The new year holds the promise of renewed economic growth, and many experts point to a healthy rebound in earning and spending happening sometime in 2010. For many Americans pushed out of their jobs in 2009, the coming year will present the time and opportunity to start their own small businesses, both brick and mortar as well as in the burgeoning field of ecommerce.
Getting an online business started and operational isn’t as difficult as most people think. In fact, many Americans are able to grow their home business from their actual homes, assigning much of their inventory and shipping obligations to better-qualified order and gift fulfillment services. More on that below, but consider these important preliminary steps first.
Choose Your Market
Before starting you online store, you need to give careful consideration to what product you will provide to the public. Some aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs choose to vend a product in which they have no interest, as a means of keeping their work life separate from their private life.
Meanwhile, other ecommerce startup owners prefer to deal with a product for which they have a certain affection or familiarity, as a way of keeping the work entertaining.
Choosing which direction to take when making a product selection is up to the individual, and shouldn’t be made lightly. Remember that if the online store does well, you’ll have endless hours of contact with the site and probably with your inventory, too.
Choose Your Platform
Many online business stores begin their lives using the template provided by online search engines such as Yahoo. There are a number of these platforms available online, with varying costs and expenses associated with their operation. You may find yourself wanting to establish independence of such templates after your business reaches a certain size, but for small startups they’re an excellent means of getting started.
Take Advantage of Fulfillment Services
Fulfillment services are organized, third party logistics providers that assume control of your warehousing, cold storage, order processing and order fulfillment needs. They typically exact a percentage of each unit sold, as part of a contractual relationship with the ecommerce client.
By using a fulfillment service, you’re able to let someone else take the expense of storage and processing off your back, allowing you to concentrate on growing your ecommerce business’ web footprint. This can in most cases allow for an accelerated business growth rate.