Whether you’ve got a product to sell or the digital marketing chops to promote ones you love, you’re considering openingyour e-commerce store.
Still, you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to pull the trigger.
Starting an online business can give you a great sense of fulfillment, some passive income, and even replace your full-time career.
If you’re ready to take action, use this article as your checklist while you review the following questions.
I hope that the answers you have to these questions will help guide you down the path to success in taking the steps toward starting your online business.
1. Do You Have a Solid Business Plan?
That is in and of itself can be a daunting question when you’re just starting to entertain the idea of starting your store.
A detailed business plan is crucial before you decide to jump in.
Your plan should address key issues like what kind of problem is your website going to solve, will you be selling your own product or creating a boutique and drop shipping, how you will differentiate yourself from your competition, who is your target market, and what your marketing strategy is going to be.
While each question below is crucial for your success, don’t get overwhelmed.
By answering these questions, you’ll be on your way to developing a comprehensive business plan with a clear picture in mind of the store you hope to create.
2. Do You Have The Funds to Start Your Business?
Starting your online store is a bit of a “choose your own adventure” scenario
While there is a lot to consider, these are the absolute must-haves to get your store running:
1.Stock or available product to dropship from your supplier
Taking care of these four will get you started, but you want a flourishing business that you can be proud of and continue to scale.
In order to do that, you’ll need to consider some additionalinvestments like your marketing plan, designing your logo, incorporating your business, website apps and plugins, and even have a website designer make a unique site if you find yourself wanting more than the standard themes offered in e-commerce sites like Shopify and BigCommerce.
3. Do You Have Any Relevant Experience?
Everyone has to start somewhere, but some experience in the retail business, online marketing, and programming will make starting your business much less challenging.
If choosing your legal structure, finding suppliers, inventory management, SEO, payment processing, or digital marketing are entirely foreign to you, don’t get overwhelmed!
There is a digital course for absolutely everything you need.
Online tools are constantly evolving, so any book you find on a particular subject may already be outdated.
With online learning, trust that you’re getting the latest information as professionals in the space are taking the time to update the material.
Identifying your knowledge gaps is critical in your online business because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.
4. How Will Your Products be Priced?
While price isn’t everything, it can make or break your business.
You want to make sure you’re competitive and profitable at the end of the day.
Remember that before you can make a profit, you’ll need to factor in the costs of the goods, packaging, your marketing efforts, and shipping. Keeping your site running will have its costs as well.
Your pricing determines whether your business will be sustainable and scalable but don’t let analysis paralysis hold you back from launching the online store of your dreams. Your business will constantly be evolving, and you will always be learning.
5. Do You Have The Time To Run Your Business?
Running your online store can be just as time-consuming as it is rewarding, especially if you’re tackling it solo. There are several administrative tasks you’ll need to perform for your business. Order processing, inventory management, and customer support are among the most demanding.
While an online business is a great way to earn passive income, it’s not entirely set it and forget it. There will be challenges, but each one will be a lesson learned. Still, if you have the time, the patience, and the drive, you can succeed.
6. How Will You Earn The Trust of the Customer?
There are over 7 million online retailers globally, with new stores opening all the time. With so many scams online, customers need you to earn their trust.
You only get one first impression, and a great place to start is with a well-designed website that is easy for the user to navigate.
A confusing website raises red flags, so keep yours simple. Be sure to include detailed product descriptions, be transparent about your return policies and shipping, and include a contactform with your FAQ.
Another great way to earn their trust is to engage with them on Social Media. Having consistent brand messaging on your website and Social Media will help win your customers’ trust.