Running a New Online Business

By: Gen Wright

Many entrepreneurs are put off by the idea of starting their own online businesses because they think that such ventures require a lot of tech savvy. This may be true a decade ago, where most people did not even know what a merchant account is. But today, the Internet is a very different place. You can easily start an online business within hours. Here is how you can do so.

1) Do your research and know who you are selling to.

The first thing you need to do is to do your homework. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the industry that you are targeting. The more you know about your target customers, the higher the chance of success. Don't take too long to work on the research. Just take a few days to really catch up on industry news, then make your decision quickly.

2) Have a list of suppliers.

In other words, know where your products are coming from. Are you going to create of manufacture your own products? Or are you going to import the products? Where are you going to get your cargo from? Will there be a nice enough margin for the business to be profitable?

You should have the answers to all the above questions before venturing out. If your sources run dry, you are out of business. There will be nothing to supply to your customers.

3) Checking out shopping scripts.

This is the part where many business owners get hung up. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on an eCommerce script. There are tons of similar scripts available in the marketplace today. Most of them are "click and go" solutions. That means you can expect a shopping script to be easy to install.

4) Loading your shopping site with content.

Once you have the script installed, it's now time to load your online shopping site with content. You can take photographs for the products that you are going to sell, and upload them to the website together with a brief description. If you find this time consuming, you can always outsource the activities to somebody else. Remember not to load photos that are too huge. File sizes should be kept small so that your website remains fast loading.

5) Looking for customers.

With everything up and running, you can now start your marketing activities. Based on your research, where are your customers coming from? Are they hanging around in forums? If that's so, you may want to try advertising on those forums.

So you see, starting a shopping website isn't as difficult as most people think. You probably spend the bulk of your time doing research. In terms of dollars and cents, all you need is a couple of hundred dollars for a good domain name, some reliable hosting, and a good shopping script.

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