Things To Consider When Starting An Online Business
With so much news about people hitting gold mines from various online ventures, it’s little wonder that e-commerce is on a massive rise. Many aspiring entrepreneurs consider the online world the perfect place to realize their entrepreneurial dreams and financial freedom.
Online stores have become the center of e-commerce. Today, there are about 9.1 million online stores globally, with the US accounting for 2.5 million. But while these numbers are encouraging, there’s a lot to ponder before taking this step.
So, are you ready to start an online business? Consider the following first.
1. The products you would sell
One of the most critical decisions you need to make involves what products to sell. This could be physical or ever-green digital products. Whether you want to sell other people’s products through affiliate marketing or you want to create your own product, you have diverse options to choose from.
Unless you already have a niche in mind, you may have to take the time to research what products sell faster, have a higher demand, and are easy to acquire.
That aside, you need to know the ins-and-out potential risks, amongst other factors, of investing in a particular niche. You also need to have a personal interest or passion in selling those products or services to be successful. It is advisable to start small with a few products to gauge the market reaction before going all-in.
2. Identify your payment processing option
Before you launch an online store, you should be sure of how you’re going to get paid. While some platforms offer built-in payment processing tools, that might not be the case for other sites.
Online payment options include money orders, wire transfers, credit cards, or even personal checks. Adding credit cards as a payment option will benefit both; your customers and you in your business.
Many companies offer zero merchant fee options on several payment options; find more here.
You also need to consider the demography of your potential customer base and what online payment options will be most convenient for them.
3. Be realistic
While the number of online businesses keeps rising, that’s only one side to the statistics. The other side is pretty gloomy – 90% of online stores fail within 120 days, while nearly half of businesses struggle to make it past their fifth year.
With that in mind, you need to be realistic about your expectations and targets.
Decide on if you want to create something long-term or if you’re just looking to create a quick buck, pull down your store, and move on.
You also need to be realistic about the resources available to you regarding the skills and expertise needed to sell your products. If you lack in this regard, take the time to equip yourself with the needed skills and resources before starting your online business.
4. Decide your business’s platform: an online marketplace or build your own
There are many options to host your online business. You can build your website from scratch or use an already created market.
With the latter option, you have platforms like Amazon, eBay, Trademe, etc., to choose from. With the former option, you need to identify your store’s right web hosting platform and avoid website design mistakes.
When choosing a web host, be sure to consider loading speed and downturn, among other features.