Looking to start a side hustle or even an all-new career? If so, you may have considered starting an e-commerce business. It sounds easy, right?
Except, the truth is a lot more sobering: e-commerce startups have a failure rate of almost 90%.
Fortunately, starting an e-commerce business doesn’t have to be hard, and your business doesn’t have to be another statistic.
Just make sure you know these 4 things about starting an e-commerce business.
1. Understand Your Product
First, you need to understand what product(s) you want to sell. When starting a business, finding your product can be the hardest step.
If you’re not already sure what to sell, here’s how to find your product:
- Appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists
- Capitalize on trends
- Solve a customer pain point
- Browse what’s trending on marketplaces
- Consider your previous work experience
Now the question becomes, “How do I source my products?” You can buy directly from a wholesaler, which can be convenient and save you money since you are purchasing goods in bulk.
Or you may be able to handcraft your product yourself. You could also partner with a manufacturer, or attend trade shows to see new products for yourself.
2. You Need a Business Plan
You also need a business plan. Think of a business plan as a roadmap that indicates how your business will be structured and run.
There’s no one correct way to write a business plan. However, they generally fall into traditional and lean (or start-up) formats. For an online business, the lean startup format is your best option.
Your business plan needs to indicate your key partnerships, activities, resources, and other components.
3. Create Your Branding and Set up a Shop
Now you need to create your branding. That means determining your name, logo, and overall brand identity. Your brand identity is the visible element of your brand.
Aside from your logo, your brand identity includes the colors, shapes, and other visual elements used in your marketing and branding. It can also include the language and tone used in your advertisements.
Part of your branding should include your business website.
Don’t worry if you’re not a techie person, or if you are inexperienced with website design. A web design website or agency can help create an e-commerce website that is intuitive for customers to use, while also increasing the average order value.
4. Get Ready for Launch
Now it’s time to finalize the details for your business launch. If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with local tax laws and how to register a business.
The cost of registering a business and the exact steps for how to do it vary from one jurisdiction to another. Within the U.S. alone, every state has its own business registration process.
Fortunately, many states allow you to register your business online. Often, a new business entity can be registered for no more than a few hundred dollars.
Assuming you’ve done everything else, congrats! You’re now ready to begin marketing your e-commerce business and acquiring customers.
Looking For More E-commerce Business Tips
Starting an e-commerce business is hard. Maintaining it, staying flexible, and keeping up with current trends can also be difficult. That’s why we recommend checking out the rest of our site for more business, marketing, and finance tips to help make your online business a success.
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