More than 500,000 businesses start each month. That means that whatever industry you’re in, there are people out there already staking ground to compete with. It also means there are ecommerce sites who are making mistakes that you could be learning from.
If you’ve never taken a business class, it might be time to get acquainted with some simple business concepts and terms. Making sure that you understand your market, the supply chain, and are watching trends can keep you afloat even without a degree. If you get to know your market and listen carefully to your customers, you’ll become an expert in no time.
To start a successful ecommerce site, you need to follow some basic rules. Here are the top 4 things you should know to build a successful business online.
1. Find Your Niche
It might take a little bit of time, but you should find the niche you want to work in. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. If you’re interested in opening a pet store, start off with one good product or specializing in one specific kind of dog.
By focusing on one single sliver of the market, you can build your ecommerce business brick by brick, with focus and intention.
2. Research Your Competitors
Once you’ve found the market that you want to corner, get to know the other big players in that market. Don’t be afraid to engage with them or to make a few of the same moves. While you want to differentiate yourself, you should also recognize when one of your competitors has done something well.
Follow them on social media, see where they get likes, and make a note. Copying them will make your brand look weak, so see what you can do better than them.
3. Make a Budget
The worst thing for a small business to do is to run out of money or run into debt. Make a smart and thorough budget before you begin. This will help you to stay on target through thick and thin.
You should have a portion of your budget allocated for inventory, one for shipping, another for your website, and one sliver for promotion. You can tweak these percentages, but they should be considered your basic building blocks. Look at what Yo Sox is doing for some ideas on how to build clever promotions.
4. Learn About SEO
Most of your customers will come from online searches or links from other sites. Make sure that all of the pages of your ecommerce site are optimized for search engines to match you up with customers searching for products like yours. Use locally relevant terms so that you’re capturing the people who are closest to you geographically.
Don’t start from zero to app development all in the same day.
Ecommerce Takes Patience
In order to make a successful online store, you’ll need to take some time to learn and to make mistakes. Don’t quit your day job quite yet. Spend your weekends getting to know the ropes and the basics of running a business online so that you know what to expect and which mistakes to avoid.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to build your site or your following, contact us for tips.