In the last few years and for the years to come, the e-commerce industry is projected to continue its rising trajectory and fast growth. As a business person, this gives you a thrilling and promising opportunity for success and sustainability. With thousands of predicated buyers spending millions online every year, venturing into the e-commerce industry can be a lucrative idea.
If you intend to start an e-commerce store and sell offbeat products such as this crucifix necklace or guitars like Guitarsquid, this article is meant for you. You will learn tips that can help you venture into this business professionally.
Get a business name.
Once you decide that you want to sell your products online, the next thing is to select a fabulous and easy to remember name that is not already in use. You can do a corporate name search to ensure that other businesses are not using it. Once you have the name, register it, and if you establish an LLC or corporation, your name will be registered electronically in the country where you file your documentation.
Protect your site and domain name.
Preferably, your business name will be your domain name. However, if it is not available, select a URL that is easy to remember and spell, and must relate to your business. Even though creating a design of the e-commerce website might be expensive, you need to make sure that it has an appealing look and is functional. Note that you need a more custom-made site to cater for your requirements that are basic.
Choose the business structure and register the business.
Here are some of the options to look at when it comes to choosing your business structure.
- Sole proprietor
If you fail to select a business structure such as corporation or LLC, you will automatically be considered as a sole proprietor by the IRS.
Nevertheless, running your e-commerce as a sole proprietor, your personal properties will be at risk. In the event that your business is sued, the court will seize all your personal properties if the business fails to cover the debts. Corporation and LLC are not attached to your assets, and they offer other tax benefits.
You will register the business by filling the right business structure documentation provided by the IRS. Alternatively, you can hire a service provider to file the paperwork for you.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number.
You must have the Employer Identification Number (EIN) to sign up a business bank account and file your business tax returns every year. Just like a business’s social security number, it is a unique number that identifies your business and assists you to file crucial documents.
Apply for business permits and licenses.
Running an online store does not exempt from necessitating certain business licenses and permits. Consult with your local authority officials to find out what type of sales tax permits or home-based business licenses you must have. Make sure all the licenses are approved before you start selling the products.
Partner with the right vendors.
Note that you will be welcomed with a lot of competition when selling your products online. For this reason, you need to get the high quality and best price for goods you intend to sell or materials used to make the products. Make sure you find the right vendors you can do business with for a long period.
Research well to find your nice and start marketing your business immediately.
Look at the leading e-commerce sites aesthetics, products, images posted, and product description. Take those ideas and use them as your business grows.
Take advantage of audience analysis tools such as Facebook Insights to know the characteristics of your e-commerce client base. Once you know where your clients hang out, put ads with their interest in mind.
In this case, you can create your core client persona on the Facebook pages. For instance, you want to start a jewelry brand online. On the insights screen, search for the obvious keyword, “jewelry” and then type your other keywords to help you get more results.
Even if you haven’t started running the business, it is always a good idea to create an attractive social media profile and create content for your blog to avoid doing everything on Day one. You can design your site with a coming soon page, where visitors who are interested can sign up and get alerts, using a tool such as LunchRock.
Invest in reliable software and get more productive.Technology has helped in simplifying most of the work. Thus, before you start the business, try different software such as customer relationship management, accounting, project management, and email marketing. This will help you find out if they can be integrated into what you intend to do once the business is launched.
Sell what you love and make sure you have enough stock.
In any business, you must introduce a unique brand that is profitable and one that relates to your interest. Establishing an e-commerce shop in a business line you are passionate about will assist you to create a business you truly love and that passion will be transferred to your clients.
When looking for startup business ideas, look at the activities you love doing and conduct some research on competitor e-commerce website. This will help you get ideas on how your business will look like.
Whether you have a store full of products or your inventory stays where you are, ensure you have enough products before you launch the business. While knowing how much you need can be tricky, it is always a good idea to have more than you need. Pay close attention to the changes in sales so that you can make a wise decision about future orders.
Make sure your business complies with the law.
Once the business starts operating, everything will move at the speed of lightning. Never should you forget to file your annual report and pay all the annual fees for the licenses.