Summary: An online store gives you the ability to sell products (real and virtual) by reaching millions of customers over the Internet, instead of depending on foot traffic alone - plus, you don't have to pay for retail space. To start an online store does not have to be overwhelming. Although it can be a great deal of work, it can be very rewarding, not only monetarily but in the freedom it offers - being your own boss, setting your own schedule and achieving your dreams.
Turn your vision and dreams into a strategy and plan.
Having a strategy, a plan for your dream or vision to start an online store will give you the best chance of success.
As with any business you'll need an excellent product or service and a strong marketing plan. But how do you start an online store on the Internet? These step-by-step instructions will help you get started.
1. Setting Up Your Business
* Clearly define your product or service.
Starting an online store gives you the benefit of having access to millions of potential customers, but there is also the factor of competition.
* Study your competition
Consider what you will need to do to compete in that field or industry. Determine what is not already being offered and try to find a niche of your own with your product.
* Level playing field
In many ways the internet levels the playing field and gives a newcomer, even a novice, the same chance to compete with even the largest businesses on the net, simply through the window of a browser.
* Find specific interests
Find specific interests that you can support or problems you can solve in your targeted market.
* Offer expertise in an area
Even if the product itself is not unique, your expertise could be a strong selling point. For example, if you're selling a line of skin care products it helps if you have a degree or certification in a field related to skin care.
* Consider diversifying
If you have a single product or service, consider diversifying as it can help your business appeal to more customers and bring more traffic to your online store. More traffic gives your website a much better chance to succeed.
2. Name Your Business.
Go to your county and file a DBA (Doing Business As). You can also search the U.S. Patent and Brand name Office to be sure that you are not selecting a name that has been taken by another organization. Also check with your city, county, and state for any other requirements, licenses or permits you may need. This qualifies you to open a separate bank account for your online store, which will be critical to running your store and keeping proper tax documents.
Tip: Consider alpha numerics when choosing a name. For example, if your name starts with a "W" and you list it in a directory, how many names will come ahead of yours in the list?
3. Select an Internet Ecommerce Hosting Company.
You will need an internet ecommerce host where you can set up your store website in order to market and sell your products online. There are many hosting companies from which to choose. It is an important decision as your online website will be your storefront to the world. This is where your customers will find out about you and your store, look through your items and make purchases.
We recommend 123EzBiz to save you time and money. 123EzBiz is fully integrated with WordPress and includes it with every ecommerce plan. WordPress is the number one content management system (CMS) on the internet. As a hosting platform WordPress hosts 43% of websites on the internet and it has nearly 60,000 plugins and 10,000 themes (most of them free.) As of today, the number of WordPress sites in the world is over 455 million; meaning 42.7% of all websites are built with it.
Are you going to stock and ship the item in your online store? Assuming this is the case, you'll have to contemplate extra room and how you intend to arrange the products. Nonetheless, you will have the ability to ship items yourself.
Some companies depend on outsourcing products, in which items are fabricated or obtained at the time the request is made. As a rule, outsourcing may keep your overall costs lower, however, it very well may be less challenging to oversee since stock levels and shipping will no longer be any of your concern.
5. Start keeping business financial records.
Save reciepts and track all profits and expenses. This will help greatly when it comes to filing your taxes. We recommend consulting with a certified public accountant (CPA) and possibly a tax attorney.
Tip: We suggest all entrepreneurs use some kind of accounting software like Quickbooks.
6. How Much Does it Cost to Start an Online Store?
The expense of starting an online store can change, generally, contingent upon what you are wanting to sell and in what volume.
Some of your costs to start an online store might include:
* Ecommerce website hosting.
* Ecommerce merchant account to run credit cards.
* General expenses of maintaining a business.
* Expenses for bookkeeping and tax preparation.
* Business insurance or possibly filing an LLC if needed.
* Likewise save cash for unexpected charges.
That concludes the basics of how to start an online store. We hope that this has been a help in getting ready to launch your new online store.
*Promotional offer is valid for new customers only and requires an active 123ez.biz ecommerce account.
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