Have you ever thought to yourself, “It sure would be nice to earn a little extra money on the side”?
You’re not alone. Many people have looked for ways to earn some extra cash. One of the best strategies for doing this is through an eCommerce business.
Online stores have been steadily gaining in popularity. Of all the money making ideas out there, this is one that requires dedication on your part, but it can be very fulfilling once the orders start rolling in.
You don’t have to merely dream about it. You can make it a reality beginning today.
Starting an online store doesn’t have to be some complicated process. In fact, it can be done quite easily. But if you’ve ever wanted to do it, you’ve likely had questions on how to start and where to go from there.
1. Find Your Angle
This step of the process can either be extremely easy or require a bit of brainstorming on your part.
You need to find an angle that will set you apart from the others. In other words, you need to find a niche that some other online store doesn’t already cover.
That angle might come in the form of the products or services you’re selling, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that.
Your niche might come from your own personality, like a personal story you want to share to the world.
Or it might stem from your prices or other perks.
Much of your online store’s success will come from making a name for yourself. That’s why it’s important not to pick an area where only a few brands dominate.
In such cases, brand loyalty tends to win out. That makes it much more difficult for you to stand out. According to one study, customers are five times more likely to only buy from a brand they’re already loyal to.
You can still create loyal customers, but that requires finding a unique hook for your online store.
If you already have a unique product to sell, great! You’re well on your way!
If you want to start an online store but aren’t sure of the niche you want to target, you can do some market research to see what areas are still untapped.
2. Pick a Name
No online business is complete without a name. That’s how customers will identify you, after all.
Choosing a name can be tough since the possibilities are nearly limitless. There are some tips you can follow as you select the name that’s right for you.
Be original. You already know you can’t pick a name of a business that already exists. That’s a given. But if you pick something close to another store name, that could bring legal trouble your way too. Besides, you don’t want to ride someone else’s coattails.
Pick a name that has meaning. If the name is closely tied to your product or angle, it’ll be easier to remember. If the name contains a personal meaning, that’s great too. It can give your online store more of a personal touch.
Think of the domain. You’re creating an online store. That means you’ll be registering a domain name for your online store’s website. For obvious reasons, you want your domain name and business name to be the same. Check to see if the domain name is available first before ultimately deciding on your business name.
3. Pick Your Products
If you already have a product in mind for your business, this step is easy. Flesh out the product. Determine the best way to sell it. This could be where you start developing your sales funnel to get people to buy it.
If you’re still not sure of what you want to sell, make sure it’s something you feel passionate about. This may only be one of your side business ideas, but it will still take up some of your time.
By picking something you have a passion for, you’ll have added motivation to see it succeed. Managing your online store will feel less like work and more like a hobby.
4. Manage Your Products
Once you know what you want to sell, you’ll need to figure out how to manage your products.
That includes deciding if you want to store and ship the products yourself or if you want to go with the dropshipping option.
Dropshipping may sound like an intriguing idea. That’s where you don’t actually store and ship the product. Instead, you buy the product from a third party, and that party is responsible for shipping the product to the customer.
There are a number of advantages to dropshipping. One of the most beneficial is the fact that it means almost anyone can run their own online store.
Dropshipping basically lowers the cost of entry into eCommerce. Have a great product you want to sell but not a lot of capital? Use dropshipping.
It also means you don’t have to worry about where to store your product. You don’t need to rent out a giant warehouse, for example
You also don’t have to pack your products yourself. All of that is handled elsewhere.
Be aware, however, that by putting a third party in charge of such a big responsibility, you do lose some control over it.
If customers aren’t getting their orders, they’re going to think you’re the one to blame. Handling return orders can also get complicated.
For those reasons, if you choose to dropshipping, make sure you use a reputable third party. Pick someone who is easy to communicate with. If you go with the right dropshipper, that can make all the difference.
5. Set Up Your Online Store
We’ve now gotten to the part where you actually build your online store.
When many people get to this step, they often think in terms of building a website. That requires hiring developers and designers while waiting for weeks and even months to get things done.
This is where ClickFunnels can make the process much easier.
It’s all possible even if you have no coding or design experience.
Have a motivational course you want people to sign up for? There’s a funnel designed specifically for that. Have a new book you want people to buy? Again, a funnel has been crafted to help sell it.
If you follow through on building the funnel, you’ll be in business in no time.
Having said that, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Setting up your online store can be exciting, but there are other details you need to work out in the meantime.
By setting up a business entity, you avoid personal liability with anything that happens to your store. You also receive protection for your personal assets.
This isn’t something you absolutely need to do from the beginning. You may find it better to wait for your online store to get off the ground first. But it’s something worth looking into.
Even though you’re an online store, you’ll have a physical presence set up somewhere. It could be in your living room, your garage, or even a warehouse. Either way, you have to register for a sales tax permit. All it takes to do that is a visit to the website of the Department of Revenue for your state.
7. Spread the Word
You’ve got your online store up and running. It’s time to tell people about it.
Outside of social media, you’ll want to set up your online store so it has a high ranking on search engines. This can come down to search engine optimization (SEO). With the right content on your funnel, you’ll see better search results.
You can even market through emails. Emails may seem a bit outdated, but they can still be effective. In fact, research shows that for every dollar spent on email marketing, companies make an average of $44.
Make Your Online Store a Reality
The best business ideas to make money now simply require the motivation and determination to make it all happen.
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