The smallest ecommerce companies are often family operations.
An entrepreneurial family member begins selling online. Before long a partner is helping to deal with the accounting and teen-aged kids are processing orders. Sharing the work becomes an outgrowth of sharing a lifetime under a roof and wanting to make more financial freedom for everyone in the family.
Unfortunately, little family-owned ecommerce companies often fail or make very little money. An enterprising firm, eCommerce Incubator, has proposed an interesting approach to assist so-called mom-and-pop online stores triumph.
EStore-Opoly is a board game designed to help introduce a few of the fundamentals of micro-scale ecommerce. The game becomes a forum for presenting ideas, setting expectations, and preparation for ecommerce success, making it four out of a possible five stars in this, “The PeC Review.”
“The PeC Review” is my weekly column made to introduce you to the products or services that I think can assist you to grow your ecommerce business. I only review products that I’d use in my own online stores, and, honestly, I really don’t publish negative reviews. You only hear about the products I like.
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The Game Format as a Learning Medium
Perhaps the thing I enjoy most about eStore-Opoly is that it uses the sport as a learning medium. The game board has both an outer track, if you will, and eight internal tracks. Each inner track is dedicated to a field of”Specialized Knowledge,” including research (which is where each player begins ), store construction, conversion, customer support, SEO, marketing, outsourcing, and vendors.
While the game provides no depth of information in these technical internal tracks, it skillfully introduces ecommerce theories. Players learn, as an instance, that using link-exchange rings may cost you a”twist” or starting an affiliate program can help your company. I discovered that family members wanted to talk about why using a one-page checkout enhances cash flow, as the game suggests, or why the advertising track began with adding a website. These questions gave the players a forum for discussing the tactics and strategies that would, ultimately, help to improve how an ecommerce company operates.
Focus on Planning for Success
EStore-Opoly begins by having each player develop a”Freedom Formula.” The Freedom Formula is a combination of cash flow, happiness, and automation. The formulation must complete 100 points, but it may be 30 cash flow points, 40 happiness points, and 30 automation points or 100 cash flow points and nothing else. The concept is that every participate needs to determine what will make them happy and plan their business accordingly. I also found it interesting that taking a balanced approach to your”Freedom Formula” appeared the strategy.
I acknowledge that I am not in full agreement with all the ideas represented in the eStore-Opoly game. Specifically, there appeared to be a good amount of focus on drop-shipping, of which I’m not a huge fan, but I did like the game’s designers are ecommerce professionals who both operate an internet store and instruct others. Audrey Kerwood and Ben Mack operate A2 Armory and Tapestry Standard.
Prototype-itis And Self-Promotion
I really do want to point out that I played with a prototype version of the game, which is formally released on February 10. My game board used strangely colored, Chinese turtles for playing bits and had less-than-finished directions. I also have to confess that the directions appeared to be a promotional booklet for eCommerce Incubators, which is shortly to launch a 12-week training program. This was a modest off-putting.
In a letter which came with my prototype, the company promised that the last version would be more polished.
I enjoy eStore-Opoly and I really like the notion of using a game to teach intelligent organization. The game isn’t my favorite board game, and I doubt I will be breaking it out when we have company over, but it was a fun way to talk business with family members while spending some quality time together, and as I mentioned previously it absolutely introduced significant ecommerce theories. And, I must point out, my six-year-old thought it was fun, and he particularly liked the turtles.
If you run a small, family business, think about obtaining a copy of eStore-Opoly. It will enable you to consider your company in a new way.
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