So you want to be an entrepreneur. And you want to take advantage of the largest storefront in the world: the internet. How do you get started in the online marketplace?
1. Decide What You Want to Sell
First of all, decide what you want to sell. Do you have a product you already believe in and want to market as an independent distributor–essential oils, clothing lines, health products, etc.? If so, learn about the resources available to you from your managing company and any procedures or guidelines they would like you to follow. There are most likely sets of rules on how you need to operate your business.
Do you have a product that you personally produce or services you want to sell such as personalized t-shirts or publishing services? If so, you need to do your due diligence. Research. Research. Research. What is the market like for your specific products or services? Is the market already saturated? What makes your product different? What expertise do you have to offer over a competitor?
These are important questions to ask yourself while researching the viability of your future business. If it appears to be a saturated market, yet you still are set on providing that particular product or service, think outside the box. Is there a specific need within the community you desire to market to which isn’t being met–a hole you could fill? Be creative and find a niche for yourself.
2. Decide on a Name and Register Your Business
Once you’ve decided what you want to sell, it’s time to decide on a name for your company. This is often more time consuming than you would think. There are several things to consider when choosing the one thing that will represent your company across the globe and distinguish you from other companies selling similar products and services.
- Think about what you want the name to convey. (Does it represent your vision of your business and the products you sell?)
- Think unique, yet simple. (You want your business name to stand out, but if it’s not easy to remember or spell, it won’t be easy to find in a search)
- Think about future products. (Don’t pigeonhole your business by too narrow of a name. If “t-shirts” is part of your business name and you want to expand to sell wall-hangings in the future, your name is too narrow and isn’t a good representation of the type of company you will become.)
Once you decide on a name, it’s imperative to make sure nobody else is already using it. Search for the name on several large search engines to see if the specific name or a similar name shows up in the search results. You don’t want your business to be confused with another.
3. Set Up Your Online Presence
Begin setting up your online presence by choosing your website domain name. Since you already did thorough search engine research before choosing your name, a domain name using your business name should be available. There are several hosting companies that allow you to search for domains and purchase the name for your website.
In setting up your website, you can either design your own page by following a template you can purchase or use for free through your hosting company, or preferably, you can hire professionals to design your web page and help you optimize your web platform for selling online across available digital devices.
As an online seller, remember that your web presence is your storefront and you should put as much care and as many resources into it as you would a brick-and-mortar building. Your web page may simply be a blog to inspire interest in your product with links to online marketplace partners like Etsy or Amazon or eBay where customers can make purchases. If so, a simple template-based website may be just fine; however, if you are selling directly from your site, you should engage professional designers to set things up and properly manage the page.
Depending on the type of business you have decided to pursue, you should also choose marketing platforms to let potential customers know you exist. Social media business pages for Facebook and Instagram reach large audiences and offer exceptional exposure for your new venture; Twitter and Pinterest are two other mediums for sharing your products to the cyberworld. There are so many ways to be successful with eCommerce; so many platforms to capitalize upon.
Are you ready to get started? You have the basic tools to begin–there’s no better day than today to make your mark in the online marketplace!