For those who are looking to start their own business in 2019 – it’s never too early to get started! – there are plenty of ideas to get you started. In particular, many may be starting to look at online selling as a sort of ‘get rich quick’ scheme. Obviously, there’s a great deal of room to go wrong with becoming an online seller but it can also go very well so long as you plan ahead and research what you’re about to do.
So, with that in mind, here are some important things to keep in mind when starting out as an online seller.
Choose Your Platform
The thing with selling online is that there are now plenty of ways to do; either with your own website, or via already established sites such as Amazon and eBay. When you’re just starting out, more often than not, it’s easier and less risky to start with one of the more already established sites. For ease, eBay is probably the simplest platform to begin your journey on – but, the decision is ultimately up to you. Choosing a platform is completely dependent on who you want to be as an online business.
Check Out the Market
First things first, understand the market that you wish to start selling in. If you want to be a used bookseller, then it’s important to understand what used books actually sell. Otherwise you could easily find yourself holding onto a lot of useless stock that may or may not ever sell. Impractical at best and a waste of money at worst.
There are certain ways that you can check what’s selling on different platforms, either manually or there are a number of programs which tell you averages and the like for different products on different platforms. Your success is determined by the market, so don’t shirk this research and make sure you understand what you’re doing!
Now you have the platform and the market knowledge, you can spend some time buying stock. Whether you want to be a bookseller or have more niche stock – even stainless steel ductwork – now is the time to do it! Get the right levels of stock, but keep it to a minimal in order to not financially bankrupt yourself in case things don’t go as well as you would have expected.
Don’t forget, your initial investment also needs to include factors such as shipping materials (envelopes, labels, etc.) and other such smaller costs. They might not seem a lot to begin with, but these can quickly mount up if you’re not prepared. So if budget is tight, keep it at the forefront of your mind when it comes to stock purchases.
With stock and the right ideas, you’re ready to jump into selling. Which is often just a case of setting up a profile on your chosen platform – so long as you haven’t gone the more complicated route of having your own site – then putting your stock as listings on the site. The better your listing, the better your selling rate becomes. So, research listing optimisation for either eBay or Amazon before you get started. As, believe it or not, the better you do with this first step, the better you will find yourself selling in the long term.
Eventually, so long as the sales start coming through, you will be able to expand your enterprise past the small amount of stock you initially start with. Obviously, never start buying more stock than you will ever be able to sell. But you could start investing in ‘bigger ticket’ items and get more return on your investment. Such as industrial ventilation systems or similar.
When you have established your own online business it can be much easier to start small and scale up gradually.
On the whole, becoming an online seller can be quite straightforward so long as you have a mini-business plan of sorts. So, keep that in mind and once you have a good understanding of the market and the way you need to operate. As soon as you have a firm grasp, your ability as an online business can only grow and grow.