Are you ready to become an entrepreneur and gain financial freedom by starting your own business online? If so, you are in the right place.
We’ve put this guide to ensure you a smooth ride for your ecommerce venture. If you want to learn how to start and grow a business online, use the information to set up your store, get your finances in order, sell your products, market your brand, and start building your store.
There is nothing better than starting a business from scratch and watching it grow. You created it and no one can take it from you.
Step 1: Research the Basics
Beginning your research is the first step. Growing any type of business is a serious investment and you should treat it as such.
Before you can decide what to sell online, you need to familiarize yourself with the different business models.
If you want to turn a profit without worrying about inventory or investing heavily, dropshipping is always a good idea. If you like the idea of having a warehouse and investing more up front, it is better to work with a wholesaling model.
Then there are subscriptions where you can create a set of products or one product to be delivered to your customers.
Step 2: Start Ecommerce Niche Research
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you can’t be the next Amazon or eBay. When starting out, you have to niche down to run a successful ecommerce store.
Deciding what to sell and choosing your niche is one of the most important steps in starting a business online. Begin by comparing successful companies already working in the industry.
Make sure the market is competitive. If there is an absence of competition that indicates that there is no market and no customers either.
Don’t choose an overly crowded niche and skip anything dominated by big names and major brands. Remember, the more specific you are, the less competition you are likely to meet.
Choose a product category with 1000 keywords or more and focus on a niche that does well on Google and in social media. If you can seize a few affiliate marketing opportunities, you won’t have to worry about shipping and you can still make a profit.
Step 3: Think Personas and Product Selection
You’ve identified a business model and niche and now is the time to start hunting for best products to sell.
Before you think about what to sell, think about personas. Let’s face it – you can’t expect customers to purchase your product if you don’t know who you are selling to.
A part of learning how to start a business online is identifying your target audience. Who are you? Who are your ideal customers? What does your store represent?
It is important to project a consistent brand image.
Once you do that (you’ve identified the customers you are catering to) it is time to come up with potential product ideas. It is better to start with one product. You will invest less and if you want to offer more, you can test the market with affiliate marketing.
Before you invest in a product, research it carefully. Even if you decide to dropship, test it carefully to get a feel for the product. Identify any potential issues and make sure to prepare customer service answers to answer common questions.
Step 4: Establish Your Ecommerce Business and Brand
If you want to start and grow a successful business, you need a brand that connects with your vision. Identifying your persona makes establishing a brand easier.
Before you set up your store, there are some basic tips you need to consider. This is how to start an ecommerce business online:
- Register your business: Come up with a business name and register your company
- Pick your store’s name: The legal name of your company and the name of your ecommerce site don’t need to be identical, although keeping them consistent has its advantages.
- Apply for business licenses and permits: Running an ecommerce website doesn’t exclude you from obtaining business licenses and permits. See what sorts of licenses you need before you start operating.
- Find the right vendors: Considering the competition, it is in your best interest to find the best prices and best quality for the products you sell. It is important to find the right vendor you want to do business with.
- Create a logo: Don’t stress too much about your logo. The simpler the better.
- Get visual: Choose the imagery you will use, the colors of your brand, and the fonts you will employ.
Step 5: Create Your Online Store
Time to choose the design of your store and finally build your ecommerce website. Whatever design you want to choose, it needs to be compatible with your ecommerce software.
Luckily, there are hundreds of ecommerce platforms to choose from. When choosing, you need to evaluate things like features, loading speed, payment gateways, etc.
Once you choose an ecommerce platform, use a theme. You might pay a small fee to get a good template, depending on the shopping cart you choose.
Step 6: Attract Customers to Your Store
The best ecommerce websites invest in online marketing. Listen to digital marketing tutorials or podcasts or subscribe to marketing newsletter to keep up with the digital marketing trends.
Will you use social media, sponsored content, pay-per-click ads or a combination of these strategies?
Step 7: Marketing Your Products Online
To sell products, you have to think beyond your ecommerce site. No matter what you are selling, the first step is creating an email list. Then, launch a social media campaign to attract subscribers.
Building an email list gives you a group of people to work with and makes the sales process easier.
On your website, look at how traffic flows. If you are driving traffic to your site but nothing is selling, try another strategy. Use analytics to help with this task.
Now that you know how to start and grow an online business, time to get down to work. Ready to start your own business?