A lot of the time your business initiatives do not progress to advanced levels due to certain monetary restraints that an entrepreneur may have. However, because of advancements in technology and digitization, anyone can easily open an online store without any major source of funding as well.
If an entrepreneur is on budget and wants to start an online business of his own then the steps and processes mentioned below will help him set up his small business in 10 steps, without any major hassles.
Table of Contents
Understanding Different eCommerce Models
It is imperative that before you open your own online store, do your research and in the process understand the different models through which one can start their own online business.
This process will not only help you in understanding how the business would potentially work but also give an estimated cost of setting up the online shop.
There are majorly 8 business models that are used by eCommerce entrepreneurs, Dropshipping, Makers, Manufacturing, Wholesale, Print-on-demand, Digital Products, Direct to consumer and Subscriptions.
Finding the right products to sell
Once the entrepreneur has understood the different models prevalent in eCommerce, the next and perhaps the most important step is to determine the product or service you intend on selling.
In order to find the right products to sell there is a procedure, you need to follow. Firstly, you need to make a list of items and products you intend on selling and are passionate about.
You need to check if the product you are willing to sell has a certain level of demand on Google Trends. You can alternatively check for demand for different marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and others.
Finding out their average sell price would be useful as well. Finally, you need to identify your competitors and shortlist the products you intend on selling.
Finding the source of your Product
After you have a tentative list of the product you intend on selling based on their pricing and demand, your focus should now be on the process to procure that particular product(s).
If an entrepreneur is planning to sell a product which is going to be made from scratch then you will be required to look out for a manufacturer that would understand the product requirements and would also be good in terms of quality.
If you are intending to sell products that are already on the market, you will need to find a supplier.
You can also look in a lot of marketplaces and explore the local markets to look for the products that you intend to sell online.
Determining the Price of the Product
Once you have decided on the item you intend on selling and also the way in which you would be procuring the product, it is now the time to calculate and find out the product pricing.
This is an important step in starting an online store since this step would directly affect the returns on investment that are being shelled out by you.
Finding the best eCommerce Platform
Once you have made a plan which would outline the resources available to you after determining the source and the pricing of the product which would give you an overall idea of the amount you can potentially earn, it is now the time to find out the best eCommerce platform for your items.
The eCommerce platform that is to be chosen by you should help you to set up shop easily and also ensure your reach among the customers.
Choosing a good eCommerce Platform is very important since it tends to have a huge impact on the success or the failure of your shop.
Utilizing Free Themes to Design
Building a good brand is imperative to your company’s image, however, if you are on a budget you need to ensure that your design aspect is done within a budget. You should learn about new web development trends that you can utilize in your website.
On average, designing and developing a website can cost you a hefty amount and the amount may only go up if you have more pages, functionalities and other fancy aspects added to your website.
Hence, if your focus is to start an online store with a minimal amount of funding, exploring free themes in order to design your store is a good idea. You can use these free themes to explore different page layouts and customisations which can be used to brand your online store.
Selecting the Right Payment Gateway for your Online Store
Before you intend on launching your online store and begin your order taking process, you need to identify and decide on the primary modes of payment which would be catering for your audience.
Once you have decided on your payment modes, you need to identify and decide on the right payment gateways and then set them up as well as looking at the maintenance costs as well.
Find a Good Shipping Partner
One of the avenues through which you can cut down the majority of your costs is shipping. A lot of you out there forget to take into consideration the shipping costs and delivery charges while planning out an investment model.
You need to identify the options for shipping such as fast delivery, one-day delivery and much more. It is recommended that you list out the costs associated with each of the providers.
Formulating a Solid Marketing Plan
Formulating a good marketing plan can prove imperative for a business to run sustainably. You need to research the relevant channels for spreading attention to the consumers to get the best exposure for your business.
You firstly need to define your target base and then formulate a strategy accordingly. Later on, making a list of marketing tactics on the listed channels would also be helpful.
Building a Community
Building a community would be imperative for your business since it would ensure a strong base of loyal customers and hence building a loyal community would serve to your advantage on day 1 itself.
If you have a good community, it would ensure that your customer base keeps on increasing via a lot of avenues such as word of mouth and other forms of publicity.
As your business grows, consider expanding your product offering with a strategic partner. To learn more, visit Workspan