Over the years, the Internet has provided a number of business opportunities for the tech-savvy entrepreneur. However, a recent shift in the digitization of non-traditional industries and increasing awareness about the benefits of selling online, there has been a growing trend among aspiring entrepreneurs for starting an online business.
It has been estimated that around 206 million people will shop online this year alone. We’re not just talking about consumers looking for tangible products, but increasingly, services as well.
If you’re thinking about starting an online business and selling products online, use this checklist to do it the right way.
To make it easy for you to finally start your online business, we’ve come up with a 5-step checklist to get you started:
Choose the right business before starting an online business
A number of online business options are available, so choose the one that is right for you. If you enjoy buying and selling merchandise, an e-Commerce business may be a good choice. If you like to write, a blog can be a way to generate revenue by placing ads on your website.
Identify those people who would most likely have a need for your business idea and market your website to these individuals. Starting an online business starts with identifying your market, along with the product.
Web Design And Hosting
Starting an online business is fairly easy, and you have to start with web design and hosting. Because you won’t have an actual physical store, your website is your digital or online store. You need to make sure that it’s appealing to your target market and is easy to navigate. You can either get a website made from scratch, or can opt for platforms such as Shopify to create virtual stores and sell your products on there.
Before you start your online business, it’s important that you have the funding aspect sorted out. This is a point many entrepreneurs struggle with. In order to be successful at any startup, it’s important to have the financial backing for it. Some entrepreneurs are never able to materialize their business ideas because they are unable to fund it. Many others choose to start their online business with their own funds or with the help from family or friends.
But if you truly want to be successful at starting your online business, you want to make sure that you have funds to backup your business objectives and growth for at least the first year of operations. Many business owners decide to opt for business loans before or during early stages of their business.
Note: Interested at the potential of securing funding for your business? Click here to learn more.
Select And Register Domain Name
Select a domain name that is easy to remember and identifies what your business is about. For example, if you sell antique furniture, choose a name like antiquefurnituresales.com. Be sure to register your domain name at websites that include register.com or active-domain.com. These sites can also inform you as to whether your chosen name has already been taken.
Set Up Work Area
Set up shop in an area that is free of distractions and provides room for all your computer equipment. Obtain any necessary office supplies, including filing cabinets and stationery.
Line Up Tech Support
Because you’ll be depending on your computer for your livelihood, you’ll need help quickly if something goes wrong. Network with other online business owners in your area to see if they can recommend a reliable computer repair service.
Register your business
Check with your local government agency to see if you need to register your business. If you’re operating as a sole proprietor, registration typically isn’t necessary. However, your municipality could have zoning ordinances in place that prohibit you from operating any type of business out of your home.
Once you go through this checklist, you’re set for starting an online business. Next up is how to attract the right customers to your business. Check out our blog about millennial customers (the largest consumer group in North America) and how to attract them.