Is Magento right for me?

Is your business entirely centered around your online store? Is it just one element of your business? Will you need to hire an extra hand to deal with online orders? Perhaps you’re just a small entrepreneur who are just starting off, do you have an alternative source of income or do you plan to immediately or soon-after completely rely on your new found business? Are you prepared to invest in your business? These are all important questions you should be asking. Let’s take a closer look.

Every business has a budget, but given that the entry cost with Magento is free, you might think your money will go far. However you might be surprised to find that Magento development carries significant costs. It’s frustrating to find a good developer and outsourcing can be risky. Teaching yourself rarely works out and can be unbearably time consuming.

Starting an online business is time consuming and requires a lot of close attention to detail. Start by analysing how far your budget can stretch in relation to your ideas and business as well as the market you’re in. Once you have taken everything into account, write out a plan that will be used create the website. This can be referred to as the ‘project document’.

A significant part of the budget should be dedicated to the visual elements and usability of your eCommerce Store. The functionality components of your website will have to be built around your design so ensure that any design work is completed before development starts. Make sure to continuously test the usability of your website or ask others to test it for you to get opinions on how well it accommodates your customers needs. Development is the most time consuming phase. Throughout the development process you may make several modification requests which will further take up time.

Your budget will also have to take into account the running costs of your web-store. This will vary depending on how popular your store is, but you will want to ensure that your site is continuously running efficiently, has a secure payment gateway and has security certificates available. These extra charges can mount up pretty fast. From time to time your webstore will need tweaks.

Regardless of what eCommerce system you use, you will be faced with challenges. Let’s look at challenges you’ll most likely face as a Magento user:

  • Upgrades – As with any platform upgrades are a must. As time goes on Magento will release updates and even completely new versions of the platform. Upgrades can be messy, but they keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly.
  • Customization – You might want to make changes and modifications to your site to better suit your customers or your business model. You’d be surprised how much a business can change in just a year.
  • Performance – As you gain more and more customers or expand you might find that your hosting solution is too slow to keep up. You might need to upgrade or find a better solution.
  • Expanding – One of the best features of Magento is its ability to run multiple webstores from just one installation. To do this you will need to learn new features and get use to handling more than one store.
  • Integrating – You may want to expand to new customers through phone sales or in-person sales. In order to run a smooth operation you’ll want all systems to run in harmony to prevent stock problems, miscalculations and potential losses.