Many people dream of quitting their 9-to-5 jobs to start their own business. The internet has made this dream come true, as you can see the increase in the number of e-commerce businesses. The good news is this market is huge, and you can enter it if you know where to start.
So, let’s begin with what you need to do before starting your ecommerce business.
Step 1: Research the E-commerce World
Building up your online business is an investment no matter how little money or effort you think it will require. You need to begin with researching existing e-commerce businesses, which are constantly evolving.
Not only are e-commerce business markets growing, but there are now companies that provide assistance to your e-business; Whatagraph assists business owners in collecting marketing data from different websites and vendors with fully automated and multi-sourced reports. You can even adjust your report schedule to receive them daily or on a monthly basis. The fact is you can start building your e-commerce business on your own, but at some point, you’ll need to hire individuals or companies to scale up your business.
To get a clear idea of what you would like to sell, familiarize yourself with the different business models out there. There are software, digital, and physical products, some of which are service-based. Looking at all these categories will help you identify which of them you would like to cater to.
Step 2: Research E-commerce Business Niches
Don’t start by trying to reach an Amazon business model, although that doesn’t mean you can’t think big. Even the biggest names in the industry were once built from scratch, and needed tons of money and luck to succeed. So, based on your investment and skills, try to narrow down your products or services to have a profitable business.
To narrow down and find your niche market, identify competitors that have succeeded in the business model you wish to implement. Avoid selecting a service or a product that has no competitor, because it will most probably have no audience. This also goes for working in a market that is dominated by big brands, as it will be hard to enter. Select a niche market you are able to compete in.
Step 3: Create Personas and Products
You need to fully understand what your products are and who you are selling them to. The best way to do that is to create hypothetical personas and associate them with your brand. Collect information about your target market’s lifestyle, education, location, activities and buying power. From there, you can create suitable branding strategies and products, although it is advised to start with one product first, to keep all your effort focused on it and test the market.
Step 4: Select a Business Name and Create a Brand
After identifying your business niche and deciding on a demographic, it is time to create your own name that will connect your product to the selected target audience. This is a crucial stage, because the name you pick will be stuck with your business forever. Unlike branding, which you can change and evolve with time, your brand name is a permanent decision.
Brand names should be memorable, unique and descriptive of what you are selling. Always check online before settling on a name, and make sure that there is no other company in the same niche using that name as well. This will make it easier for your audience to reach you.
Step 5: Establish your E-commerce Business
Just because you are working online, doesn’t mean you do not need or have legal rights. Before setting up your business, you need to register it, and familiarize yourself with your legal benefits and obligations. You will need to pick a legal name for your company, which does not need to be identical to your brand name. Apply for your needed business licenses and employer identification number, which will come in handy when connecting with vendors as well.
Step 6: Create your online shop
Register your domain name and make sure you get your hands on the best ecommerce shopping software, so that your website can load faster. It also needs to have user-friendly features, and be compatible with different payment gateways. As soon as you find a good template to start building your ecommerce business website, consider yourself ready to penetrate the market!
Online-based businesses are not as complex as they may seem, if you follow the right steps to the letter, and make sure you don’t override any legal obligations. Starting your business from scratch and watching it grow is the most rewarding feeling for an entrepreneur. So, why not give it a try with these steps and see how it really feels?