With the internet anyone can become a business owner. You don’t even need to quit your day job. In fact, running a home business online is a great way to boost your income.
There are many ways that you can run a home e-commerce business as well.
You can sell your own craft products that you have made. You can sell local artisan products and become a niche seller. You can even sell through dropshipping.
Dropshipping means selling someone else’s products. When you use dropshipping you are the store, and they are the supplier. So if someone were to buy a watch from you, the shipping and product would be handled by someone else.
Starting your own e-commerce websiteis a great idea.
Generate a Great Idea
Before you get ahead of yourself and start a website, you need to plan. The best businesses have solid foundations. To create this foundation, you will want to follow these steps:
Research The Industry
Research the industry you want to go into. The industry will have its own set up unspoken rules.
The industry might use specific words or phrases. There might even be a norm when it comes to marketing and what kind of pictures are used.
For example, take a minimalist fashion brand. There is a very clear and defined look to “minimalist.” Though you can probably draw attention if you did something different there is no guarantee it will work.
Research Your Competitors
Though you can learn a lot from big competitors you will want to focus your attention on your direct competition.
Learn what they are doing. Learn what you can do better. Learn how you can be better.
Research the Market
The market refers to e-commerce. Know how e-commerce works. Some things you should look up include:
- How to sell online
- How to run a successful website
- PPC Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Customer Service
- How to Ship
- How to Keep Costs Low
- How to Create Brand Loyalty
And so much more. As a small online business, however, you don’t need to worry about all this just yet. You have time to learn as you go.
Research Your Demographic
Demographic research is very important. You need to know:
- Their values
- Their language
- Where they are
- What social media they use
- What they want from their brands
You can do this by searching online. You can also ask friends and family directly. In most cases, it is best to use what you know.
Create a Business Plan
Your business plan will take all that information you just learned and put it to action. Your business plan should answer these questions:
- How Will You Sell?
- What Will You Sell?
- How Will You Market Yourself?
- How Much Money Do You Need?
Create Your Business
Once you have your business plan it is time to actually create your business.
The first step is to register your business with the government. You will start paying tax once you do.
Registering your business is important so that:
- You protect your brand
- You protect your name
- You can pay State and Federal tax
Get Your Tax IDs
You cannot escape paying tax, which is why you will need to register for:
- Federal tax ID
- State tax ID
- City/County tax ID
It is a good idea to get business insurance that will protect you from being sued. As a small time e-commerce owner you won’t need to really worry about this. When you get bigger, however, it can become an issue.
Creating the E-Commerce Platform
Now that your business is live it is time to create your e-commerce website.
Choose an E-Commerce Platform
There are two main players in the e-commerce world. They are:
Choose a Theme
These e-commerce companies will allow you to choose a theme to get started. Your theme should reflect your brand. It should also be beautiful and easy to use.
Get It Professionally Set Up
There is a lot that Shopify expertscan do in terms of adding Shopify servicesto your site. Hire these professionals to set up your website so you can start selling right away.
Create Product Listings
Once your website is up you will want to create your product listings. Your product listings should have:
Great photos and images and even videos are a must.
Make them reflect your brand and appeal to your customers. Offer a variety of different looks as well. You want your customers to feel they have a good idea of what the item is like in real life.
SE Optimized Descriptions
Search engine optimized descriptions use keyword research. That way when users are searching for your item they find it. These descriptions can also help sell your products.
If you can you should add interactive elements. Even videos are great for increasing sales.
Website Features You Should Have
Some great features you should get your Shopify website developerto add include:
- Wish List
- Seamless Checkout Experience
- Interactive Experience
- Blog and Advice
There are a few legal requirements you need to know when it comes to selling online.
If you make more than $400 per year online you will need to pay income tax on your profits. This self-employment tax is 15.3% of your earnings. It will need to be filed with a Schedule SE form in April.
The important part here is that you pay tax on your earnings. Therefore it is very important that you file your expenses. You will need to keep proof of your expenses for this to work.
You will also need to pay sales tax. Sales tax differsfrom state to state so you will need to look up what your state’s taxes are in advance.
It is also important to note that you may need to pay another state’s sales tax.
How sales tax works is that the buyer must pay sales tax for the state they are in. If they are buying from a different state they will need to pay their state’s tax. You can get your Shopify developerto add this feature for you.
There might also be city or county sales taxes as well. It is your job to charge your customers all relevant taxes.
You will need to charge this sales tax because the state, city, and county will expect money due every month.
Keep at It
One of the best parts of running an e-commerce home business is that you can learn as you go. Keep at it and grow your customer community. This way you can have repeat sales and enjoy a healthy income.
Furthermore, we also have other terrific blog articles such as The Most Exciting E-commerce Marketing Trends for 2019, and How to Use Social Media for Your E-Commerce Store. — We are Blackbelt Commerce, a TOP Shopify & BigCommerce developer.
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