Running an online store is a great way to indulge your passions, and create a small side-business. Thousands of entrepreneurs are opening up online stores from their bedroom or spare rooms. It’s a fantastic way to earn a little extra income, and create a business you’re proud of. It’s also a good chance to follow your passions. If you love books, set up a boutique book shop. If you’re obsessed with fashion, start a clothing store! Everything is possible on the internet, so let’s get started.
Choose your product
Every shop needs products to sell! Now, there are two main choices here. First of all, you can make your own products and sell them on. You’ll be familiar with websites like Etsy, where you can sell your hand-made crafts and designs. Perhaps you make your own clothes, knit scarves, or create bespoke greetings cards. Whatever your niche, choose it, and stick with it. The second option is buying existing products from a wholesale supplier. That means you don’t have to worry about making the products, you just purchase them from someone else first.
Setting up shop
Building your personal online store sounds daunting and challenging. But, it’s not as difficult as you might think. You can use a simple website platform called Shopify. They’ll help you design and build your online store. They’ll also take care of all the tricky payments processes and manage your stock. The other option is setting up a typical WordPress website. Again, this is a very easy process. Then, use the WooCommerce plugin to take care of all the payments and shop mechanics.
Unfortunately, a shop is nothing without customers! The phrase ‘build it, and they will come’ no longer applies to internet businesses. There is simply too much competition. It’s up to you to get out there, hustle, and find those first customers. Start building an online community through social media. Try to get your products featured on prominent tastemaker blogs to build buzz and spread the word. Start to think about your digital marketing strategy, and use creative ways to find new customers.
One of the most important parts of running an online store is managing the deliveries. Especially when the big orders start coming through! It’s up to you to turn around those orders, and ship them fast. Think carefully about the transport logistics involved in your delivery service. Will you use a professional logistics company or simply rely on the national post service? We suggest taking the professional route. It will make sure your customers get the very best service available.
Run it like a real business
If you’re selling products on a daily basis, you are now a fully-fledged business owner! That means registering your company with the tax man, and creating a business plan. If you’re seeing positive results early on, there’s a ton of potential to take this to the next level. Consult an accountant or business specialist if you’re unsure about this stage.
Starting an online store is a great way to bring in some extra money, and indulge your passions. What are you waiting for?