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Unlocking Your Business Potential: Rethinking ROI for E-commerce Success

If you’ve ever felt like your business is a rollercoaster of expenses, frustration, and unmet potential, you’re not alone. But what if I told you there’s a way to flip the script, maximize your returns, and finally see the results you’ve been longing for?

In this podcast episode, we’re diving deep into the world of ROI (Return on Investment). 


The ROI Conundrum

We’ve all been there – you’re investing time, money, and energy into your e-commerce venture, but the results you expect just don’t seem to materialize. It’s frustrating, right? It’s like you’re stuck in a loop, always busy but never quite satisfied with your business’s performance.

But my guest Ciara Stokeland (a seasoned entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in the e-commerce world) is changing the game with a fresh perspective on ROI that can transform your business.



Traditionally, when we think about ROI, it’s often tied to advertising spend. You invest X dollars in marketing, and you expect a return in the form of increased sales. While this is a crucial aspect, Ciara brings something more holistic to the table.

She suggests we broaden our perspective and apply ROI thinking to every aspect of our business, not just marketing. Here’s the key: everything you invest in, whether it’s money, time, or effort, should yield a return. It might be a monetary return or a time return, but every investment should have a purpose.


The 2-Step Process

Ciara shares two essential filters to apply when considering any business expense:

  1. Budget Check: Start by looking at your budget. Understand the raw cost of the investment and its impact on your net profit. Are you comfortable with the potential effect on your bottom line?
  1. ROI Expectation: Once you’ve assessed the budget impact, shift your focus to what you expect in return. What tangible results do you anticipate? Will this investment save you time, increase sales, or improve your business in some other way?


ROI in Real Life

Let’s break down this concept with a couple of real-life examples:

  • Attending Trade Shows

Imagine you plan to attend a trade show, a common expense for product-based businesses. Before committing, calculate the costs – travel, accommodation, and time away from your business. Then, set clear ROI expectations. Will this trade show result in new products, new contracts, or significant sales growth? Approach it strategically to ensure a positive return.

  • Adding New Product Lines

Many entrepreneurs get tempted to diversify their product offerings without considering ROI. Before introducing a new product line, analyze the potential impact on your net profit. Then, ask yourself: What return do you expect? Will it lead to more sales, save time, or fulfill a market demand? Specific ROI expectations will guide your decision.


Remember: Resources Are More Than Money

In our quest for e-commerce success, we must recognize that resources extend beyond just money. Time, effort, and attention are equally valuable. Consider the impact of each investment on these resources and set realistic ROI expectations. This shift in mindset can make a world of difference in your business journey.


The Life-Changing Magic of ROI Thinking

Ciara’s insights remind us that e-commerce success isn’t solely about hustle and hard work; it’s about making strategic choices. By applying ROI thinking to every aspect of your business, you can optimize your investments, streamline your operations, and ultimately achieve the growth and profitability you know your business is capable of.

So, before you swipe that credit card or commit to a new project/course/strategy, take a moment to reflect on ROI. It’s the key to unlocking your business’s full potential and ensuring that every resource you invest – whether money, time, or effort – works tirelessly to bring you closer to your e-commerce goals.

If you’d like to connect with Ciara and explore her expertise further, visit her website at


Related links:

How To Get Control of Your Money

A Profit First Expert Shares How To Manage Inventory

Grow Up Your Business and Get More Profit

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