The Internet has become a great place to start a business. For many people, their website is their business and they have no bricks and mortar store at all. This allows them to start a business that may become worth millions, for a relatively small amount of money, especially compared with what it would cost to start a traditional kind of business.
So what exactly do you need to start an online ecommerce business? Like any other business model you need to do some research to find what product or service people want. Few people these days are in need of wagon wheels; chocolate ones may be a different story. Here are some tips on what you need to start a business online
- Products or services that people want.
- Decide where you will get your products from. Some people make their own products, others buy and store them – or they dropship. Dropshipping is taking orders for another company who keeps what you want to sell. When you get an order, you send it to the company and they dispatch the order straight to your customer. This saves you having to store goods. You set your own price and get a percentage of the sale.
- Decide on the name of your business. This has to be done before you get a website as the domain name should be the same as your business name. Research will be essential to ensure that domain name is available.
- You will need to set up your business as a legal entity and have a bank account especially for it. This will save you a lot of work and frustration at tax time.
- Decide on the policies for your store. You need to know if you offer returns, will ship overseas and what to charge for freight. What will you do if a customer orders goods that are out of stock or not available for some other reason? This should all be clearly explained on your website.
- Your contact policy should also be decided. For instance, if you have a phone, how will overseas callers be charged? They will expect a 1300 number at the very least.
- Choose your pricing model. It is essential to choose prices that cover your costs at the very least. But you may have some goods that you charge more for to cover the cost of cheaper goods that are used as advertising.
- Website design is important because this is your shop front. If your customers don’t have a good and easy experience on it, they often won’t return. It also needs to look attractive and professional. You’ll also need an SSL certificate so customer’s financial details are kept safe as they make online transactions.