You’ve decided to get on the eCommerce train. After all, the train is going fast and showing no signs of slowing down! Not only can you sell to anyone in the world at any time of the day or week, but in many ways, running an online store means that you have more growth potential than if you were to launch a brick-and-mortar establishment. Plus, an eCommerce startup generally costs less and requires fewer logistical steps.
Nonetheless, you must prepare and strategize. That’s why we’ve given you this list of essential tips to get you started!
Confirm Your Idea
Every profitable business starts with an idea. Make sure yours can deliver!
- Take time to brainstorm as many business ideas as you can, and narrow them down to a few that interest you the most.
- Research the market to figure out which idea gives you the best chance at making money.
- Do product research to determine what types of products you will carry in your online store.
- Create a target customer profile, and learn what you need to do to attract those customers.
Handle Legal Tasks
As with any type of business, you will need to take care of some fundamental legal tasks when setting up your eCommerce business.
- Decide on a unique business name that aptly represents your brand.
- Choose a legal structure that will accommodate your needs (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.).
- Consider applying for a DBA, which could make it easier to branch out into new products down the road.
- Obtain an EIN, as well as any permits or licenses necessary to conduct business.
Get the Ball Rolling
Once you’ve established your business idea and tackled your legal responsibilities, start getting your online store off the ground!
- Determine which eCommerce platform to use (e.g., Squarespace, Shopify, Magento, etc.), and start creating your website.
- Consider selling through multiple channels. For example, you can sell your products on your website alongside third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy.
- Unless you’re making your own products, research potential distributors to decide who will source your products.
- Plan and begin executing your marketing strategy, including optimizing your site for SEO, promoting your brand on social media, and developing your email list.
It’s no secret that starting an eCommerce business comes with many advantages. But it still requires planning, strategizing, and hard work. If you want your online store to succeed from the beginning, make sure you follow each of the above steps and keep researching to determine how you can better reposition your operation to flourish!
Written by: Carleen Moore