Starting an eCommerce shop can be a great hustle for making some extra cash. Whether it be a permanent side job or eventually becomes your full-time gig, this can be a relatively easy business to establish. And with a comparatively low overhead to traditional business, this might be an option for you to consider. If you’re ready to get your eCommerce platform off the ground, here are just a few tips to help you get up and running in no time flat.
Take A Look At Your Financial Picture
If you’re going to be launching an eCommerce store, making sure you’re in a good financial place is a must. Not only will this dictate the amount of time and overhead you can dedicate to establishing your business, but it will also define the amount of money you need to save or finance. With as much as 67 percent of millennials having less than $1,000 in their savings account, this may mean taking some time to get your fiduciary matters in order before pulling the trigger.
Take a look at your current finances, including how much debt you have, the interest rates your paying, and your ability to pay off any outstanding debts quickly. Poor credit can affect your business quite a bit, since it limits the amount of money you could potentially borrow from lenders. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to improve your credit score with a little time and patience, and doing so can give you greater access to capital while you’re getting things up and running.
Finally, make a list of the estimated costs your business might incur, including inventory, insurance, living expenses, software, and any other expenditures you can predict. Depending on how far you want to go with branding and marketing, you might want to include those estimated costs into your budget as well. The goal here is to overestimate, giving yourself the most runway to become successful. While it’s relatively easy to establish your eCommerce store, knowing how to afford it over the long term is a much different matter.
Pick A Solid Theme
A common route for starting an eCommerce store is setting yourself up with a custom theme or template and building from there. Coding an entire site will give you more flexibility in terms of capabilities, but the majority of eCommerce platforms will serve your initial needs and get you used to how the systems operate. Additionally, these platforms account for common needs, such as your website being mobile responsive, which according to BGR accounts for nearly 51.3 percent of web visits.
Start drawing out how you want your website to look and feel, including how the UX flow will operate. While you’re most likely going to want something that will be relatively straightforward starting out, accounting for your branding elements is also a must. There are a wide variety of Shopify themes available to eCommerce beginners, and they’re some of the most intuitive and comprehensive available. The organization should feel natural and objectively welcoming, giving you the feeling it represents both your brand and company.
Although picking a theme might take some reflection and planning, the overarching goal is to choose one with the flexibility to improve upon your build the future. While this doesn’t have to be your permanent landing page, it should be something you’re proud to share.
Start Picking Up Skills To Help With Marketing
As you’re most likely bootstrapping this project, a common strategy amongst those who are running their eCommerce store themselves is picking up some new skills to maximize their marketing efforts. Although you won’t be a pro at first, even just taking some introductory courses in photography or design can go a long way in saving money and developing your branding. Make no mistake; these are going to be crucial to gaining traction with your market, because according to Impact Bound, 31.7 percent of marketers state visual content is integral to their strategy. If you’re looking to compete, it’s never too early to start learning new skills.
Begin by checking out some introductory programs you might be able to explore, including classes on software like PhotoShop or InDesign. Additionally, it might not be a bad idea to start digging through what some of your competitors are up to on social media and on their blogs. Although you don’t want to replicate their style, you can study the type of content they share and how often they post. Even if you aren’t generating the best quality content at first, you’re developing a new skill you take with you even in other business situations.
Starting an eCommerce store can be one of the most fun and exciting experiences in entrepreneurship. What are some aspects you’re looking forward to getting into? Comment below with what you’re excited about in your business.