You want to be your own boss but don’t know where to start. Even though you love the idea of having a brick-and-mortar location, you also know that it’s a risky proposition, particularly during this time. With ongoing social distancing restrictions, you might not get the foot traffic you need to turn a profit. That means any money you put into your business could eventually just go down the drain.
E-commerce is a completely different story, however, there is a right way and wrong way to go about it. Here is how you can build your own E-commerce empire from your house.
With this in mind, there are many different ways for people to now start making money from the comfort of their own home, while creating a very sustainable business in the process. To learn more about this process and how to get started, be sure to read through our expert tips and recommendations below.
Do Your Research
If you frequent TikTok or other social media platforms, you’ve probably seen business gurus claiming how easy it is to open an online business. While the process is a bit more simplified when compared to opening a physical location, you still need to do your research. In addition to understanding how to run an e-commerce business, you need to know how to find trending products and how to reach your target audience.
If you’re not familiar with online business and marketing, education is a must. There are a lot of free resources you can use, which include Facebook Business, Google Ads as well as YouTube. These resources will give you the rundown on the basics of running an E-commerce brand.
Choose a Niche
Unless you plan on running a general store and selling products on Amazon FBA, you also need to choose a niche. One mistakes new business owners make is selling something they think will sell, not something they’re passionate about. If you’re trying to build a brand, think about what wouldn’t feel like work. Successful e-commerce businesses have a certain feel to them.
Everything from marketing messages to website design is more personal, and in a world where consumers want true engagement prior to making a purchase, it will show if you’re not really feeling the product you’re selling.
You should also validate your idea prior to going full speed ahead. If you think there’s a need for what you want to sell, see how a test group responds to it. Use the free trial on Shopify to create a store, show up on social media and see how your target audience responds.
Choose a Business Model
Once you’ve decided on the niche, you need to think about the business model. Online business models vary dramatically, so it’s important to understand how they work and whether you can afford them. For example, if you choose to set a niche-specific dropshipping store, you won’t have to purchase stock prior to opening shop.
With dropshipping, you find a reputable manufacturer who will package and send the products to your customers. Although dropshipping is a relatively low-risk business model, there are things you need to consider. It’s important to order samples of products prior to selling them online. The last thing you want is to find a winning product, sell a large quantity and then have to give refunds because the product was defective.
You also need a manufacturer you can trust. Unfortunately, new online business owners can fall prey to shady manufacturers, especially if they are overseas. Order samples from several manufacturers and compare the quality of the items. Also, take note of how responsive they are and whether they offer a contractual agreement.
If you choose to hold stock, you need several things to get up and running. First, you need a place to store the stock. You also need to have the money to buy the stock prior to opening shop. That’s where a solid financial plan comes into play.
Create a financial plan that encompasses all upfront costs as well as things that could go wrong. If you’re short on funds, you should think about consolidating debt. If your debt is from attending college, you might want to consider a student loan consolidation. Through a private lender, you can lower your monthly payments, which may give you more money to invest into your business.
Implement Social Media Marketing
Of the many different ways to grow and market your business online, social media is still one of the most effective and powerful ways. There is simply no other way to get immediate access to billions of users around the world, without having to spend extra money in the process.
Through the use of effective hashtags and a working social media marketing and content creation strategy, any ecommerce site can quickly find themselves receiving new sales in a matter of minutes — as long as they are putting relevant and high-quality content out there for the rest of the world to see.
However, when it comes to social media marketing and growing any business online, you need to be important in how you approach every platform. Of the most important things you want to stay away from, make sure you don’t spam and always have content that provides value and isn’t desperately just looking for sales. It’s also a good idea to get creative and use different types of content images and titles to grab the attention of different users based on what’s currently trending around the world today.
The important thing to remember here, is that social media is a huge tool for building your business, so it needs to be approached in a professional matter at all times.
Plan for The Future
No one opens a business thinking that it’s going to fail. However, without taking precautions or having a solid plan, things might not go as you expected. A good business owner is prepared for any situation by having a contingency plan. Make sure you have the proper insurance, set the policy and do you best to keep your clientele satisfied. If it means your original vision for your business changes, so be it. Any type of change is worth it, especially if it means you continue to grow and be successful.
When trying to grow any business or brand from the comfort of your own home, you need to make sure your business model and online presence is as professional as possible.
To learn more about how to grow your ecommerce site, be sure to check out our latest reference guide on how to rank in Google, while also attracting new audiences through free organic listings.