I truly believe that everyone has a great business idea inside them. We all have our particular passions and skills. We all see the world from a different view. One of the best ways to unleash that entrepreneur inside is by setting up an online store. It’s a chance to work with a product you love, in a niche that you’re genuinely passionate about. I’ve seen some fantastic online entrepreneurs turn their store into a full-time business.
Perhaps you could say goodbye to the 9-5 grind, and set up your financial future. If nothing else, it’s a brilliant way to make some extra cash, and indulge your passions. If you’ve found yourself on this blog, you’re probably thinking about taking the plunge. Let me guide you in the right direction.
Choose your product carefully
As you can expect, your product is the most important aspect of your decision. Without a fantastic product or range of items, you’ll never get things off the ground. Take some time to do some market and product research. What is already out there? Who are the biggest competitors, and where are the gaps in the market? Choose whether you’ll make and manufacture the product yourself or reach out to wholesalers.
After talking with lots of prospective entrepreneurs, the most common stumbling block is the e-commerce site itself. People just simply don’t know where to start. Well, I’m here to tell you it couldn’t be easier. You’ve got two main options. You can either set up shop in an established marketplace (i.e. eBay, Amazon, Etsy etc.) Or, you can take the preferred route, and build a website yourself. If that sounds daunting, consider hiring a group of web solutions specialists to help you out.
Domain name and hosting
Don’t forget to choose a strong domain name for your business and website. Ideally, you’re looking for www.my-business.com or something similar. Make sure it’s short, to the point, and strengthens your brand. You can usually buy your domain name and hosting space all from the same provider. (Try GoDaddy or 1-2-3-Reg). Don’t skimp on the hosting, as this determines how fast and reliable your website is.
Payments and security
An e-commerce site differs to a regular business or portfolio site for one crucial reason. You’ll take customer payments directly. That means you need a secure, reliable, and trustworthy payments system. We suggest installing an SSL – it’s a security certificate that shows customers you are trusted with payments. Then set up a PayPal and card payment system.
Now that your site is up and raring to go, you need to find some customers! It’s the hardest aspect of setting up shop, and they won’t come flooding unless you put some work in. Start by building your social media channels, and generating a loyal community. Collect email addresses, create content that connects with people, and think about advertising online.
Follow this short guide, and you’re well on your way to internet startup success! Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts, and I’m happy to answer.