I've worked so hard getting my retail sales website ready to launch. I've lined up my dropshippers, designed my site, filed my DBA name, got my FL state sales and use tax in order and a week before I'm ready to go live, the Supreme Court rules that the states can start charging sales tax on internet purchases even when the e-commerce business has no nexus in the state. I'm ready to scrap everything I've done. There is no way I could possibly comply with submitting sales tax to the thousands of state, county and local tax jurisdictions in this country. Should I throw in the towel now or does anyone have any hope that Congress will act to help small businesses in this situation? Is there any talk of affordable software that can be added to a retail website that can simplify the tax issues? I'm so discouraged.
Please don't throw in the towel. Listen, we the people find ways to create money, and the rulers, attempts to find ways to shut us down. Don't stop, keep going, keep doing what you have been doing. Making a way out of no way. Your help is on the way. We can't wait for the people inside the government to figure our life out. Keep creating!!!!!!!
Rather than act as if this sales tax thing will determine the success of your business, you should look at it as a very small problem compared with the endless problems you will need to solve as a business owner because the problems NEVER stop coming.
I'm not saying that it's not competitive online, because that would be a lie. It is extremely competitive in a world where the customer clicks one time to sort by price and your company instantly disappears from the web page being viewed. One click and you're literally out of the picture.
But if your plan for your business was to win customers and make sales on price and price alone, you will never survive and you should quit now before you waste a bunch of money and time. Money that you could have spent on a business that you actually have a chance of being successful with.
If you think setting up your business corporation, getting a sellers permit, selecting your inventory, making a few branding choices and ordering some business cards, was actually working hard, I hope you're ready for a reality check because we live in a world today where high school kids sell $50k per month in all kinds of weird niches, while going to school, dating, and trying to maintain a social life, all while staying ahead of the competition at all times. The tasks you have completed so far may feel like you've accomplished something because when you put a lot of care into anything, it's tiring and feels like you've worked hard. But unfortunately, it doesn't count and you get zero points for those tasks because they are all tasks where you don't have a choice. I don't get points for taking a DMV driving test or training class because if I want to drive, I don't have a choice, it's the bare minimum to be an adult who can drive.
I'm not trying to discourage you. I think it's better if someone scares the hell out of you and then in reality, it's not as bad. Rather than the alternative which is someone tells you it's easy and then you find out it's way more difficult than you imagined. So hopefully you don't take this message the wrong way, because that's not my intention.
So be prepared for some long nights and get your thinking cap on because you will need to figure out how to be successful, while having higher prices even with sales tax. Filling out paperwork forms and paying taxes in each state is a joke compared to trying to figure out marketing campaigns that actually bring in more money than they cost you to run the campaigns. If you employ only one single human to be a sales person but you sell low priced widgets where people only usually buy one rather than by the truckload, how many widgets does your company have to sell at a profit each and every day to even just break even on that persons $3300 monthly base salary? The answer is a lot, and this one question is a hundred times more important to selecting a business venture, than a tasks like keeping track of taxes that need to be paid. Anything you can do and control the quality of yourself with your own hands and brain, is the easy stuff. The difficult stuff are the things that you can't completely control like the attitudes of your apathetic emotional employees who you have to spend half of your energy trying to counsel out of depression every other day or when a direct competitor slashes their prices to cheaper than what you buy your products for, or when your inventory arrives from China and it's filled with live caterpillars or all of your packaging was misspelled by one letter, or the manufacturer decided to use a cheaper piece of rubber without getting your approval and it drastically cheapens the feel of your product and the company doesn't do returns and says things like "If you don't like it, go find another company to make these at this price in the same timeframe, here's the phone numbers of 10 of my direct competitors. try not to get hung up on within the first 60 seconds of the conversation, they're not as young and nice as me."
You get the point, I could literally go on for hours listing nothing but my own personal experiences running businesses. Coming home to voicemail message about one of my employees showed up to work with alcohol on his breath and made a 4" scratch on a lawyers desk that costs $3400...for a job where you were only making $700 if everything went perfectly with no surprises. I might even go so far as to say I almost had issues like this, 365 day per year and I was a super small shop with like 16 guys in the field with 6 to 8 trucks. And it only gets worse as your business grows and gets bigger. Yes you do hit a point where your company learns how to do everything the right way but right when you begin to think you'll actually be able to like the business you own, you open a piece of mail to find out the owners of your building sold the building last month and the new owners are breaking all the leases and kicking everyone out but now half of the staff you just spent 11 months training, will have to quit working for you because if you move the location, it's too far for them and they were only working there to begin with because they shared a ride with a friend who worked near by but since then grandma moved in so they have even less money to spend on transportation.
Sorry I couldn't help myself on that last one.
There are only two reasons you should start a business. To buy all the things that you need and want in life, or to buy all the things that your loved ones need and want. In my opinion, you can only be a person who complains about anything, once you've checked off these two reasons for owning a business. So you need to have a thick skin and learn how to never complain about anything, ever. Attitude is everything so how you view things, easy or hard or fun or not, pretty much determines the outcome so I hope you hear what I'm saying.
Lastly I'll say that you shouldn't be too worried as long as you're willing to be fully dedicated to your business and do whatever it takes to succeed. For any given product or industry, there are thousands of companies who sell the same thing when selling online, there is only one company who has the cheapest price but even though only 1% or 1 of the companies has the lowest price, the other 99% don't go belly up. Only 1 company has the lowest price yet thousands of companies remain open somehow. Your job is to find out how and why those other companies don't shut down even though they don't have the lowest price. You might not have been worried about having to charge higher prices due to the taxes you'll now have to charge for, but in business, it's all the same thing....Money=time or effort or stress or resources....so the sooner you get less stressed out and less emotional about the tasks and challenges that lie ahead, the sooner you will start to view your business like playing a video game which is the fun way to run a business. You have to think of business like a game with play money because it's not sustainable or healthy to have to deal with super serious decisions on a daily basis.
Hook up with other business owners who are both more and less experienced than you, and it'll provide inspiration, motivation and generally just make the journey a lot more fun. Ask your favorite bloggers to recommend a good Mastermind group you can join and then take each day as it comes. You only fail if you give up so keep that in mind.