Internet has changed the shopping experience for consumers. Over the last decade, we all have seen a large number of businesses pop up and majority of these are online. The E-commerce industry has blossomed and even people who never even thought of operating their own business before are now considering the prospect of taking a step in to this industry.
Consumers in the United States spend $1,200-$1,300 annually online and sales are expected to hit $327 billion in 2016. These stats prove how profitable the e-commerce industry has proven to be. Owner of an e-commerce store, by playing his cards right, can progress successfully in this economy.
Before you just get up and decide to open up a business online, there are a few things you need to take in to consideration.
- What do you plan on selling?
The first decision you have to make is what to sell? You can buy almost everything online now, from herbs for cooking to a yacht. The question is what niche would be appropriate for you. My advice is to let your passion take the lead. If you love designing clothes for girls, open up an online boutique or if you are a graphic designer, offer graphic designing services. When you go after what you love, even when the going gets tough you’re more likely not to give and keep going on.
- Have you done the research?
Yes I know I just said that you should follow your dreams and go after what you love but that doesn’t mean that you dive blindly in to something without even calculating the feasibility and chances of failure. Even if your instincts say that you should sell crocheted afghans, the market out there for them might not prove to be profitable. To minimize the risk and to take calculated steps, research is important. Find out about the latest trends, forecasts of the niche you are planning to invest in and visit forums where people are talking about the type of product you wish to sell.
- How much should I spend on business?
Evaluating how much time and money you are able to spend is the most significant thing you need to consider before you start the business because this is not a onetime task. Commitments in life make financing difficult. Therefore planning your finances and time realistically is important for every business owner. Here is an average budget distribution of Small, Mid and large size businesses.
- Is the domain name available?
You need to own a name, an internet domain name in this case and you also will have to check whether the trademark is available or not. Filing your trademark is very important. You don’t want to risk your brand image by not acquiring the trademark. Also keep in mind that it is not necessary if you can’t find a name online so it doesn’t exist, maybe someone else owns the trademark but has not used it publicly yet.
- Have you designed a custom logo?
A custom designed logo is not just a part of your branding strategy but is one of the most important parts. Consumers in this day and age are visual shoppers, they might forget the name of your brand but the logo catches the eye and makes them associate the brand with the logo. A well-designed custom logo design portrays a look of trust and professionalism even if you are a small business operating from home. Here is a website that can help you generate logo designs within few seconds.
- What rules and regulations do I need to follow?
Breaking the laws and regulations just because of ignorance is no way to start off a business. Get to know about the laws and regulations. Also gain knowledge about the social taboos so you don’t end up making a fool of your brand on social media.
- How do I market my business?
The last thing you need to decide is which channels you need to make use of to market your business. Online businesses largely rely on social media, e-mail marketing and word of mouth to gain buzz in the industry. Decide upon the most suitable channel for your business.
Once you choose your platform, firmly stick to it and don’t shy away from taking risks (wise ones!) Don’t forget to consider these 7 things that I have discussed, they’ll surely help you in the long run.