As an entrepreneur, you’ll no doubt always be looking out for new business opportunities. Most entrepreneurs start off small, with start-ups that have minimal outlay to begin with, and that’s why it’s common to start your first business online. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to set up an online business, and here’s a step by step guide to help you out.
- Decide what you want to sell
If you can think of a unique product that you could sell online, then you’re halfway there and can start getting your business set up. Otherwise, think about what you could possibly sell and what sets you apart from the competition. For example, if you’re selling clothing, can you source things you can’t buy elsewhere? This will help when it comes to beating the competition and marketing yourself.
- Think about how you want to sell
The great thing about online businesses is that they have lots of options of how to sell their products:
- Using an online marketplace such as Amazon
- On auction sites such as eBay
- Using ecommerce platforms like Shopify
- Building a bespoke shop on your website
Think about your budget and which option suits your product best. Also, consider your target customer and which platforms they’re most likely to use. This will ensure you don’t alienate customers.
- Set up a delivery service
Your next priority should be deciding how you’re going to get your parcels into the hands of customers. Most online shops use a courier, which can be useful for everyday goods that aren’t of a high value. However, if you’re selling more complex or expensive items, or simply want to offer a higher level of service, you may want to look for white glove transportation, which is much more personal and ensures things arrive in great condition.
You should also get quotes for shopping and work out the cost of picking and packing, so overall, you know how much it’s going to cost you and can decide whether to charge or absorb the cost.
- Market your business
Marketing your business properly will make the difference between the occasional visitor and a steady stream of people using the site. All online shops need to do some sort of marketing, but luckily, there are lots of inexpensive options. Building a social media following should be the first step, as it ensures you get buzz around your brand and can market to the relevant people. You also need to focus on both SEO and PPC, ensuring that when people are looking for your products, they are directed to your site.
Online businesses can be a good start for entrepreneurs, as they are inexpensive to set up and market. In general, you only need a few resources to get going and can soon be up and running. This means that no matter what business you’ve always dreamed of starting, the power to do so is in your reach, and depending on what you stock, you could be set up in just a few days.