Online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, Small Biz Trends reported the total number of online shoppers was expected to exceed 215 million by the end of last year.
Just about everyone dreams about being their own boss someday. And with stats like that, right now is a great time for you to launch an eCommerce business.
One major perk is that you can run it from the comfort of your home, followed by affordable start-up costs and recurring fees.
Another perk? Starting an eCommerce business is not a long, dragged out process.
And let’s be honest, we want an online business that has a quick turn around to see the money coming in. So it make sense to go with an eCommerce – that’s where the money is at!
The Three-Step Process Set Up An eCommerce Business
Before I started this business, I was undecided on what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to make money.
I looked at every opportunity there was. Then I read about starting an eCommerce business and how it didn’t take long to get one up and running and that was good enough for me.
But after reading more about it, I came to realize it wasn’t for me at the time. However, in case this is something you’ve thought about doing, this post will be very helpful to you.
In fact, if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be ready to go with your own eCommerce business in no time.
Step One – The Planning Stage
Now, I don’t want to mislead you to think that starting an eCommerce business is a snap. Just like any other business, you have to make a plan.
The first step should be to make a plan to lay out:
- Your start-up budget. You can use this Business Startup Cost Calculator to give you an idea of how much you should have in your start-up budget.
- What you’re going to sell (subscriptions, online courses, physical products). Find out whether that product/service is in demand. And if your product isn’t ready, lay out how long it will take you to complete it and how many hours/days you need to put in to get there. Then work it baby!
- Who your target audience is – then research to find the places they’re at such as which social media platform they use most.
- Set your sales goals (but don’t set them so high that you’re not giving yourself a chance at success).
- How will you promote your eCommerce website to meet those goals.
Don’t rush through this process, take all the time you need. You want to make sure you’re going to be passionate about your business and the products you sell. After all, this is FORRR-EHH-VERRR.
Step Two – Odds And Ends
Now that you’ve got your plan together, the next step is to take care of some odds and ends.
First, set up your DBA (Doing Business As) to register your eCommerce business. These the options to choose from:
- Sole Proprietor
- LLC (Limited Liability Company)
Entrepreneur wrote a great article about business structure basics and explains each one so you can determine which one is best for you.
Then check with your state to double check if you need particular licenses or permits to operate your business.
You’ll also need to get an Employee Identification Number. This is needed to open a bank account, when filing your taxes and other situations that concerns your business.
Next, get a Paypal business account and/or a bank account. You’ll need this to get paid!
Get a P.O. Box – you’ll need this when you set up accounts like WooCommerce, Paypal, Stripe, etc. But if you feel comfortable using your home address, you can do that too.
Last but not least, set up your social media accounts.
Step Three – Set Up A Website
Now comes the fun part – the set up of your eCommerce website.
If there is anything you should invest in, it’s your website. You want it to be eye-catching and user-friendly.
After that, come up with a cool domain name. Remember to select a domain name that looks good in URL form, that’s easy to remember and that relates to your business. Come up with about 5 domain names in case the one you want isn’t available.
Next, decide which platform you want to use. For a standard eCommerce website, you can go with platforms like Shopify. But if you want total control of your website with extra bells and whistles, go with a self-hosted WordPress platform – it’s the preferred platform for millions of website owners.
Now you have to select a hosting provider. My favorites are Hostgator (I’ve been with them for 10 years now) and Blue Host. Once you’ve set up your account and you can install WordPress from your host’s dashboard.
If you go with WordPress, your new website should include the WooCommerce* plugin which will display your shop, cart and products.
I’ve put a tutorial together to guide you in the set up of your website. But if you’d rather have a pro do it for you, check out my new WordPress website set up service and I’d be happy to help!
Wrapping It Up
And now you’re ready to start promoting your eCommerce business based off the plan you developed in step one.
Create a marketing strategy to plan what you will promote, when you’ll promote and where. Here’s a template I use to help me keep track of the content I’m posting. Feel free to download for your own use.
Give your eCommerce business a boost with paid ads on the social media platform your target audience can be found. These are affordable and guaranteed to reach ‘um.
So those are the 3 simple steps to launch your own eCommerce business. I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions about this, ask away in the comments below and I’ll answer them for you.
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