Whether you are past the phase of just dreaming of running your own business or not, you deserve a tap on your back for having reached this article. Small steps are small wins. Finding yourself searching for answers and learning what you need to know are the very basics of starting a business. If you still are unsure, you probably must stop here, and first, check the reasons why you should start doing business online.
Success begins at the end of your comfort zone, and you should not allow yourself to be stuck at a place far from what you have envisioned. Fear and procrastination are few of the things that paralyze productivity. In starting a business, you must begin by making a firm decision. To stay or to advance?
If you decide to advance, I am here to help and be a part of your new venture. I would first share an overview of how you could start a webshop.
Ecommerce is benefitting from the consumer’s quick response to their impulse. As phones and the internet now become a need for the majority of the population worldwide, the wants and needs of millions are becoming more easily exposed and presented. Ecommerce sales are to increase for the next years with the use of social media and the internet. Hence, it is not late for you or anyone to start a webshop.
Are you excited about your first sale? We are! So, Let’s start!
Choose your niche
Decide on what goods and services you would like to sell on your webshop. Choosing your niche is vital in determining your choice of the right market and audience and reaching the envisioned sales figure. Supply, price, and market opportunity are part of the planning phase when picking a niche. Without identifying your niche properly, you have no solid business case and hence no business.
Let’s talk about supply. Unlike walking into physical stores where you pick and pack the items, it is different when selling online. Stocking and presentation of goods need to be determined. You have the option to dropship or buy your stocks in bulk and store them in your warehouse. Sorting how you could produce and deliver them to your buyers should be one of the factors to check on and consider when deciding on your niche.
Apart from knowing the cost of capital, the price of your items directly impacts your expenses and revenue. Selling cheaper goods puts an advantage on a higher market reach, however lowering the profit value. On the other hand, luxury items’ profit value is significantly higher but narrows the market audience. The risk of loss is higher too. Thus, it pays to be aware of the maximum cost you are willing to invest in your webshop and to stay within that budget while you are still starting.
Deliberating which market to target helps determine which niche to hit. It could be an audience that you are also a part of or an audience you are an expert in. Knowing your market sustains the commercial viability of the products you could offer.
Name your business
Understanding your niche could help you conceptualize your webshop brand and logo. Your webshop name could give your audience an idea of what to find in your online store. Doing so will attract the right market and ease the search of your potential customers in finding you. Try to make it unique, original, and go for a name that is easy to remember and pronounce. Note that the webshop name you will pick must be available for you to use when establishing your domain.
Own a domain for your webshop
What is a domain? It is the website link that identifies your webshop’s name. For instance, your webshop’s name is Amazon. The domain would be www.amazon.com. Buying a domain could cost you $10 a year the least. An important tip to remember: Set a calendar reminder to renew it before the expiry date of your domain to avoid losing it and a costlier repurchase.
Choose your E-commerce Website Builder
There are many platforms to choose from. Before launching your business site, it is best to try and compare these webshop store builders first by using the free trial accounts. In such a way, you’ll find which plan to choose and the tools that suit your needs and business best.
Build your webshop
Customization of your webshop can be done by a professional web developer for a fee, or, for some, they do it on their own. It is made easy by most e-commerce online site builder from choosing a template, uploading your products to writing the description, setting up your payment channel, and more.
Preview and test your webshop
We’re almost there, but don’t click that launch button just yet. Never miss testing your webshop before launching.
Test and preview your website using different browsers and on mobile. Check all the pages. See if all of them loads well and fast. Review all your webshop’s content and images.
Is your checkout’s flow well? Try completing an order on your store. Make sure all your payment channels work. All the needed disclosure regarding the total amount including tax and shipping time should be clear upon checkout too. Test the discount/voucher tab as well.
Double-check on all the clickable buttons and see if they function. Do not forget to check where the buttons are routed to. Do the buttons show the right display or page?
Launch your website
Congratulations! You finally have opened the door to your new business venture. Go and hit that launch button!
It doesn’t end here
As you know running a business would require not just your capital, but your time and effort as well. After launching your business, we then would be focusing on how and where to market your website and products. That I will be covering in the future here on my blog.
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Building an online business is a journey. But it does not need to be long and painful. Building an Online Business or Transforming an existing one Digitally, should not become a sophisticated paper exercise. Creating value for the customers and other stakeholders should remain as the aim of any business process including the Digital Transformation. This is more so for smaller businesses.
My book ‘Build An Online Business in 24 Hours’, aims to inspire and show a roadmap to bring your existing or future business online in a short period of time.
To learn more about some of the subjects on this page, and to find out a roadmap to build an online business in 24 hours, read my book.