Launching your own business involves a tense inner battle of nerves and rational thought.
On one hand, you’ve spent months – maybe even years – planning, researching and developing your idea. Your brain is telling you it’s all sorted, that you’re fully prepared and in the perfect position to get going.
But then there’s that other voice, the annoying one that keeps you up late at night, replaying statistics about failed small businesses and prattling on about your floundering bank account balance.
And switching that one off isn’t easy.
Luckily, we’ve just had some stunning and undeniable proof that anything is possible – Donald Trump has been voted the next American president, against all odds.
If he can manage to win the presidency, you can definitely make your startup a success.
So it’s time to block out your doubts and worries, put on your best impression of Trump-esque confidence, and open the virtual doors to your new ecommerce business.
Just to give you a little extra motivation, we’re giving you our top tips for building a lucrative online retail empire. Take a look.
Get the basics right
Put your thoughts on paper. A simple executive summary should be good enough to get started. Before you commit to a product or product line, make sure there is a bigger market for it.
Choose the proper legal organizational structure for your business. It can be a difficult and expensive process but it’s one of the most important decisions you will make. The most common structure is an LLC.
Settle on a great business name. Be careful to design an amazing logo that is easy to read, and looks good on a website and on your marketing materials.
User-friendly payment systems
The last thing you want is to lose customers because of an overly complicated online payment process, a common problem faced by ecommerce retailers.
Take time to check out the varying online payment solutions on offer – PayPal isn’t the only option out there – before deciding which one will work best for you.
Taking care of finances
With different currencies and taxes to keep on top of when you’re trading around the world, avoiding any costly mistakes with your finances should be your top priority.
Offshore banking might seem like it’s designed only for the super-rich, but it’s actually a simple way of making sure your business stays on track throughout its international trading.
Cyber-security is a major issue for all industries, and it’s one your customers are sure to care about after hearing the many hacking and IT-failure horror stories making headlines recently.
It’s also your legal responsibility to keep their data safe. Invest wisely in appropriate protective software and train all your staff on how to correctly handle sensitive information.
Digital signature options
Streamlining the admin side of setting up new contracts with suppliers – and possibly even customers – will save you invaluable time.
Digital signature technology is a small and simple addition to your office that’ll do exactly that, and it’s a legally recognised way of signing and closing deals.
Creating a popularity-boosting app
Whilst consumers love the convenience of an app, for business owners, it’s also the perfect chance to showcase character and build a strong brand identity.
Develop an app alongside your website, hiring external help if you want to ensure the final product is effective and polished.
Dealing with the challenges of retailing
Retail is rewarding but also comes with its fair share of challenges. You’ll be investing a lot of money into the business, make sure you’ve got all the basics covered before you open your business to the public.
It can take a while before turning a profit, so you need to be prepared to invest a lot of your savings into your business. Starting and running a retail business requires longer hours especially in the beginning. Be prepared to spend most of your time managing your new business.
Talk to other retailers and ask them how they’ve dealt with the challenges of owning and running a store before you start investing time and resources into the business. Get all your questions answered. And you should always have a back up plan because things will not go as planned.