There’s a common theme amongst ecommerce entrepreneurs. The nine to five was getting them down, they knew they could have a better life, so they jumped head first into the world of ecommerce.

If you’re sitting at your desk at 3pm on a Wednesday wishing there was something more than working for ‘the man’ – maybe running your own ecommerce store is the answer.

We’ll run you through the pros and cons of starting your own ecommerce business – after all, it pays to be prepared.

Pros of starting your own ecommerce business


This has got to be the biggest pro of them all.

The flexibility you can have when running your own ecommerce business means you can be on holiday in Croatia while successfully running a business.

You can be working from anywhere in the world, and make money.

You can set your own hours too. You will be able to hang out with family and friends without asking for leave.

Of course, you will need to stay on top of calls and customer service in traditional hours, but night owls will rejoice at being able to work through the night – especially if your business ships internationally.

Low startup cost

Unlike a traditional bricks and mortar store, your ecommerce store doesn’t need to pay huge rent costs or require a huge business loan. You can easily scale an ecommerce store with minimal fuss.

Check out this handy resource from Shopify for more business startup tips

After you outlay the cost of setting up a website and domain, the costs of running a store are fairly minimal. You will need to do some serious marketing to get the customers to your website, but it’s an investment which will pay off.

The world is your oyster, literally

It’s a huge positive which needs to be emphasised – when you sell online, you aren’t limiting yourself to selling to a small audience. Unlike the bricks and mortar shops which are limited by location, you can be shipping your products across the world.

You have the opportunity to access markets others have never heard of, and a way to sell the super niche product you love. Finding niche markets are tricky when you’re limited by geography, not so much when you’re online.

Cons of starting your own ecommerce business

You’re the boss

This could definitely be a pro, after all, you’ve got the freedom to call the shots.

On the other hand, you also have all the responsibility to get the store up and running.

It’s your job to talk with wholesalers, accountants and couriers. If you don’t do the hard yards, there’s a chance your business will fail.

Of course, the longer you’re in business you can potentially bring on other staff to help you manage, but when you’re getting everything up and running the responsibility is on your shoulders.

When you’re the boss, all your spare time can easily be eaten up by running your business. The beauty of flexibility can also be the curse. You risk losing a social network if you’re focussing too much on your business.

The costs

Whilst you have the huge benefit in ecommerce of not having to pay expensive rent (at least to start), you still have bills to pay and people won’t just “happen” upon your website. The marketing costs can stack up in the outset of launching your business, not to mention buying stock and setting up your website.

You need to be financially prepared for the initial road bumps associated with running a business. If you think you won’t make financial mistakes, think again. You will, and you need to be prepared for it.

You risk losing it all

This is not added in here to scare you off from starting your own ecommerce business. Owning and running your own ecommerce business can be very rewarding, but there are a couple of things you need to consider before walking out of your 9-5 job and walking into the wild world of ecommerce business.

  • Are you putting your career growth at risk? If your business goes bust, will you be able to walk into a job again? You’ve got to consider a backup plan if things go south.
  • Do you have the support of your significant other or family/friends? Running a business is emotionally stressful, and you will need a tight support network to help you overcome some obstacles.
  • Money isn’t the main reason you decided to start your own ecommerce business, but it can quickly be the centre of your attention. You risk financial problems if you aren’t well financed from the outset.

These points aren’t meant to dissuade you from starting your own ecommerce business. They’re here to help teach you the realities of starting your own online store.

One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is your courier. Transdirect can help you with ecommerce integration and shipping advice.

Get a head start with your shipping strategy by downloading our Shipping Made Easy Guide.