6 Steps to Starting an Online Selling Business

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Business ideas are like novels, everyone has a good one inside of them, and you’ll no doubt want to see how far your business idea could take you.

If you have an idea for an ecommerce business, you’ll be pleased to know that these are fairly easy businesses to set up, as most people start small then scale up over time. There are just a few steps you need to take to get an online selling business ready to launch.

  1. Decide what to sell

You should first think about what you’ll want to sell, as this will help you see who the competition is and define your market and branding. 

Some popular things to sell online include:

  • Clothing and accessories
  • Homewares
  • Handcrafted items
  • Food and drink – mostly non-perishable
  • Gardening and DIY equipment
  • Decorative or collectable items

Ultimately, it’s best to choose something you love and would buy yourself, as you can attest to the quality and what people will want. 

  • Consider setting up real world demos

A lot of online businesses, especially those who sell quite niche products, have found that it can be difficult to sell certain items online. That’s why they’ve started setting up product demo opportunities, whether this is in a popup shop, trade fair, or anywhere they can show off their product. Using demo logistics from Rhenus Hightech, you could potentially do the same, and find a balance between on and off-line selling. 

  • Work on your search engine ranking

Most small businesses will be up against at least one giant, so you should make sure you at least have the edge when customers look for you online. It’s worth improving your SEO performance, so that when people search for your product or service, they come across your listing first. Using content marketing and other techniques can get you higher in the rankings. Luckily, small businesses often have the advantage of serving a niche market, which can be easier when it comes to keyword targeting.

  • Figure out stock and distribution

As a start-up, you’re unlikely to have a massive warehouse to work with, so you’ll need to make decisions about distribution. Some platforms allow you to sell on them, and they also deal with dispatching the orders, so you simply provide the stock for them to send. However, this can mean you lose a cut of the profits.

It’s worth considering whether you should rent some space for your online store, especially if you have large or bulky items to keep in stock. Luckily, spaces such as small warehouses are usually fairly cheap, and certainly cheaper if you rent somewhere that’s not too close to a big city, so you can find a place to act as a distribution centre.

  • Form your business

Some people start an online shop as a one-person operation, and simply declare themselves self-employed. This can be OK if you’re doing something small scale, like selling your own crafts, but isn’t so good if you start to grow and need to buy stock or rent a space. You should consider setting up a business and getting an accountant to deal with your cashflow and taxes, as this will ensure you pay the correct amount of tax and get the deductions you’re entitled to.

  • Decide how you’ll sell

From a selling platform to setting up your own ecommerce site, there are lots of ways to sell online. Platforms can get you more traffic, but they often take a big cut of your profit, while an ecommerce site is cheap, but it can be difficult to build a customer base. You may want to set up both options and see if you can encourage customers to your own website over time.

Online shopping is on the rise and if you want to take advantage of this boom, then now might be the time to start your own ecommerce site, which can be done in just a few steps. 

Robert Malcolm

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