All retail businesses start with an idea. You could be making something to sell, or selling a product that’s new to your location. Business owners might open a market stall or put products on sale-or-return in local shops. If this initial phase proves there’s a demand, selling online seems like a logical step.
It seems sensible to gently grow your online presence and expenditure. After all, nobody wants to invest thousands on a website before they’ve truly tested the product on its potential customers.
Selling very small volumes, it might be fine to simply have a basic brochureware site and use email and phone to take orders.
Alternatively, you might try to sell through Etsy, Not on the High Street, Amazon or such like. Or you could set up your own site via Shopify, Wix or one of the many alternatives.
This process may well be sensible, and as long as volumes of sales remain within the capabilities of your chosen technology, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t continue doing it.
The problem comes when success bites, and you start to expand your range or start selling in volumes greater than a small operation – and its online platform – can handle. That can be when you wish you’d used a more robust platform earlier.
Is it ever too soon to use Magento?
We recently wrote about the pros and cons of migrating to Magento, so if you find yourself in this position, head over and give it a read. The assumption is that Magento is always a destination, never a starting point, thanks to its steep learning curve. But is this necessarily true?
Magento can be used out of the box, and most hosting packages will let you install it on your site with one click, making you an eCommerce business in a few minutes. It will look pretty basic, but by downloading a few plugins and themes, you’re on your way to creating a workable, if not 100% unique, place to sell your wares.
Once it’s installed and you’ve populated with your products, you should be good for the foreseeable future, because even if you turn into the next big thing, your site will be able to cope with it. You’ll probably just need to upgrade your hosting bandwidth from time to time or switch to cloud hosting.
Any changes you make to design or functionality will be merely incremental, not revolutionary, and even if you do decide to give your site a major overhaul, the Magento framework will allow you to do it seamlessly.
Getting professional help with Magento development
Powering your start-up with Magento can feel like building a double garage when you only have a bike, but if you do a bit of homework and keep costs down, there’s no reason why you can’t grow your site alongside your business.
There’s plenty of help available online from a vast community, and with a huge ecosystem of extensions and themes, you can make a fresh, functional site yourself.
In fact, if you have a rudimentary understanding of managing a website, you might be able to last several years before you need professional assistance, but once you do, you should know that we at Gooey have enough experience with Magento to help you with upgrades, security essentials, UX and bespoke applications at minimum cost. We build relationships with businesses that last years, and it’s always good to know you can pick our brains when you need help.
So is Magento a good CMS option for small businesses? We’d say yes. Starting out on the platform means you’ll probably never have to migrate – at least until a Magento 3 comes along, and there’s no sign of that happening.