Online shopping has become so popular that businesses who have an e-commerce website often rival their brick and mortar competitors for sales volume, especially during the gift giving holiday season. Starting an online business can be both exciting and profitable, but it requires careful planning in order to be successful. Here are the 6 simple steps you must make before starting your online store.
Step 1 – What is For Sale?
The first decision you should make is to decide what are the products you want to sell online. You can choose to sell products you make or you can select products from suppliers or manufacturers. The selection could be products that you might buy yourself or you can do some research to find out the type of products people like to buy. Along with deciding on which products to sell, you have to decide how to keep an inventory of the stocks. Bear in mind that selling online focus mainly on your inventory and products’ quality that enhance your business and not deter it.
Step 2 – Plan, Plan, Plan
Even though it will be an online business, you still need to develop a business plan. Part of your plan will involve naming your company, deciding how to deliver your products into your customer’s hands as well as how to market your products. A business plan also requires having a detailed financial plan. This financial plan is essentially a blueprint for you to follow as you develop your business. Don’t expect to be successful overnight, but use your business plan as a map to success.
Step 3 – Make it Legal
It doesn’t matter what type of business that you have, you will need to register the business in order to legally operate it online. This will not only offer you some level of legal protection but also make it easier for any of your business funding and grants application. You can check with your local companies’ commissioner to see what your country requires for licensing a business and register your company. Also remember to register any trademarks you will need so you can protect your interests.
Step 4 – Set Up Your Website
Now that you have a business plan in place and you have registered your business with the appropriate parties, you need to get online. As part of your business plan, you should have decided how you plan to sell your products. You may choose to use an online marketplace site like Rakuten, Lazada and eGarden or you could have a unique website created specifically for your business. Also, read more on How Can I Add E-Commerce to My Business?
When engaging a website developer company to create an e-commerce website for you, make sure you research companies that can create an affordable website, a site that is user friendly with easy navigation. The website designer should be able to guide you the latest criteria of an e-commerce website. Your website is your business and managing it is your responsibility. Don’t leave it in the hands of someone that doesn’t care about your success.
Step 5 – Online Marketing Your Products
So now you have your business off the ground, your website launched and your products all featured up; it’s time to market your business. Keep in mind that the products don’t sell themselves. Therefore, business owners need to think and work hard on how to get their product lines out in the public eye.
And you should have already known that one great way to attract traffics to your website is by using the social media as a marketing tool. There are many social media out there such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn where you can always feature helpful, informative posts about your company and products in order to increase your online business visibility to a wider audience and subsequently grow your online sales exponentially. There are also companies providing online marketing solutions. So do not fret out if you face difficulties in promoting your e-commerce website.
Step 6 – Get Your Logistic Flow in Place
For smaller online business, you likely would not have the volume to obtain good rates with either FedEx or UPS. For most small online business owners, it is recommended to use the easiest and most cost effective logistics solution such as EMS and other local courier companies in your state.
To make the steps even simpler, register an account with the courier company you have decided to use which provides you to print airway bill and arrange parcel collection from the comfort of your home. This will not only allows you to negotiate for better rates but also save you endless time travelling to the post office counter. You can save all these hassle times that can be better invested in other aspects of your online business’s growth.
With the above 6 simple steps, it constitutes the satisfactory end to an e-commerce transaction. When all steps are prepared and done well, it’ll encourage repeat sales from your customers in the future which lead to the growth and success for your online business. To ensure that you delight your customers through an effective e-commerce website and marketing solutions, check out Buildic.