Starting a new business can sometimes seem like an impossibility, but it doesn’t have to be. Some careful planning can make or break a startup. So in this article, we will give you a few steps to achieve success in your eCommerce startup.
Decide what you want to do in your eCommerce Startup and define your niche
Clarifying what you are going to sell, to whom and how are critical steps to achieving success in your eCommerce startup. The easiest way to get started with selling a product is simply to sell what the masses are already searching for. Focus therefore on whatever the newest craze is. This could be your short-term plan so do not overinvest on it, but this strategy might just help you identify which niche to focus on.
Have a plan
Once you know what you want to focus on, create a documented plan. Without a good plan, you’ll lack focus and might overinvest. You may also struggle to deal with the curveballs that starting and running a business throw at you. An effective business plan should address the questions asked before while deciding on your niche:
- What is the purpose of the company?
- Who are the potential customers?
- What are the mission and values?
- What is the direction desired for your company?
- Who are the company’s competitors and what are they doing?
Select Your eCommerce Startup Business Name
The second major thing to do is to choose a unique and memorable business name. You can run a name search to make sure it’s not already in use. Once you’ve chosen the name, register it to ensure that you are safe to do future business under the name.
Secure Your Domain Name and Website
It would be ideal if your business name and domain name could be similar. If this is not available, choose a URL that’s easy to say and spell, and relates to your business.
We will go into more depth regarding the technicalities of running your website later.
Register Your Business
Most countries have several options available for registering business structure:
- Sole Proprietor
If you don’t choose a business structure like a corporation or LLC, you could trade as a sole proprietor (or partnership). As a sole proprietor, your personal assets are however at risk. Should your company be sued, the court can seize your personal assets if your business can’t cover its debts. Both the corporation and LLC separate you and your assets from the business and provide other tax benefits.
Apply for Necessary Licenses and Permits
Operating an eCommerce startup business does not necessarily exclude you from needing certain business licenses and permits. Each country has their own legislation, so check with your local authorities to see what sort of licenses you need before you start operating.
Find the Right Vendors
There is a lot of competition selling products whether it be from a brick-and-mortar store or online. It’s therefore in your best interest to find the best quality and priced products to sell. If you do not already have these lined up, then do a thorough search until you find a vendor you want to do business with long-term. You do not want to suffer delays by changing your supply chain when your business is in full swing.
Fund your eCommerce Startup Business
Starting an eCommerce website doesn’t have to be costly as it is within your control to decide the price range you want to do business in. The best approach might be to start with a lower priced product to bed down your processes and then scale up as that should prevent over investment.
Many a company has started with high hopes and overinvestment leaving the investors out of pocket as the supporting process were not well established or the product overpriced.
Teaming Up with the Right People
A common enough mistake is to hire people you know instead of finding the right person to do the job. You need to look for people who have experience in the task needing completion. This is not as easy as it may sound and could take many iterations to find the perfect person for the job. It is then worth incentivizing the person to remain on your team as the time and energy to replace the person could be distracting you from your core business if the person leaves as an inconvenient time in your business cycle.
Start Marketing Early
Setting up social media profiles and writing content for your blog a couple of months ahead of the launch is key to achieve success in your eCommerce startup. This so is that you’re not starting from scratch on the day of launch. You can set up your website with a “coming soon” page where interested people can sign up for your newsletter and get updates. This way you will build up a list of potentially interested followers to send your first introduction emails to.
Advertising early could have an even farther-reaching benefit if you have a product that is made on order or that will have limited stock as you will be able to take pre-orders already.
Stock Your Inventory
Whatever the size of your inventory, be sure that you have enough to launch without going out of stock. It could hurt your brand if customers must wait on their orders longer than your advertised time. It can be tricky and, in most instances, only experience will get you closer to the answer, but in general, it’s better to have too much inventory than not enough (again just be careful of overcapitalization). Pay attention to how your sales flow so you can manage your stock levels accordingly.
Advertising and Driving Traffic to Your eCommerce Store
eCommerce does not remove the need to advertise and still needs to make up a portion of your expense budget. In order to Achieve success in your eCommerce startup, you must improve online traffic.
Driving traffic to your eCommerce store and improving the search engine optimization (SEO) is essential and one of the trickiest aspects of doing business online. You either must learn through gaining experience, which could lose you time and cost you money, or you could employ an experienced person to manage that aspect of your business.
Automate, Systematize and Outsource as Much as You Can
One of the reasons why new eCommerce startup businesses sometimes fail is because the owner did not take into consideration the additional effort it would require managing the additional orders. For a brick-and-mortar store, deliveries will form a new part of their business model. This means that they need to restructure their resourcing and processes to fit in with the eCommerce patterns. You need to Automate, Systematize and Outsource as fast as you can.
- eCommerce Development & Support
- Customer support
- Trend analysis
- Task and Project Management
- Make Sure Your Business Stays Compliant