Starting Up Your Own E-Commerce Business
2022 is the year of new startups in Ecommerce. There’s a good reason for this. Over the past couple of years, we’ve lived through a global event that none of us could have anticipated. The spread of coronavirus and Covid-19 around the world caused a huge upheaval in all areas of our lives. As we avoided the virus and the government put in rules and regulations regarding who could spend time outside and encouraged the vast majority of people to stay within their own four walls, we had to adopt new ways of living. One area that struggled was business – especially businesses that relied on face to face contact and in-person attendance of customers and employees. Those businesses that could operate online did switch to operating online. During this period, it’s not too surprising that many people lost their jobs. Many businesses were unable to handle or work through the change and ended up collapsing. Some struggled by but had to make many staff redundant. On top of this, many people chose to leave their work in the pursuit of a new career path. Having time away from the office to think about work and what we were used to gave many people the opportunity to decide that their current career path wasn’t for them and that they wanted to pursue something else. The result of all of this? More people wanting to take control over their own career paths and looking into setting up their own online businesses. This could be a great option for you, but you do need to be prepared for the sheer number of steps and amount of investment, hard work and effort you’re going to experience during the journey. Here’s a guide on everything to expect and how to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
The Benefits of Setting Up an E-Commerce Business
If you’re torn between setting up a brick and mortar business or an online business, it’s good to consider the perks of Ecommerce. There are so many benefits that come hand in hand with running an online business in particular. Here are just a few that you should think about.
- Low Cost – setting up an online store is a lot cheaper than setting up a brick and mortar store. You don’t have to fork out for commercial premises, furnishing, cleaning, setting up, staff to monitor the store, security and so much more. Instead, you just need a website to start out with.
- Low Commitment – when you open a brick and mortar store, you usually sign into a commercial premises contract. When you go for Ecommerce, you don’t have to tie into anything like this.
- Ongoing Operations – as we’ve seen through the pandemic, online businesses can operate more easily in case of disaster or difficulty, as you don’t rely on anyone getting involved in person.
- Operating Hours – you can make money around the clock with an online business. Customers can log on and make orders at any time of the day or the night. This means you can literally make money in your sleep.
- Scope – customers don’t have to travel to your store to buy from you, which means customers aren’t limited to people in the local area. Instead, your business can easily have national or even international reach if your products can be shipped overseas.
So, if Ecommerce sounds good to you, what initial steps will you have to complete in order to get started? Here are some suggestions.
You need to have something to sell. Whether that’s a product or a service. Of course, you can’t just dive into the deep end and create whatever first appears in your mind without further thought. Instead, you need to go through a product development process. This means coming up with an idea, sure, but then you need to get in touch with your target demographic and carry out some market research to determine whether they’d buy the product and how much they’d be willing to pay for it. This will help you to determine whether there would be profit margins. You can then work on the product until you have something that you and your customers will be happy with.
Finding a Manufacturer
Next, you need to determine whether there’s a manufacturer out there who can create your products at a reasonable price that still leaves you with room for profit. Very few startups will be able to manufacture in-house, as this means investing in expensive machinery and equipment, specialist staff, and warehouse or factory spaces to work in. Browse different manufacturers and ask for quotes and see how their work is on a trial run. This will help you to choose the right manufacturer for your needs.
You will also need to test your products. This will ensure that they are suitable for use for the wider public. This is important, as it’s what will keep your customers safe and will keep you away from lawsuits. There are companies that will test your products for you.
You’re going to need devices and systems for you and your team to work from. Take time to choose the right options for your company, as devices can be expensive and you don’t want to find you’ve invested in the wrong thing too late. You also need to consider cybersecurity when you’re operating on a remote basis. Cybersecurity is what your business will rely on to keep you, your tech and your data safe. Poor cybersecurity can result in successful cyber attacks, which will leave your business in trouble, with a poor reputation and even at financial loss from financial attacks. Look into the largest cybersecurity companies for assistance with a cybersecurity plan.
Once you’re ready to go with a product, there are a number of steps you’ll need to take to actually set your business up. Here are some to add to your to-do list.
Register Your Business
First, you need to officially register your business. Not only will this help you to look more professional, but it will also allow you to separate your business and its assets from you and your assets on a legal level. This means if you experience failure or hardship in your business, your personal finances and assets won’t be affected.
Creating a Website
To be an Ecommerce store, you’re going to need a quality website to operate from. Work with a website developer and website designer to bring your site to life. They’ll be able to take your ideas and bring them to life on screen. You should also work with professionals including graphic designer and copywriter to come up with a logo for your site, any graphics you need and accurate product descriptions, about pages, shipping information, sizing information pages and more. You may also want to reach out to a UX designer. This is a “user experience” designer who can help you to create a site that is easy to navigate and guides your user to making purchases that they might otherwise leave behind.
As you can see, a lot goes into setting up an Ecommerce store. The steps outlined above are just the beginning! As long as you are committed and this is something you really want, however, everything should go smoothly and you should experience plenty of success with every step you take! Implement some of the steps above and you’ll get your entire journey started out in the right direction!
Starting Up Your Own E-Commerce Business
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