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How to start an E-Commerce that needs a constant stock of products ?

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AlessioLC

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Hi,

In 1 or 2 weeks i will be signing my contract to open my first Coffee Shop, i really think it could work, of course it needs human ressources because to run a business like this one, you need employees but if it works correctly I could open another one quickly.
But i'm currently working with my parents in their coffee shop in the meantime.

In the other hands, my main supplier is not doing shit to add products to his portfolio and we are stuck in the choices of products, his customer services is bad, there's always an issues with the delivery, they change prices without telling you..you got it i want to create the same business, but way better than them.

BUT, how can you run an e-commerce business like this when you must have a constant stock of products, i mean i would like to start a business like this but where do i start..

.Do i need to be the middleman between the supplier of the product (maker) and the customer and taking my comission on the sales ? or...
.Do i need to negociate a price with the supplier of the product (maker) and sell it a bit more expensive ?

I hear you saying : "But why would you be different than him ?"

Well, i know the man behind the business, he is lazy af and as it's working well for him, he said himself why would i need to search new products if these one works ?

Many friends who own coffee shops and use this supplier can't stand him and are tired of the bad customer services....there's an opportunity and i want to take it.


So how can you start a business like this, do i need to start extra small and store the products at my house or do i need to be the middleman ?

Thanks for taking the time.
 

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It sounds as though you are trying to start two businesses rather than one (supplying coffee/products & starting a coffee shop.) I would suggest you choose one or the other to begin with and stick to that until it is extremely successful.

Just because you see a 'need' ( or two of them) doesn't mean it is a great idea to start both at the same time.

Slow down. Take it easy. You haven't even signed the contract for the coffee shop yet and you are ready to try and supply other shops as well as your own with products.

The old saying 'a house divided cannot stand' is true for entrepreneurship also. Stick with one goal, make it a success, and then you might consider expanding into other endeavors.

Sounds like other coffee shops have had issues with the vendor yet continue to buy, so it sounds as though the opportunity will be there in the future anyhow...
 

AlessioLC

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It sounds as though you are trying to start two businesses rather than one (supplying coffee/products & starting a coffee shop.) I would suggest you choose one or the other to begin with and stick to that until it is extremely successful.

Just because you see a 'need' ( or two of them) doesn't mean it is a great idea to start both at the same time.

Slow down. Take it easy. You haven't even signed the contract for the coffee shop yet and you are ready to try and supply other shops as well as your own with products.

The old saying 'a house divided cannot stand' is true for entrepreneurship also. Stick with one goal, make it a success, and then you might consider expanding into other endeavors.

Sounds like other coffee shops have had issues with the vendor yet continue to buy, so it sounds as though the opportunity will be there in the future anyhow...

Indeed, but a lot of you told me that i should 'sell shovels' instead of using them, opening an e-commerce would be a thing way more scalable and rewarding than opening a coffee shop, then an other one..... I have expressed myself badly, but in any case, I would prefere to open an e-commerce than a coffee shop.

So only one business, not two.
But i always told myself that opening a huge business like coffee supplier/e-commerce plateform would be very difficult..but i now think that i would be able to do it, i just want to know HOW..
 

AG356

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Indeed, but a lot of you told me that i should 'sell shovels' instead of using them, opening an e-commerce would be a thing way more scalable and rewarding than opening a coffee shop, then an other one..... I have expressed myself badly, but in any case, I would prefere to open an e-commerce than a coffee shop.

So only one business, not two.
But i always told myself that opening a huge business like coffee supplier/e-commerce plateform would be very difficult..but i now think that i would be able to do it, i just want to know HOW..

Why don't you contact a few suppliers from China and buy some samples, pick the winning one and show it to your friends who also own coffee shops? Tell them you can order them the item and add a little commission for yourself. If you're doing a good job importing the costs per product might be way lower than the ones of the local supplier, allowing yourself a higher commission while still providing a way cheaper price for your friends (and therefore saving them money). Additionally you can sell the products at your parents store which should give you the best possible margin since you're importing it anyway.

If you successfully supply your friends, there's nothing stopping you from ordering 10% more and offer it online. Regarding your "HOW?" question, there are a lot of useful resources in this forum regarding opening an e-commerce store. Use the search function and you'll surely make a find!
 

AlessioLC

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Why don't you contact a few suppliers from China and buy some samples, pick the winning one and show it to your friends who also own coffee shops? Tell them you can order them the item and add a little commission for yourself. If you're doing a good job importing the costs per product might be way lower than the ones of the local supplier, allowing yourself a higher commission while still providing a way cheaper price for your friends (and therefore saving them money). Additionally you can sell the products at your parents store which should give you the best possible margin since you're importing it anyway.

If you successfully supply your friends, there's nothing stopping you from ordering 10% more and offer it online. Regarding your "HOW?" question, there are a lot of useful resources in this forum regarding opening an e-commerce store. Use the search function and you'll surely make a find!
It's actually not that simple, just by importing from China, because when i say supplier, i mean food & drinks suppliers, which are made in UK/USA/FR/ESP... nothing is imported from China actually.
Even the Coffee machines or everything else, that why our margins are low
 

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Buy him out? How old is he? Talk to him about wanting to learn from him and take over his business while getting him a nice parachute....... Explain that you will be a customer too with your new venture. You just want some control on the flow. Doesn't hurt to ask. Let him see you are young and hard charging.
 

AlessioLC

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Buy him out? How old is he? Talk to him about wanting to learn from him and take over his business while getting him a nice parachute....... Explain that you will be a customer too with your new venture. You just want some control on the flow. Doesn't hurt to ask. Let him see you are young and hard charging.
Family business, his daughter is in the team and i think his son too, but all incompetent...but i've thought about it lately.
 

AlessioLC

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You have to work hard a lot. "But i'm currently working with my parents in their coffee shop in the meantime. " Think a lot think how your parents manages their coffee shop, nothing is easy, but you can make easy everything. Be confident! Yes you can Do!

"Many friends who own coffee shops and use this supplier can't stand him and are tired of the bad customer services....there's an opportunity and i want to take it. "
You want to become supplier...
1. Connect with the manufacturers first...
2. Budget
3. Connect with Coffee Shop owners
How you can Do? Confidence is necessary!

So first Start Coffee Shop. Gain popularity and then become Supplier!

2 things at Same time is not Possible.
The work isn't the problem, long days don't scares me, i know it would work because there a need.
What i don't understand is how you can get started, do you start by buying products and store them at one place and wait for customers or connect with coffee shop owners, ask them if they would be customers, budget and then start buying product .. ?
 

AlessioLC

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if you sell coffee products only -
It is simple like a wallmart store. Open store; for that Budget require; Ok you have. First contact to the coffee manufacturers or suppliers to get vivid coffee products but in that also you have to talk with so many personalities.. detect their quality of product and price.
Now what? Analyze from where to buy and in how much quantity - budget plays important role?
Now Done with Purchase? How to sell them?
Connect with Coffee shop owners!

Tell them about your products and prices. If they think that your product is much better and in much better in price from where they are getting, they will definitely call you again and again.
So i have to start everything at my house first, because if i rent a local storage box it would be expensive in the beginning and then grow slowly into a little storage place.
So it's just that, ask coffee shops owner is they would love to get a better services, better prices and quality and asking them what are their problems in order to fix them and then contacting manufacturers to import products in my storage box.. and sell ?
 

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