Small businesses are using online stores as another way to market products. While brick-and-mortar stores are still a popular way to conduct business, a more efficient way to conduct business is to open an online store.
Opening an online store offers several advantages that brick-and-mortar stores may not provide. Here’s the process of opening an online store for your small business.
1. Develop Your Products
Developing your product is the most important part of opening an online store and starting your small business. However, there are three things you’ll need to focus on before moving on to further steps in opening an online store.
One of the most important ways to develop your product and small business is to build your niche. This will give you an edge, not only in the beginning stages of business development but as your small business grows.
To give your online business an advantage, consider profitable niches to expand or open your small business online. If you haven’t chosen a niche market, consider opening an online store in these profitable niches:
- Beauty treatments
- Dating and relationships
- Fitness and weight loss
- Gadgets and technology
- Online content (coaching, courses, podcasts, etc.)
- Personal finance
- Wealth Building through investing
You should also search for businesses to model yours after. You’ll want to replicate what they’re doing in their marketing, social media postings and work with other industry professionals.
As you develop your small business, you’ll need a business name. No matter what your business entity is, a business name will provide a brand and an identity.
When choosing your online store business name, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind, such as:
- The business names of your direct competitors
- How your company differs from the competition
- How your company will solve problems
- The target audience for your online store and small business
To make sure your business name is the right name, you’ll want to come up with a name that addresses the above issues. Then, you’ll test your company name by using five to seven potential company names. Some things to remember are that your online store name should:
- Be able to be read clearly and quickly
- Be easy to pronounce
- Express or imply a desirable message
- Not contain negative words
- Represent who you are and is authentic to your brand
- Spark interest in employees and potential customers
If you are unsure whether your business name is available, you can also use a business name generator. This can be a great option because it combines keywords with other words to create a business name.
You can also use some business name generators to see if domains are available, making this even better if you want both a business name and domain name.
Finally, as you develop your products, you’ll also want to develop marketing strategies for your small business. There are several ways you can do this online:
- Contribute to industry-specific forums.
- Create video content through YouTube.
- Offer free products or free services to your customers.
- Use press releases to provide essential company events or news.
- Use social media to upload photos and videos.
- Utilize e-mail marketing to engage and grow your customer base.
2. Pick a Domain Name
If you don’t already have a website, you should pick a domain name. Similar to your small business name, it’s also vital to choose a domain name that resembles your small business brand and mission.
After you pick your domain name, you’ll want to register it. That way, only you can use it for as long as you own it. It’s also a great way to protect your brand and identity too.
If you can’t register your domain because someone else has your domain name, there are still options available. Your domain name doesn’t need to be the same as your:
- DBA (“doing business as” name)
- Legal business name
- Trademark name
To register your domain name, you’ll work with a registrar service. Make sure you choose one that offers you the customer service and price that you want. Finally, you’ll need to renew your domain registration regularly.
3. Choose an E-Commerce Solution
E-commerce solutions allow small business owners a chance to advertise, market, and sell products to current and prospective customers.
- Ease of use (to create and upload content)
- Ease of use (as a business owner and as a consumer)
- Point of sale systems
Fees may be the most critical factor in determining the e-commerce solution you’ll use. Some fees are for listing fees, transaction charges, and transaction rates. There are additional fees for monthly charges to use an e-commerce solution as well.
4. Build Your Store
After choosing your e-commerce solution, now it’s time to build your store. The exact store you’ll create will vary because of the e-commerce solution selected. Some e-commerce solutions specialize in different industries, such as food services, grocery stores, and retail.
The e-commerce solution you choose may also play a role in a few elements of your online store, such as how the store integrates with other websites, the design of your online store, and the ease of searching through your store for products.
5. Accept Payments
You can accept payments from several payment options. Depending on your small business, how you accept payments may also vary. There may also be fees per transaction the e-commerce solution requires as well.
Fortunately, many POS systems accept payments from in-store and online customers.
6. Market and Grow with 1-800Accountant
Creating an online store can be an excellent option for growing your small business. It’s easy, effective, and efficient to open an online store for your small business, and there are several benefits.
When it’s time to grow and market your small business, you’ll want to work with professionals to avoid any stress. So work with experienced professionals at 1-800Accountant to grow and market your small business.