Are you planning to start an online business? This is the best time to do that because most people depend on an online store to buy stuff they want. You know how the business giants like Amazon, eBay, Etsy. Shopify etc got popular by offering online shopping options. It is a very convenient way to buy what you want without going anywhere.
But when someone thinks about starting a business, they will be afraid of all those steps they have to go through. If you got time to read what successful entrepreneurs have to say about online business, you might realize that starting to sell online is not a
You might be one among those people who are tired of their daily 9-5 job routine or maybe you want to earn some extra cash by starting an online business. Whatever your reason is online business is the best business option for you to start. Starting a business is not rocket science.
If you are ready to invest some of your time to read this, you might realize the same.
You don’t have to hold a business degree to start a business. Once you get the trick it is an easy business for someone to start. When you start a business, you need to know how to do that in the right way.
So, this guide will help you understand various aspects of starting an online business even though you don’t know how to sell.
Things To Know Before Starting An Online Business
Before you know how to start an online business there are few things to know. There are many aspects that you need to be aware of such as pros and cons because you are spending your hard-earned money.
Pro of Starting an Online Business
- There is no definite schedule for you to work. You can work from your home with your pajamas on. No time constraints and no need to think about your boss. You are the boss here which is a plus.
- If you know basic things of online business and how it works that is good for you to start one.
- You can follow your passion and interests. If you are interested in painting, cake baking, handmade crafts, etc you can get some money out of it. Make your passion a way to earn some extra money by selling them online.
- Online business is more convenient than opening a physical store. You don’t have to pay rent for space and no need to hire people for your business. Here you are the boss and there will be a virtual space where you can post the things you want to sell.
- Usually, you might need to have an inventory to sell things online if you are planning for a large-scale business. But if you are a starter there is an option called drop shipping. It doesn’t demand any storage space.
- Online business is fun and is profitable too
Cons of Starting an Online Business
- You cannot see the results immediately. It might take some time to pick up your business and get the result that you want.
- It’s all about learning and trying to move forward as this is a competitive world. Try your business tactics and create more followers for the business. Look at your competitors and monitor what they are doing to attract new customers
- You have to handle every role in your business. You are the manager, accountant, designer everything. You need to have the capacity to handle everything on your own while starting this business
- This is not just regular extra earning. You need to be aware of the sale, accounts, shipments, handling customer questions. Be aware that you need to work extra hard to be successful in this business.
Choose the best business model
There are various business models in which you can take a look here. Choose one that fits for you initially and move on. There are pros and cons to every business model. But many people buy stuff from China-based websites and sell it on their site. This kind of business is a little bit expensive compared to buying from a wholesale dealer. You might have to pay the extra money and charge that as a dropshipping fee from your customers. Here are a few popular models
This is one of the popular business models more starters follow when they think about starting a business online. it is a small-scale business where you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Here you don’t pay anything until you make a sale. No need to order in bulk to sell or have a warehouse to store stuff. Decide what you want to sell and find out a reliable supplier of those goods. Have a connection with them and you are all ready to go live. Here are the steps involved in dropshipping
- A customer buys stuff from your online store
- You need to place the order with your supplier for that particular product your customer ordered
- Your supplier packs the goods and sends it directly to your customer.
Your supplier is the one who handles most of the part here. All you have to do is place the order based on customer requirements. But when you find a supplier be careful and make sure that you can rely on him with your orders. Trust is an important part of this business model and if you have that kind of supplier connection this can be a good idea to start.
- Sourcing from wholesalers
In this business model, you are buying in bulk from a wholesaler and selling them on your website. This is kind of the traditional model of business you can try. Here you can buy things from a wholesaler in bulk and pot it for sale on your website. The advantage of this model is that you can save some money when you buy in bulk. If you have a skill to bargain and buy stuff your profit margin will be higher. Make sure you have some money to spend upfront while buying stuff in bulk. That is the main difference for this one and drop shipping.
You can also register to sell on websites like Amazon and eBay to sell these stuff online. they will handle everything from packing to shipping. But you need to pay a fee when you sell each product. An Independent online business will help you to get a good profit for each sale. You need more people to handle things from the wholesaler. But the profit you will make with every sale is worth it.
- Sourcing from manufacturer
If you are ready to invest money initially this is the perfect model for you. Here you can create your product and sell it through your website. Like creating a brand, you can design, develop, test, and distribute your product and earn profit out of it. This is somewhat similar to sourcing from a wholesaler. You can work with a manufacturer and make your brand. If you are trying this business model you need to know about the time that takes to establish a brand. It is a very important aspect when it comes to earning from the business. If you are ready to invest money when you start this is a suitable model for you.
- Sell handmade goods
If you have artistic talent, then try selling your goods. Many people do handcrafts, paintings etc. you can start selling your goods online and earn money out of it. This is a very good idea to start an online business of you have some interesting talent. Here all you have to do is to make the goods and sell it online based on the response you get. No need to depend on any third person to do your business. One important thing while opting for this plan is the time you have to create goods. Based on the business you have to invest more time in creating goods for sale. No need for much investment to start selling your products.
Now you have a clear idea about various business models associated with an online business. Next, we are going to see a few steps you can follow while thinking about starting an online business
Choose what to sell
This is a very important decision you have to make while thinking about online business. Without knowing what to sell online you can start a business. Just by choosing some random products which don’t have any demand will not help you. You need to do some research and find out goods that have high demands online. spend some time to find out the profitability of such goods and competition in the market. These things are not complicated. Now it is easy to get all this information online. when you do research emphasis these points
- Profit-: Profitability is an important aspect of any business. When you choose a product to sell think about all steps such as shipping, packing and commission of the site you are going to sell this stuff. Consider all these points and make sure that you can make some profit out of it
- Demand-: Just by selling any random items won’t help you to be successful in marketing. Do some research on the demand for the product you want to sell. You don’t have to spend all your money on something that doesn’t have any demand in the market..
- Competition-: This is a very important point for marketing. You need to know the competition of the product you are going to sell. Especially when there is more competition the chance of profitability will be very low.
Now coming to our main point. You can sell any stuff online. Important thing is that people should find your product interesting and have to buy that. You can sell
Products based on your interest
Once you decided to sell online you can choose a few products based on your interest. The best thing that can happen while doing this is that you might have a good idea about these products. The more specific niche you choose the better your business will be. You need to have a good idea about what you are selling.
Products that sell online
When you do your research on websites like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay you will get to know most demanding products. Sell them on your website to get a better out output when you start your business. Products which have high demand will be out there and if you can offer them for a better price customer will buy it form you only.
The result of your research
It’s a good idea to follow facts always when it comes to a business. You will get an idea about the demand for the products while researching. Some tools can help you to compare product data such as competitive prices. Demand, sale, etc for all products. They compare popular retailers and give correct information. Follow these facts while you decide about the products you want to sell.
So, when it comes to selling online you need to be careful. The trend keeps changing always. Once a product reaches its saturation level then you can’t get any benefit by selling that product. Few categories that have high demand and they are
- Home décor
- Pet supplies
- Baby supplies
- Blocks and lego products
- Coffee accessories
Many other niches are popular. You need to find them by doing extensive research. You need to have a unique value proposition for your business. It could be anything like the quality of the product, fast delivery, customization, and many more. You can ask questions such as
- What do you want to buy?
- What is popular stuff right now?
- Is there something without which you can’t live?
- What are the main complaints you heard about the product you plan to sell?
- How can solve these complaints?
- Is there something you wish for, but can’t find online?
With all these answers you will get an idea about your business UVP.
A popular example of someone who was a co-founder of Fifth watches. His name is Gretta Van Riel. They sell watches and have something unique about their business idea. They release a new model on 5th of every month which makes them unique
This is something you can keep in mind when you start your own business. Have a unique value proposition when you choose a product to sell online.
If you are planning to buy things from a supplier find someone trustworthy. Supplier is very important as this is a very important step in online business. There are many options from which you can find a supplier nowadays
This is a very good resource that can provide a list of reliable suppliers. It has data of more than 8000 suppliers located in all parts of the world. They have a wide range of product list also. You can trust this because Sahoo checks all the suppliers background before adding their info to the directory.
Are you looking for a reliable drop shipping service? You can search on Google or any other search engine to find suitable drop shipping service, providers. Websites like Alibaba also helps you to connect with such services. You can search for the product you want to sell+ drop shipping. Be sure to check for reviews before committing. There are lot of fraudulent profiles just to make money. Before you choose yours verify their details from reliable sources
Finding wholesale suppliers
If you are looking for a wholesale supplier for your business the best way is to depend on Google. If you know someone through a friend that is ok too. Best suppliers won’t even have a website where you can search about them. So, you can follow the traditional way of finding a supplier. You can meet them personally or visit trade shows to find out a suitable wholesale supplier for you. Alibaba. Ali Express are two websites that handle a lot of wholesalers from different part of the world. You can approach them directly through this website
Finding a manufacturer is not easy. You can search on Google, or Sahoo directly for a manufacturer that satisfy your requirement. When you want to sell your product make sure to find a reliable manufacturer because the reputation of the product is very important. You need to meet him and have a clear discussion of what you want. Before you start to sell your products online test it personally and confirm the quality.
What next after finding a supplier. The next step will be contacting them.
What next after finding a supplier. Obviously, the next step will be contacting them
The next step will be to contact the supplier through an email. When someone sends mail, they might not reply to you instantly. There are a lot of people who want to start online business send mail to manufacturers. Your mail should be that impressive for the best result. They should get that you are serious in this business because the first impression is very important. If they reply, then this can be turned into a long-term relationship. Be clear and straight when you send an email. Another way is to contact them directly because talking directly is better than sending emails. It helps you to get connected and find reliability before investing money.
When you have contacted the manufacturer already next step is negotiation. If you can get a sell discount it can be profitable in the future. When you order more there is a chance of getting a discount from the supplier. When you create a good relationship with the supplier you can negotiate easily, and they will give you a discount to keep the relation longer. Get your goods directly from the supplier itself. Having middleman is kind of expensive. If you cannot buy in bulk then split it with other partners who want similar kind of products
Set up your business
Now you can start setting up a business. If you can find a professional who can help with official things of setting up the business. Here are four main steps to setting up your business.
- Choose a business name
When you set up a business a name is essential. Based on the products you sell choose a business name. it should be something clear and straightforward. Your business name is the identity of your business. Choose a name that is shareable and related to your business. No need to choose some wired names that nobody can understand. It won’t help to grow your business anyways. Choose a simple name.
- Register your business
The next step is to register your business legally. You can search on Google on steps you have to complete registering your business. It varies from state to state. You can easily do that by submitting the required documents
- Apply for a sales tax ID (sale license)
If you start a retail business the apply for a tax ID. When you register your business government will provide a state tax ID. Based on this your customers will have to pay tax when someone makes a purchase.
- Set up payment options
When you set up an online business make sure to save all payment options you have. Nowadays customers prefer websites with all payment options such as PayPal, Google pay, credit card, debit card, AfterPay etc. if you have all these facilities your sale will be more.
Choosing a platform to sell
When you decide to sell online its time to think about a platform where you can sell your products. There are many online platforms available for you to choose from. It is up to you to decide where you want to sell your products. When you choose a platform to sell products there are few questions you need to ask. There are pros and cons for each platform, and you need to know them before deciding with a platform. There are websites like Shopify which helps you to sell by creating your website. This sounds better than competing with so many people by selling on a crowded platform like Amazon or eBay
Things you can look for in an online store solution
- The number of users this platform has. As the number of people who uses the platform increases your sale will also increase
- The competition you are going to face on this platform. As the number of sellers increases, you might have to work hard to sell your products online.
- Seller’s fee or percentage of the sale you have to pay for each sale is a very important factor. Every platform charges you a different amount of fee when it comes to a sale. You have to see whether you can make a profit for each sale
- Various types of goods you are planning to sell. Every platform is not suitable to sell all goods. If you take Etsy this is popular for selling handmade and crafts
- You need to know how reliable the platform is while you plan to sell on it. Some platforms are very reliable because we know that someone cannot beat them in the next 10 years. Once you start to get a good customer base the platform should be there to build your credibility
- See if the platform is flexible for you. There are guidelines that you need to follow while selling on each platform. If you cannot follow these rules, they can suspend your account anytime
Popular online selling platforms
There are quite a few online platforms that allow you to sell your products. Among them here are few platforms you can try
Amazon-: Amazon is a high-end platform where you have to undergo a lot of screening processes. They won’t blindly allow you to sell your products. Amazon is a site that has a lot of traffic and you can make a good sale by selling through Amazon. They will also assist you with the Amazon Fulfilled program where they will handle everything from storing to shipping. No need to hire people to run your business. To meet everything, you might have to sell your products at a high price. You have to pay a selling fee of $39.99
eBay-: eBay is not as costly as Amazon. They allow you to sell used as well as new products. You don’t have to sell your products for a high price like in Amazon. All you have to do is to find the right products to sell that you can make a good profit
Your website-: if you are familiar with Shopify this process is easy. You can sell your products by creating a website on Shopify. This will allow you to get that independence. Creating your website not complicated. Anyone with basic computer knowledge can do that without anyone’s help.
How to make a sale
Now you created a website or decided where to sell, the next step is to start selling. You need to find new ways to attract your customers to your website. If you already have a great product to sell you can make sure to concentrate on selling them. Here are some points you need to concentrate to make good sale-;
- Description-: When you decide to sell think about the description you want to use for the products. Concentrate on the description of the product and highlight the specialties
- Photo-: if you want to make a sale the photos should be attractive. Post clear high-quality photos of the products so that users can see and buy it from your site. Photos can be uploaded from various angels to highlight the features
- Strategy -: Another important point is that you need a good business strategy to make your busines work. Uniquely promote your business so that you can get the sale your expected
- Reviews-: Try to get positive reviews from your customers. Reviews are very important for a business and real customer review can help your business to be successful.
You can be a good seller by focusing on a few other points such as Good customer service, Fast shipping option, content improvements etc. if your customers are happy then your sale will be good. Customers are now expecting good service when they order something, and they will support that business that stands with them. You can also provide fast shipping options and free shipping if you can afford that. Learn from your experience and try to get better after each sale you make. There is no short cut to make a sale. You need to work hard to please your customers
The next important point is marketing. This is very important to make a sale. Just by posting a few items to sale won’t help you to be successful you need to promote it and show your customers about your business. There are paid as well as free marketing options for you to try.
Free marketing for your Online Business
Social media marketing-: social media marketing is something you can do to promote your business. Create a page for your business on popular social media platforms and build your customer from there. You don’t have to spend money to do this
Blogs-: If you are good at writing you can start a blog. Here you can explain everything about the products you are selling and give your customers some tips and tricks to use your products in a better way. Content marketing is essential for all business and SEO will help you to get your website more customers. This will increase your business
YouTube channel-: A YouTube channel is a very good way to promote your products online. start vlogging and interact with your customers directly.
Good PR-: if you can manage to get a positive PR response. It is not expensive, but you can find people that can promote your products with positive reviews. This will help your business to get a good response.
Google Ads-: There are options for you to do Google ads for your business promotion. Google is the most used search engine and you can promote your business on Google. It might cost you $1-$2 per click
Facebook Ads-: Most people use Facebook nowadays. You can promote your products on Facebook. It helps you to target your audience and send them customized ads. The cost for this will be around 20-25 dollars/day
Instagram Ads-: Just like the other two platforms Instagram also lets you do Ads about your business. People who use Instagram can see these ads and buy products from your site.
Now you know how to promote your business. The only way to stand out among your competition then make a strong brand for yourself. `your brand should be
- Simple unique and memorable
- It should be original
- It should have a UVP
- Something you can be proud of selling for a long time
There are many additional aspects such as SEO strategies, customer satisfaction, quality of your service, etc. but once you can achieve up to sell products online rest everything you will learn gradually. These are the facts you have to learn from your experience.
It is an exciting journey to figure out what makes you successful in your business. Once you have an idea about how it works that can help you to be a good business owner.
If you can make some extra money by selling products online that would be good. But for that, you have to do some background work. Decide how you want to take your business.
By selling on your website or any other sites like Amazon, eBay etc. Dropshipping is also a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in handling the shipping and delivering part.
Be your boss and sell and do something you love. Follow these tips and let us know the result