Running a small, online business is a great way to make extra income while doing something that you love. Running a business online also has several benefits of its own, especially in this current climate. So, if you’re thinking about starting an online shop, here are a few things to consider.
Choose your niche
It’s important that you have the right niche when starting your business. What you sell should be at the heart of your business, and your niche needs to be a delicate balance of a few things. Firstly, it’s important that you are selling products you are passionate about making and that you truly believe in.
However, you must also consider your target market and the current retail landscape in that niche. Passion and lee for your business and its products are vital, but you must also ensure that your products/services are something that customers want and/or need.
Finding the right platform
There are several platforms out there that you can use to sell your products. Every site will have its own benefits and drawbacks, and you’ll no doubt find that some are better suited to your needs than others. What’s important is choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business’ needs.
The five main things to consider when choosing a platform are: what you’re selling, functionality, design, pricing and support. In the UK there are several platforms worth researching for hosting your site, for example, Shopify, Wix, Etsy etc.
Make sure you have the right software and tools
Running an online business takes more than just a website and a product line, you will also need the right software and tools for a small home business. For example, you’ll need accounting expertise and software to keep your books correct. You’ll need to build and maintain a website as well as working out a payment system.
Security should be a top priority too, as you must make sure that your website is secure, that your payment methods are secure and that you ate following the proper GDPR protocols. You must also make sure that you are properly marketing your business and your products.
Shipping and fulfillment
You need to figure out how you’re going to fulfill your orders from your online orders. This will vary from business to business depending on what you sell, where it needs to go etc. For example, if you are making small and handmade items to order in small, restocked batches, then you may want to, and be able to, package and ship your orders by hand.
However, if you make your items in bulk, have a large product range or ship larger items, then you may wish to use a shipping and fulfillment company. This is often the difference between smaller, handmade items and larger, commercially bulk made products that are bought and sold by individual stores.
Even as a small, online business, you’ll need to have some form of customer service in case a customer needs to get in contact with you for any reason. Depending on the platform you’re using and the size of your business, you may be able to handle customer service yourself.
Most of these platforms have instant messaging systems where a customer can get in touch with you. In other cases, customers can leave a message for you to reply to or can email you at a business email. Social media platforms are another way for your customers to be able to get in touch with you easily and quickly.
If you’re thinking of starting an online shop, then these tips will help you get off to the best possible start. Take these tips on board and make your new business a success from the word go.