Starting an online store could be your path to financial freedom. It’s a chance to start a business, and take control of your accounts. It’s a wonderful time to think about starting an online store. Why? Because the industry is thriving. The rise of ecommerce has been enormous, and it shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, the quick adoption of mobile technology is pushing online stores further than ever before. Think you’ve got what it takes? Here’s everything you need to get started.
Every shop needs products to sell. Now, you don’t need many. And, as a small startup store, we suggest stocking only a small amount of items. A recent test showed that many customers are overwhelmed by too many choices. Keep it simple, and make every product count. You have two main options when it comes to products. Firstly, you can create them yourself. If you’re crafty or have experience in production, try it out! If not, you can simply purchase existing products from suppliers and wholesalers.
If you don’t exist online, then you don’t exist! An online store needs its unique, personal website. Lots of sellers get started with a shop on eBay or Etsy. But, if you’re serious about making a future out of this, you need your own website. If it sounds daunting, don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! You can use the likes of WordPress, WooCommerce or Shopify to design and launch your own shop. If you want a more professional finish, simply hire an ecommerce agency to help with the process.
You can’t get off the ground without a steady stream of paying customers! Finding those very first customers is the hardest part about starting a business. Social media is your best place to start. Especially when the budgets are tight, and advertising is out of the question. Social media allows you to target your exact audience, and connect with them. Start growing your social media profiles and your email list with great content. Soon, you’ll see those sales trickle in.
Remember, you’re a business owner now, and that means setting a strict budget to adhere to. Try to find the right sale price that attracts customers, but keeps your profit margin in the black. Pour any extra money back into the business, and set out a specific budget for marketing. Eventually, you’ll hit a tipping point, where it all clicks into place.
As we said before, your online store must be treated like a business. That means coming up with a viable, professional business plan. It will outline your mission statement and unique place in the market. It will identify your key customers, and outline a monetisation strategy. Use it to make profit projections and set goals for the future. Your business plan is your road map. It’s also essential for seeking funding or investment.
Setting up an online store is easier than you think. But, making it a success is hard work. It’s all worth it in the end!