Despite your preconceptions – working from home or running an online business can be a tough break. It’s hard work!
While some might curse your line manager every waking hour in their place of work, working from home allows you every possibility for the undisciplined to slack off. Physical business may be where it’s at, and where it has been at for an eternity – but starting an online business is something people should consider if they have a good concept, or even a current store based in the physical world.
Why? Well – there are numerous resources that can help when you want to run a business online. It’s cheaper because you don’t need to rent a physical storefront (although you do need to pay for other things – a domain, server space and power marketing if you want to reach more people). It’s also global – the internet has no borders so you can reach a whole bunch of people.
Setting up an online business is simple. Register your name, construct a site with the help of your coding skills, an agency or a site like Squarespace or Wix which can allow you to easily create a great website. You can attach a marketplace to your site, or if you want to focus on the selling, there are a number of websites that allow you to create stores such as BigCartel. These can be great if you want to focus on selling your product.
Offering options to pay is easy. You want to ensure your site can process debit and credit card information, allow for Android and Apple pay and also link up with Paypal – some of these options are amazingly simple and your customers will appreciate it a lot!
Shipping and postage is something you need to master if you’re selling online. You need to ensure you have an address or a virtual business address that can forward mail to a main hub. You also need to display all the costs associated with shipping on your website. Being clear about where you can send goods and how much it will cost is key for customers and will help them shop with you. Of course, you need to make sure that goods are sent out safely, as shipping is a rough time for your product and it won’t just be your customer that loses out if they receive broken goods, it will be you.
Online business also involves marketing. Making the most of the descriptive copy you use on your website and products for sale to get found on search engines and using social media to personify your business and interact with customers is essential and you might very well be missing out on a great deal of customers if you neglect this area of business. Marketing is hard work, but what part of business was easy?
The world of online business is constantly evolving, so if you get involved, you’ll need to keep yourself up-to-date with the changing landscape, but getting started isn’t hard.