To find the right time to make the move online, you have to step back and analyze the situation as objectively as possible. Does creating an online store truly fit into your business plan right now? In what ways would an online store contribute to your short-term and long-term goals? Is there a better time to move your business online?
In addition to your internal store goals, you have to consider external factors. What are the current market conditions for your industry? In what general direction is the national economy heading? If your customers aren't spending right now, you might want to conserve the money that you originally budgeted for your site development. On the flip side, if market factors are pushing the demand for your type of products, you might want to bump up the development of your site by a few months.
Make time to track industry trends, both online and off. Regularly check out the issues by reading trade magazines and following industry-related research. Start with research from Gartner (www.gartner.com) and Forrester Research (www.forrester.com).
As a retailer, you probably have a particularly busy season, when you earn the majority of your revenues. Your busy season might be the end of the year when most holiday shopping drives sales. Or, if you sell recreational items, such as bikes or swimming ...