If you’re thinking of starting your own online business, then it’s very important you gather everything you need before you even consider launching it – many people don’t do this, and end up failing miserably. By getting everything together before you begin, you’ll save yourself a lot of drama. Assuming you already know what you’re selling, this list will help you to gather the essentials and get your store off to the right start:
Writing a business plan doesn’t cost you anything, and it will help you to no end. A real business has a real plan – remember that. Too many people try to skip this part, but ultimately, it doesn’t work. This plan will lay everything out for you; what you’re selling, where your profit comes from, how much inventory you’ll have, and where you’ll store it. That’s not all though, you’ll also need to include your return policy, start up cost, and monthly server fees.
A Reliable Product Source
Whatever it is you’re selling, you need to make sure that you’re getting it from a reliable source. You’ll also need more than one wholesale source, or you could find yourself in a bit of trouble in a few months time. How many orders can they handle at one time? Make sure a supply line is steady before you put your money into it.
A Good Domain Name
Typically when you try to register your business’s domain name, you will more than likely find that the name you want is already taken. The worst thing you can do in this case is think of a domain name that’s too long, contains a hyphen, and just isn’t viable when you look at it in the long run. Your domain name needs to be short and memorable – make sure it’s easily spelled too.
A Reliable Web Host
You’ll need to choose a hosting company carefully as they’ll play a massive role in the operation of your business. The cheapest isn’t always the best!
A Web Designer
You just can’t design your own site – get that idea out of your head. If your site is ugly, which it will be if you’re inexperienced, shoppers will think twice about entering their payment details. You get what you pay for, so be prepared to fork out!
Great Ecommerce Software
This kind of software will help to run your store, with things like product display and inventory management. It’s a hard choice, so you’ll need to do a lot of research. Check out Circle Commerce to begin with and see what you think!
A Credit Card Merchant Account
If you want to accept credit cards, which you definitely do, you’ll need a merchant account that allows you to accept shoppers’ credit card numbers. This can get pricey, so consider starting out with PayPal, who are offering competitive rates!
Don’t even think about starting your Ecommerce store until you have the above elements in place. Good luck!