One of the most common concerns among would-be entrepreneurs is worry about lack of resources. You may wonder if you have enough time, money, or even know-how to launch a business. Having the right resources is essential for any business, but you may be surprised by how easy it can be to get started in web sales without a lot of time or money.
Know the Pros (and Cons)
An online store can provide an amazing return on your investment, and the startup costs and time involved are low compared to traditional retail. You also have a great deal of flexibility, so you can run your business from home or alongside another job. On the downside, you certainly won’t be the only web store around. Even though this presents a challenge, being aware of competition allows you to develop a marketing plan that will help you get established.
Brush Up on the Basics
Your website is obviously going to be the backbone of your e-commerce business, which is why it’s worth taking the time to do it right. One option is to hire a freelance PHP developer. PHP is a website coding language, and a PHP developer will handle the back-end creation of your website, which is basically what makes it work and look how you want. PHP is the way to go because it’s used just about everywhere, including WordPress, which is one of the most popular web platforms. Another advantage of hiring a PHP developer is the end result: You get a powerful and reliable website with an easy-to-use interface that you can update yourself.
When hiring a freelancer, the most important thing is to communicate what your project involves so you can be sure potential candidates have the skills you need. Before choosing someone, always confirm their experience level, including skills with project management tools and test suites. Hourly rates for freelance work vary depending on a candidate’s scope and experience, but you should expect to pay anywhere from about $25 to $100-plus per hour.
Along with hiring the right web developer, there are a few other essentials to put some careful thought into, such as web design and selecting the right sales platform. There are many platforms to choose from on the market these days, and the best one for you will depend on your business’ unique needs. For example, just a few options recommended by Zapier include Shopify (if you want to get up and running fast), OpenCart (if you want full customization), or E-junkie (if you plan on selling through different platforms).
Get Your Name Out
Once you have the right product offering and website, the last major key to success is marketing. The best approach for e-commerce businesses is to think outside of traditional marketing strategies. For example, you can kick-start sales and get your name out by selling across different platforms. With a platform like Rakuten, for example, you can apply to be part of their online marketplace and merchant program. Rakuten is already used by popular national brands, and once you’re accepted as a merchant, you can capitalize on that recognition to reach millions of new customers. Another great benefit Rakuten provides is support from an accountant team, which is especially valuable for new businesses.
You may have also heard the term content marketing, which is another essential strategy for e-commerce. According to Search Engine Journal, your website needs to have content that establishes your expertise and provides value to consumers. High-quality content not only lets customers know that you can be trusted, but it also helps search engines find your website.
Some new entrepreneurs downplay the importance of marketing, so be sure to avoid making this critical mistake! You can offer the most innovative product and have a top-notch website with all the bells and whistles, but you don’t have a business if no one can find you. The great thing about e-commerce is that any entrepreneur can do it without a major investment.
Dean Burgess started Excitepreneur to explore the areas of entrepreneurship that are often overlooked, and share with current and aspiring entrepreneurs the stories and lessons he has learned. He fully believes entrepreneurs will lead us to a more exciting future. All it takes is an idea or goal and a desire to see it to fruition.
Connect with Dean here: excitepreneur.net