So, you’ve decided to start an ecommerce business. Here are some things you should consider doing next:
Stick with what you know – What industry are you in now? If you work for a jewelry-making company, for instance, and you like making jewelry, it’d probably be a good idea to sell jewelry online. Figure out what you have background knowledge about and assess your hobbies. Make a list of things you could sell, and talk to people about your ideas. If there seems to be a good amount of interest in the ecommerce business ideas you’re proposing, you can begin to move forward.
Decide whether you want to carry inventory of dropship – Dropshipping is a rather new form of ecommerce. It involves partnering up with manufacturers and selling their products on your ecommerce site. With dropshipping, you don’t hold onto any of the inventory yourself. The manufacturer holds onto it and ships it to the customer. You receive a cut of the overall profit made from any sales, and so does the manufacturer. The alternative to dropshipping, of course, is purchasing or making all the inventory you need. If you’re just starting out and don’t have much funding, dropshipping can definitely be more affordable. Put simply, inventory ties up your money. If you’re making your own products, however, it’s a whole other story. Figure out which kind of arrangement best suits your business.
Work on your website– Once you’ve decided what you’re going to sell and whether or not you’ll carry inventory or start a dropshipping arrangement, it’s time to put your website up. If you’re selling things you’ve made, you may want to think about creating a webstore on a site like Etsy, which will allow you to easily upload pictures of your products and start selling. Alternatively, it may be to your advantage to register a domain name and run your own site. If you decide to do this, it’s generally a good idea to hire a graphic designer or website designer to help you get your site up and running. Paying for someone to create an easy-to-use, attractive, and professional looking website will cost you a little in the beginning, but it can pay off a lot in the end by making your life easier and making your ecommerce store look more credible.
Get some order management software – Unless you want to keep track of all your orders in an Excel spreadsheet, consider investing in some order management software. This type of software will help you keep track of your orders and help you ensure that you stay on top of orders and get everything to customers on time. Customers who have good experiences with your ecommerce store will keep coming back and tell their friends about you, which is essentially how you’ll build your business.
These are just some of the most important things you should do as your starting out as an ecommerce business owner. Laying down the proper foundation for your ecommerce business is one of the most essential things you should do, and your success in the future will depend upon it. So, consider following the tips above, and make sure to mentally prepare yourself too!
Author’s Bio: Carolyn is a guest blogger on the subjects of small business management, ecommerce, and order management software that syncs up with Shopify, 3dcart, and BigCommerce.