Setting up an online business looks easy. You probably have several friends who are selling their works on Etsy and eBay and you think that’s what an online business is. That’s just part of it.
Many sellers are simply putting up ‘displays’ in online shops, but that would be like a coincidental marketing strategy. It’s a coincidence a buyer would go to the shop, and it would be a coincidence that the buyer would see the seller’s goods. It may earn some, but it could not hold up in the long run. A real online business goes beyond these electronic shops that only act as a middleman.
We have here some tips you could think about before you set up your online business.
Many online sellers skip this. That’s because they’re just riding on the electronic shop’s permit to operate. Although you may opt later on to also display some items in these shops, your business is a separate entity. Make sure you’re doing it legally, get the right documents, and pay the appropriate taxes. The only difference between an on-site shop and an online business is the market, the people you are targeting to reach to sell your products.
Your base: a website
Your website will contain everything your target clientele would need to know beyond the items you’re selling. The importance of your website is important for your visibility. It will have content about your company, contact details, and possibly even a feedback mechanism for those who would want to share their experiences about your business.
The most you can show in online shops and social media are parts and portions of your business. You would want to offer answers to questions your clients might have without necessarily having to communicate with all of them individually. You will have all of this information on your website.
Search Engine Optimisation
To make sure your target buyers will find their way to your website, you need to maximise search engines like Google and maybe DuckDuckGo. For this, you could find anSEO company to do the job for you.
As what had been pointed out earlier, buyers seeing your products in online stores depend on chance. But what you need is purposive marketing. Meaning, they would intentionally find you. To compare it to an on-site store, going to an e-store is like going to a department store, they would find your dress because they looked through a rack. On the other hand, making a search engine work for you is like having a personal shopper bring your dress to the client because it fits the descriptions the client wants.
Building Your Team
You might want to just work alone at first, cutting costs. But as your business would expand, so would the work increase. You can hire part-time staff instead.
First, you will need a social media manager. Although it seems to be easy work you can do, doing marketing in social media is not as simple as your personal postings on Facebook and Instagram. You will need to make fresh posts so that you have more chances of getting into the feed of strangers. Remember that you’re not posting for a group of friends who are already following you, but people who may not even be interested in your products at first.
At the start, you might be doing all the logistical work. You monitor the orders, shipping, and stocks. But once your business takes off, it might be too much. You could hire an assistant to oversee parts of these. You could even just get a virtual assistant who will be dealing with inquiries, customer relations, and orders.
The financial records should be handled by you. But if you lack this expertise, get someone who could guide you with it. Hire an accountant to periodically work on your books so when the time for taxes and other matters comes, you wouldn’t have to worry about it. Once you expand, you should hire a financial manager who will ensure you’re not incurring losses.
Finally, you could get an Information Technology expert. Since they tend to cost a lot, you could just get a consultant. Aside from the usual online marketing strategies, you could ask your IT expert to develop specific programs that could benefit your business. For example, your website could be made more navigable, you could have a mobile app, or you might want a comprehensive database that would gather information from all your online engagements to develop better strategies.
Setting up an online business, again, is not simply posting goods and getting orders. Like any business, it needs you to build networks, be part of a business community, and adhere to rules and regulations.
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