Setting Up Online Business

So you think your product or service is starting to give you a good stream of income? Why not think of expanding your market and go online? Even without a website, you can start setting up an online business through auction sites like eBay and Amazon. Of course, you need to work hard at first but if you do it right, you can just sit back and relax while watching your money roll in.Over the past decade, global e-retailing has experienced a tremendous growth. This has led to to high-profile successes of many online businesses. But how will you set up your own online business? Here are some tips:1. Create a business planThis is the starting point of any business venture. You can include the various elements of a conventional business plan but also make sure that you can answer questions like:(i) Can you sell your product online?Of course, it is easy to sell tangible products online and it is even easier to vend e-products such as e-books and manuals because they can be downloaded and installed by the buyer as soon as the payment is confirmed. Such products spare both the buyer and the seller from the hassles of product shipping.(ii) How much the delivery would cost?For most online buyers, it is okay to include shipping charges in the overall product cost. But if shipping costs them a lot, they will just prefer to purchase the products from brick and mortar stores.(iii) Decide on a name for your business and domainAside from answering these questions, selecting a name for your business is also a significant part of the planning stage. It is a good idea to use your business name as your domain name or web address so better keep it short yet striking and memorable. To stop your competitors or other people from using a similar web address, purchase several types of domain like co.uk,.com, or.net. Doing so will also make your site easier to find online.2.Establish a websiteIf you have a website, your customers can find you anytime of the day and from almost anywhere. Websites come in many designs and the type of site you need depends on your business. If you think you cannot build the site yourself, then there are a number of freelance web designers and developers out there who can help you out. For just a few bucks, they will give you a well designed website that you can use in starting your online business. Make sure your site is simple and the content uploaded in it must be relevant and always up to date.Also, it is necessary that your site is easy to navigate. If possible, minimize the graphics used in every page because they will just increase the time it takes for your pages to load. If you cannot avoid using images, keep their file sizes low without compromising image quality.Your site must have the following pages:(i) Information pageThis is where you can put informative content about your business or the product you are selling. You can also display your contact details and other information about your business here.(ii) E-commerce siteThis is necessary if you want your site visitors to purchase online. It usually contains virtual shopping basket and online payment service.This is where you will display photos and descriptions of your products as well as their prices. You can also give them purchase options by providing them your telephone number, your brick and mortar store address, and a form that they could fill out online.(iii) Decide on the methods of payment to be usedJust like most online businesses, you need to include virtual shopping cart and secure payment method.Shopping in your site will not be that smooth and satisfying if you do not have a virtual cart. This cart makes it easy for customers who wish to purchase several items from your site. So make sure your shopping cart is not only easy for your customers to use but also easy for you to manage. You can buy shopping cart software and include it in your site or you can just get a third party provider who can host the cart for you.When it comes to collecting payment from your customers, you can use different methods and providers. The simplest is PayPal. You can also accept cash deposit to your account, credit card payments, and other forms of payment.