Starting your own business can be quite scary, which is why so many people nowadays choose to go through an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay. Still, those who manage to survive this rough patch are bound to see much greater profits and potential for growth.
As an independent business, you will have the freedom to fully customize your brand and take any direction you prefer. Whether or not you’ll make it will be determined by a lot of factors, the most important of which is the foundation on which your enterprise rests.
With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips on how to start an e-commerce business from scratch.
1- Register Your Business
The first thing you need to do in order to start a business is come up with a name, register it and choose an adequate company structure. This last part depends on the ownership of the company and you could run as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or a partnership. This also determines the scheme under which you pay your taxes.
Other than this, you also need to do something about your intellectual property. We’re talking about trademarks, patents and copyright. Make no mistake, your company’s IP is endangered from day one, which is why you need to protect it right away.
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2- Establish an Online Presence
The next thing you need to do is set up an online presence. This starts with registering a domain, building a website, an e-store and a blog and populating your online store with product information.
Following this, you need to register on various social networks. At the very least, you need to have active YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Depending on your demographic, you might also want to include Pinterest and Snapchat to this list.
Once you’re done with this step, you should proceed to develop a digital marketing strategy. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to have a suitable budget for this.
3- Budgeting and Fundraising
The next step on this path is knowing exactly how much money you need for this business to function and having the means to provide this capital.
First, you should bear in mind that just launching a business isn’t enough. You also need to keep it afloat until it becomes profitable. As for the fundraising, depending on your needs and your current situation, you can apply for a loan, try crowdfunding, ask friends and family for money or use your personal funds to finance this enterprise. Either way, you have many options ahead of you.
A drop-shipping e-commerce business can be started with as little as $2,000 to $5,000, whereas those with more ambition might aim for as much as $50,000.
4- Lay out an Infrastructure
Figuring out the infrastructure of your company would be the next logical step. This ranges from things like your office and business structure all the way to suppliers and warehouse systems. Keep in mind that you may also need some specialized services like wholesale distributors in Australia.
What you need to do here is find solutions that are A) scalable and B) provide consistent solutions. Remember that any infrastructural changes tend to be both expensive and complex. This is why it’s most frugal to pick a solution and stick to it for as long as possible.
5- Hire Proper Talent
No matter what kind of goals and plans you have, without proper assistance you won’t be able to achieve them. This is why you need to find people who are a perfect for the post, as well as those who are a perfect fit for your company. Ideally, you should look for people who can take your business to the next level.
Remember, you don’t need a team that consists exclusively of star employees. You need some diversity on your retainer but you also need to look at their resume and see how well they do in the interview. On the other hand, you need to remember that introverts (who could be invaluable assets for your company) might not do that well in an interview.
One last thing to bear in mind is the fact that success takes time and the world of commerce is not for those who are looking to get rich overnight. Take your time, invest wisely and use every opportunity you get to learn and acquire the necessary experience.