land is made available for agriculture, industrial development and human settlements.

I wish to commend the many South Africans who participated in the work of the Constitutional Review Committee in the dialogue that ensued through the length and the breadth of the country. I applaud the members of the Constitutional Review Committee for remaining focused throughout this period and sifting through the submissions that were made by ordinary South Africans and their organisations. We will support the work of the Constitutional Review Committee tasked with the review of Section 25 of the Constitution to unambiguously set out provisions for expropriation of land without compensation.

Alongside this constitutional review process we tasked the Deputy President to lead the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform to fast-track land reform. An advisory panel of experts headed by Dr Vuyo Mahlathi, established to advise government on its land reform programme, is expected to table its report by the end of March As part of accelerating land reform, we have identified land parcels owned by the state for redistribution. Strategically located land will be released to address human settlements needs in urban and peri-urban areas.

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As part of the stimulus package in agriculture, we have invested significantly in comprehensive farmer development support to ensure that restituted and communal land is productively utilised. We will continue to prioritise targeted skills development and capacity building programmes for smallholder and emerging black farmers.

In the coming year, we will continue to focus on high value agricultural products with export potential such as our fruit, wine and vegetable industries, as well as poultry and red meat. During SONA last year, we spoke at length about the huge potential that exists for the expansion of the tourism sector. Our concerted efforts to market South Africa as a prime destination for tourists has yielded positive results, with significant annual growth in the number of foreign visitors.

We intend to raise this to 21 million by , targeting, among others, the largest and fastest growing markets of India and China, as well as strong markets on our continent. In addition to direct jobs, this export industry could generate as many as 2 million more jobs in food and agriculture, construction, transport, retail, and the creative and cultural industries by This, combined with enhanced destination marketing and measures to strengthen tourism safety, will create the conditions for the growth we envisage, and the jobs and opportunities that will follow.

Our mere positioning as a country means we can harness the potential of our oceans to grow the economy. Since the Operation Phakisa on the Oceans Economy in , we have secured investments of nearly R30 billion and created over 7, direct jobs. The investments have been mainly in infrastructure development, marine manufacturing, aquaculture, and the oil and gas sector.

Expected investment in the Oceans Economy over the next five years is estimated at R3. These investments are expected to create over , direct jobs and more than , indirect jobs. We are extremely encouraged by the report this morning about the Brulpadda block in the Outeniqua Basin, which some have described as a catalytic find. Government will continue to develop legislation for the sector so that it is properly regulated for the interests of all concerned.

More than R1. These infrastructure investments also helped grow our economy and create many new jobs in construction and other sectors. Infrastructure development has been flywheel of the engine of our economy and has yielded tremendous benefits for the country. We have also realised that our infrastructure provision is too fragmented between the different spheres of government.