Despite the global economic downturn, recent insight by Forrester Research depicted a boost of 11% in worldwide online sales during the year 2009. Forrester forecasters have since predicted an increase in e-sales from $173 billion in 2012 to $250 billion in 2014. Either way, this paints e-businesses in a favorable light. Of course, there are several drawbacks to launching an e-business. You have to gain credibility, hook the interest of potential customers and also have personal contact with retail stores. Customers themselves will be relying solely on what they read and see on your webpage, so if you’re unfamiliar with the steps on how to start a website or even creating a responsive web design, you’re essentially screwed. There is a silver lining behind these dark clouds however – low entry costs, ultimate access to global markets, making heaps of cash 24/7 and even snagging a chance of romping along with other high-flyers trickling through the internet marketing field. Thus, the benefits of an e-business trump its disadvantages by a landslide.
But then comes the trickiest question – how to start a website and earn some money?
Well, here are seven steps to get your e-business underway.
1. Content Creation
If you’re worried on how to start a website, then don’t. The golden key to any great website is creating content with an attractive and user-friendly interface. What you’re aiming for is professionalism and substance. Don’t forget to throw in an appealing ‘About’ page in the mix too!
2. Product Search
The best way to chalk up sales is to acquire products at inexpensive prices. Frisk through yard sales or even Craigslist in search of some quality, cheap items to get started.
3. Online Catalog
Catalogs help promote your online ‘store’. Put up mini pictures with short descriptions detailing your product specifications. Your e-commerce site host will usually provide a store creation tool that will make your life a whole lot easier.
Most internet transactions involve credit card details, so make sure you have your own merchant account that processes such payment methods.
Make your website SEO-friendly so that it pops up more often in internet browsers such as Google. Share your website via social media hubs such as Twitter and Facebook. This not only gives your free advertising, but it also allures potential buyers.
Don’t slip up in fulfilling your part of the deal. Make sure you deliver your products on time and include additional shipping charges for long-distance deliveries.
7. Post-Sales Support
Post-sales support is important in handling returns and keeping your customers coming back for more.
Making necessary changes to boost e-business growth can be nerve-wrecking. But the important thing is to surmount psychological barriers that hamper your goals by acknowledging your limitations and coming up with solutions on how best to combat them. A few common e-business constraints include:
1. Lack of Products
Most first-timers are nettled over the amount of creative product ideas that tumble through their mind, but never see the light of day. Usually this results in lack of sales which contributes to upsells and even back-ends.
It’s difficult to stay at the top of your game with so much on your plate – especially if it involves working on new projects, blogging, promoting affiliate products or even fixing broken products.
3. Absence of Sales Process
New products can’t sell without a sales page or a shopping cart to handle payments and deliver goods. Also, auto-responders are essential in ensuring that the marketing system comprising new products are kept up-to-date in the scheme of things.
4. Personal Businesses
Answering social obligations or traveling around can put a big crimp in the time constraint factor. Not to mention, if you’re lacking confidence over your marketing skills or the products you’re promoting, you’re pretty much wading through trouble.
Thus, the only way to truly succeed in your e-business is to accept changes and difficulties as they come. Don’t get worked up on how to start a website – instead, focus on any potential problems you might foresee while setting up your online business and come up with solutions that can be executed each time you face a constraint.