Having an e-commerce site is an excellent business idea. Shopping has gone online and it’s only catching steam with millions of more people coming online every year. You want a site that’s visually appealing and easy to use so that your customers enjoy the shopping experience. You have a wide variety of options on how to go about building the website. You can use WYSIWYG site builder such as Wix and Shopify or go with a more custom-made solution.
As you ponder of the best way to go about building your ecommerce site, here are some tips on what to do before starting an ecommerce business.
- Choose a Business Structure and Register Your Business
For your business structure, you can go with a sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation or partnership. The IRS will consider your business a sole proprietorship or partnership if you do not register it as a LLC or corporation. With a sole proprietorship, your personal assets are usually at risk if you ever got sued or you got into debt. You can register your business structure paperwork with the IRS yourself or hire a company to do it for you. There’s also the option of a lawyer, but this may be an overkill for your small business.
- Employer ID Number (EIN)
You will need an EIN to file your taxes and open a bank account. This is basically the social security number of your business. It is mandatory for you to get one.
- Apply for Business Permits and Licenses
You will still need licenses and permits to operate your eCommerce business. Check with your state, county and city to determine what is required to operate your business. Make sure everything is approved before getting started.
- Find Vendors
You need to sell good quality products at a good price so you can be competitive in your niche. If you’re making whatever it is you want to sell, then you need good quality raw material and excellent workmanship. If you’re reselling a finished product then go for the best quality products.
- Start Marketing
Set up the social media profiles of your company and start writing content for your blog even before your product is ready for sale. Doing this gives you a head start such that you’re not starting from scratch on day one.
- Use Software to Improve Productivity
Using technology can make your work much easier. Look into using customer relationship management, project management, email marketing and accounting software.
Ensure you have enough inventory for the launch. You can have it stored in a warehouse or somewhere in your garage if it’s not too much. It is usually better to start with more inventory than you need instead of having a shortfall. Pay attention to the sales so you know when to reorder.
- Make Plans for Shipping
Your business depends a lot on efficient shipping. If your shipping costs are too high, there is a high chance that your customers will abandon cart just before making a payment. Get the most efficient shipping methods available and give your customers options such that they can choose a more expensive option that delivers faster.