Like most people, you may think that starting an eCommerce business requires a lot of money. But this is not always the case, and even so, there are options such as a small business loan. There are also other ways to get started with minimal investment, and this guide will show you how. So whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or just looking for a new way to earn extra money, read on for tips that will help you a lot.
What’s Stopping You From Owning an eCommerce Store?
One of the stumbling blocks in the way of budding entrepreneurs is funding or lack of it. According to the SBA, it costs about $3000 to start a microbusiness, but many people do not have such. That is why a small business loan can come in handy for starters.
Yet, even with a small business loan, you can make unwise decisions. So, the best eCommerce startup strategy is to start a business that does not need much capital. An eCommerce store, for instance, does not require a huge budget; you only need motivation, a good idea, and a business plan.
How to Start Your eCommerce Business on a Budget
These days, you don’t need to be an expert or invest a lot of money before starting an eCommerce business. Things are much easier from easy-to-build websites, automated software, and online marketplaces than before. Here’s how you can get started:
#1. Pick a Niche
When building an eCommerce business, the first thing you should do is to pick a niche. Why is it important? Because trying to sell everything at once can make your business fail. The key to success is to select one product or category and target a specific audience.
What is an eCommerce niche? It is the specific category where your products fit. For instance, clothing is a broad niche; athleisure is a much narrower area of specialization. You may be afraid that choosing a niche will narrow your opportunities, but that is not always the case.
Instead, you have a better chance of appearing in search engines when you have a specific niche. This means that only the people who want what you sell will find you.
#2. Find the Right Products
Now that you’ve identified your niche, you need to pick what products in that niche you want to sell. This is the challenging part of starting an online business. It is one thing to choose a niche and another to find profitable products to sell. For this, you will need research.
Start with your passions and the people around you – friends, family, and community. What do they need? You can also look at popular online marketplaces and find items that are always out of stock. This will provide an insight into what customers are looking to buy.
#3. Create a Business and Digital Marketing Strategy
To build a successful eCommerce store, you need a solid plan. Starting the business and making plans as you go won’t work. The primary reason why many eCommerce businesses fail is that the founders do not have a plan.
A solid business and marketing strategy will save you a lot of drama. It will help you understand the market and obstacles. You will also draw a clear picture of your target audience and how to draw them in.
#4. Choose a Business Name
First impressions are everything in business. Your company and website name are the first impressions buyers will have of your business. You want to make it count, or at least, memorable.
Because your brand will revolve around the name, it is not a light decision. Take your time to choose one that reflects what you do or your passions – don’t just name your business after your favorite toy as a kid. Changing your business name later can be difficult once you’re established. A sudden name change can confuse your customers and make you lose money.
#5. Get Your Shop Online
At this point, you have covered the basics. The next thing is to get your shop online. You will need a good website template that works on different devices for this step. You want to give your customers a good user experience, whether they use smartphones, laptops, or tablets.
Also, you need a hosting package to get your website live and visible. An SSL certificate will make your website secure for visitors. It encrypts sensitive pieces of information that users share on your website. You don’t want your buyer’s lead in the wrong hands.
Ready to start your eCommerce business? Great! Do proper market research and promote your business using your digital marketing strategy. If you need help along the way, check back with this guide for the steps you need.