Many people worldwide are making a comfortable living from the comfort of their own homes – without ever having to walk out of the door if they don’t want to. A lot of them are doing this via eCommerce. An eCommerce business is one of the easiest sources of income to start from home. This is because you do not necessarily need a sales background or own your own manufacturing business. In fact, you will find that there are businesses all along the route to success waiting to help you succeed in your dream and run a profitable business from the comfort of your kitchen table, spare room, or garage.
#1 Get your finances in order
First, you should endeavor to get your finances in order so that you know how much you will need to borrow or encourage investors to invest. You could do this on your own or seek the help of an accountant to make sure that you get your numbers correct. Of course, there are advantages to having a qualified accountant involved with your business from the outset for financial and tax advice. Selecting your preferred accountant may take you a while, but you can investigate hiring the services of a virtual accountant, such as Mike Savage New Canaan.
Mike Savage of New Canaan performs all of his accountancy practices online so that you do not have to travel to Connecticut to hire him or his company to deal with your affairs. This can save you time and traveling expenses while still getting you advice and help from a renowned tax expert.
It is a good idea to draw up a business plan as you may find that you are unable to get a business loan without it. Your business plan should be as accurate as possible, so in-depth research into your products, sourcing, target market and product prices, including shipping, is vital, as well as where you see things in 5 years.
#2 Choose your products
Of course, you will not be able to create your business plan if you are in the dark about what products you will be selling. There are countless businesses like wholesalers and trade stores available on the internet where you will be able to buy stock from to sell at a marked-up price. However, the difference between the price you pay and the price you sell for will not be large. You will most certainly be able to make more profit per sale by going straight to the manufacturer.
The downside to this is that you will inevitably have to buy in large quantities, which could present you with an expensive learning curve if you get your product or target market wrong. So, when starting out, it is probably best to buy your stock from wholesalers where you can sample products and therefore invest little money in one go.
Once you have chosen your products, you can seek a manufacturing company to make the items for you (or already manufacture them) and ask them to provide a dropshipping service.
This will then take all of the inconvenience of dealing with couriers or other shipping providers out of the equation so that you do not have to leave the comfort of your own home. Incidentally, with this tactic you will be purely selling and not handling the goods in any shape or form, which can help with your profit.
#3 Select a selling platform
You will also have to think about how you are going to sell your items. Here you have a lot of avenues open to you, from the quick and easy start-ups to the more in-depth options where you are totally in control.
Amazon and eBay
For instance, you can choose to sell your items on a selling platform such as Amazon or eBay (there are plenty of other ones as well). It is quick to get your products uploaded on these sites, and the sites themselves drive potential customers to your listings. Therefore, you are likely to start selling and making a profit reasonably quickly. Of course, you can opt to use various sales aids to make your listings more prominent or use specialist services that actively help improve your listing’s content and keywords and elevate your business’s potential on these sites.
The downside of using these websites is a lack of control on your part. If the host dislikes your items or how you do business, you could find that you are banned from selling on the site altogether or are marked down and penalized as a seller, damaging your reputation and making it far harder to sell on the site altogether.
Of course, you can take the longer method of selling and have your own website. This will put you firmly in the driving seat and give you control over your eCommerce business, but it may take time to get those first initial sales. With this tactic, you will need to hire a web designer to ensure your website looks great and runs perfectly. You will have to think about which shopping cart software to install and how you are going to accept payment for your products.
In order to have your potential customers locate your website, you will also have to invest in the services of an experienced SEO agency. These people will increase the visibility of your website and your products online, providing you with high search engine rankings and being able to advise you on some valuable marketing strategies. There is nothing stopping you from doing all of these once you have gotten the hang of selling online.
You can easily run a profitable eCommerce business from home, although at first it will take some planning and hard work. Once you have chosen your route and are fully aware of what needs doing, you will certainly find it far easier. However, you will have to keep your eye on your target market just in case demand drops, and always be on the look out for additional product ranges that you can introduce in order to grow your business and provide a far better service for your customers to enjoy.