To my observation, the first strategic matter faced by the company in launching and developing their new e-business venture is to streamline their mode of operation by setting up their e-commerce site (web) and making it practical to their needs. Jim and Candy and Jim made the decision to hire a vendor to host their site. I addition, they went on to use the computer resources of the same vendor to run their business. Come inauguration time, they decided to use the online giant, Yahoo Store.
That move seemed to be the best idea, although with time the online Yahoo services deemed to be more expensive that originally though. Taking the vendor route, facilitated things for Jim and Candy to start up their e-business and without much guidance or assistance, two owners were forced to design their own website. Another strategic issue that plagues many start-up, first year companies (businesses) is that of credibility which posed a significant challenge when potential customers started to phone in to wishing to speak with actual employees/personnel before they would place an order.
About the most important issues that were related to the business was the challenge of finding the source for their products.
As easy as it seemed, the manufacturers turned out to be more difficult to access. As a lead was narrowed down, the products (namely earrings that clipped on), were not of the most attractive in nature. Simultaneously, the company was not aware of what the latest styles were or what customer preferred.
Sadly, the clip-on earrings were not the most appealing to customers. Likewise, when Jim and Candy purchased products from their wholesale suppliers, the jewelry prices were somewhat high. Only by reaching out to manufacturers, did Jim and Candy solve their sourcing problem. Soon after that, Jim and Candy began to attend national shows such as the: “Manufacturers’ International Fashion Jewelry Accessories and Gifts” like the one that could be found in Rhode Island. Without a doubt, a large number of competitors began with their smear campaigns in an attempt to give Jim and Candy a bad name for their business which in turn became yet another strategic issue. Their reputation took a hit when false advertisements hit the streets, selling shoddy products in their name.
A few recommendations to Jim and Candy are that as their business grows even more substantially, they should really look into marketing and advertising with their personal, distinct logo. Nowadays, its nearly “free” to advertise online. One avenue I would explore would be to create a “Facebook” page and have it chock full of hyperlinks which future customers can be redirected to their website when their logo is clicked on. As sad as it may be, another option would be to outsource their product to overseas manufacturers, at the end of the day, companies have survived using this tactic which reduces costs and prices overall. Further, sourcing clip on earrings from abroad will provide Jim and Candy with a larger variety of earrings. They will be able to display a far larger selection on their website.
Vertical integration could be another option that Jim and Candy could explore. By in-housing their manufacturing in-state, will give them better control over design and quality. A separate page for advertising and shopping for mobile customers should also be created, seeing that a lot of shopping can now be done by smart phones. This approach could prove to be beneficial seeing that there is less clutter and advertising on mobile phones than there is on the standard internet. At the end of the day, I feel that the better a company markets, the better it likens its chances of not only survival but exponentially growing to a huge company.