Having an online business is a great way to earn extra cash, either as a side hustle or as a full-blown operation. The important thing to remember is that if you start an online store in 2021, you will need to have realistic expectations in mind. Having these will keep you grounded and you will be able to slowly and steadily build the business.
Before you get carried away with daydreams, try setting some realistic goals that you can achieve within the first year. Your first goals will likely relate to setting up your website and getting your name out to potential customers.
After that, set milestones such as making X amount of revenue by a certain date. Create clear steps that you can follow to make sure that you accomplish the goal. For instance, you may need to make cold calls to sign new customers up to make that revenue. The cold calls are the steps that you take to achieve the goal of earning money.
Decide on Your Business Model
The next step of your plan should include deciding what type of business model interests you. If you do not want to handle the physical product, you could consider drop shipping. This is when you act as the third-party intermediary between the supplier and the buyer. The buyer will go through you to make their purchase, which you set up with the supplier.
Warehousing will involve you managing all the inventory yourself. You will need to take orders from customers, mail out the product, and maintain the inventory log.
Another business model is private labeling. This is when you have an idea for a product but do not have the funds required to create it. You would work with a third-party company that would create the product, which would then sell through your business. This is financially beneficial to both parties if the product turns out to be successful.
Create an Eye-Catching Website
As mentioned above, you will need to make creating a website one of your primary goals. Your website is the key to whether or not your business will take off. Ideally, when customers look at your website, they will see the service that you provide, and then they will feel compelled to fill that need in their lives. Working with you should provide the clients with value in some way, and you need to demonstrate that. The website also needs to be extremely fast and functional. As such, finding a good Canadian Web Hosting company is recommended.
Reaching out to other online entrepreneurs can be a great way to get started in the eCommerce business. These individuals may have some tips to help you build your brand and could potentially introduce you to new clients. You can help them out by endorsing them on networking sites such as LinkedIn to enhance their credibility. Or you can share their social media posts, spreading their word around. Working together can be beneficial to all involved parties.
Promote Your Business
Now is the time when social media will come in handy for you. If you don’t have certain social media accounts, consider creating them to spread your brand name as far as you can. You can run Facebook Ads, post product photos on Instagram, or create enticing posts on LinkedIn. Encourage your friends and family to share your business posts. It may seem like you are being a nuisance by asking them to, but they are likely happy to be able to help you out.
In addition to your social media campaign, you should also make sure that your website follows general SEO guidelines. Having your website optimized in this way will help ensure that more people come into contact with you. Having certain keywords on your web pages will cause your site to load when people type that phrase into their search engine. There are helpful tools that relate to SEO basics available online.