June 14, 2011
Opening an Online Store can be an exciting idea! Knowing that you can reach millions of people 24 hours 7 days a week from the comfort of your office or home office can give you a great boost to begin with, but…
What should you expect when starting an online business?
For the first month or so expect to spend a lot of time researching your options and learning a ton of new terms like “Payment Gateway” or “PCI Certification”. You will need to talk to a lot of people and do your research online and offline to know how to get started.
Once you get your online store live you can expect to spend about 2 to 3 weeks learning how your store works. There is a steep learning curve to learning how to operate any shopping cart platform. Use as many online communities and forums as possible and network with other entrepreneurs to learn tips and tricks.
Now you will need to start learning the basics about online marketing, whether you choose to focus in one main aspect like paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM), organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, or Social Media Marketing; make sure you learn the basics and then hire someone to do it for you. Remember! You need to run your entire business, not just one aspect of it. Always keep in mind the big picture.
Once orders start coming in you can expect to hit some bumps in your operations but be patient, automate as much as possible and then iron out any wrinkles on your shipping procedures.
Always remember; your customers are the most important piece of your online business. When ever possible go above and beyond their expectations and create “The WOW” factor. Happy customers refer other happy customers.
Opening an online store is A LOT of work. Please, do not try to open an online store thinking that you will take it live and it will magically start selling and shipping products. You need to put a lot of time (and some money) into it for it to work. Always keep pushing your limits and you will find a rewarding and exciting future running your own online store.