There are many helpful and readily available guides to online selling on the world wide web. However, many of these guides are more geared towards those who already seem to have a fairly good grasp of what is required. For those who want to learn how to sell online for the very first time, I’ve put together this basic checklist and guide.
What You’ll Need Before Starting
Traditional in this sense of the term is only in relation to the hardcopy items you can actually touch, as opposed to virtual items you will also need to run your business. For now, you will need these to even consider beginning an online business.
- A desktop or laptop computer
- Internet connection
- Clear working area
There are also a few virtual items you should have before beginning an online company.
- Office programs – MS Office or OpenOffice
- Online storefront – web page or blog
- Money exchange system such as PayPal
Once you have all of the tools required to begin your business online, it is time to buckle down and do some research.
Research and Development Phase
Study the Competition First
Take the time to study businesses similar to yours and see the methods they employ to sell their wares. It will help immensely to have a better understanding of the preferred methods of selling the products or services you have to offer.
Decide How You Want to Sell
While many items or services are best sold on online storefronts such as Etsy or Zazzle, there are also many advantages to selling from an auction site. Once you have determined the best method for your business, get to work creating your storefront or sellers page. If and when your business takes off, you can get a proper e-commerce store created to support your growth. Until then, keep taking baby steps.
Creating Your Online Store
Once you’ve gained enough experience and customers to justify building a full-fledged online store – congratulations, by the way! – you need to focus on the following areas:
- Determine the e-commerce solution that is best for your business
- Select a name for your business that’s easy to remember
- Secure domain names for your business
- Spread the word about your business
Once you have your storefront and domains secured you can move on to learning how to sell to your visitors. With your new online store, you’ll have much more flexibility and control over your website’s visitor experience when you begin ongoing advertising for your business. Stay in tune with industry news and trends by making appearances at networking events and you will stay ahead of the game in the business of online selling.