Blueprint to Opening an Online Store

November 19th, 2017 No comments »

Considering the opportunities that now exist online, starting a store as a home business is easier than ever before. Within the US, and all around the world, online shopping has become common and it’s something that will be here for years to come. If you have ideas or a passion for selling, an online store could be the way to go.

Planning – Before doing anything, you need to enter a research phase and this is something many people miss; this can be detrimental. If you know exactly what you want to sell, you should be researching the competition as well as average selling prices. If you have a blank sheet of paper, the key to finding a niche is getting the balance between your passions and something that generates interest.

Just now, we used the word ‘niche’ and this is essential for your business. Let’s face the facts, there are thousands of people all trying to sell products online so you need to find a specific group of people and meet their needs. If you’re trying to make everybody happy by selling homeware, gardening tools, homemade socks, and iPhone chargers, you’ll never be seen as a specialist in anything.

To start, we advise thinking about your passions and interests. If you like to sew clothes for the children of your friends, perhaps there’s an opportunity to turn this into a business? With homemade items, they’re entirely unique and this is why many stores find success in the niche. Elsewhere, handmade items could cover gift baskets, body products, and candles.

Of course, we aren’t suggesting that you need to make your own products to have success. With a simple Google search, you’ll find thousands of successful business owners who started by buying stock and selling it on for a profit.

Starting a Website – In years gone by, these three words would have scared off most people but this doesn’t need to be as daunting today. If you’re comfortable with a computer, you’ll find several hosting options depending on your needs and niche. For those who don’t want to design their own website, sites like Yahoo allow for user-friendly websites where you can choose a theme and build a store with ease. Although you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, everything website-hosting-related is taken care of on your behalf.

When choosing a website hosting service, you need to keep quality in mind at all times. While it might seem a good idea to cut corners and save a few pennies, you need to remember that quality is essential. With so many online stores to choose from, your customers need a reason to buy from your service. If you need to pay a designer to get the best unique website design, make this investment because you WILL see a return.

Sometimes, a full website isn’t necessary and many stores have found success with the likes of eBay and Etsy. As long as you’re willing to forgo a percentage of your profit, the audience is already there and you can take advantage.

Build Your Profile – With your website in place, the next step is to get people visiting. Today, a great tactic is to contact other businesses and trade banners. Not only does this get people towards your own website, it helps you to build a relationship with other online stores. In the future, there could be opportunities for collaborative products in addition to complementary products. Elsewhere, advertising can also be achieved through pay-per-click (PPC) tools and blogging (via SEO).

Keep It Simple – When buying online, people look for simplicity so make your website easy to navigate and have the ordering process as simple as possible. This, coupled with good customer service, will almost certainly allow your business to grow (assuming your products are good enough!). In terms of customer support, a phone line or email address is a good idea to deal with any issues that may arise. Suddenly, you become personable and more trustworthy as a brand.

With these simple tips, you can find success with your online store in the near future!