If you have decided that you want to run a business from home, and your plan is to sell products from your own ecommerce site, then congratulations! This could well be the start of a lucrative and interesting enterprise that can provide a main or secondary income, and allow you all of the freedom and flexibility that a home business can provide.
If your plan is to launch in early 2018, then there are some things you should already be planning and deciding on, so that things will run smoothly once you go live. Here are some of them:
Which Platform to Use
There are lots of third party ecommerce platforms that can be tailored to your shop and your business brand, and so evaluating them and deciding which offers the best solution for you is a good thing to be working on right now for a first quarter 2018 launch. A company like Eventige who tailor leading ecommerce platforms to individual businesses can get an enterprise site up in around three months. While this is pretty fast, it means you’ll want to be looking to make these decisions and get the ball rolling soon.
Whether you plan to make the products you sell or buy them, you will need to figure out how you will manage the cashflow. You’ll need cash to invest in stock or supplies, and if you need to wait to sell out of existing stock before you can buy new items then your business will not be especially reliable. There are lots of approaches to doing this, from financial products to simply using a strategy of keeping a cash buffer, but you should be planning how you’ll manage it before you start buying and selling anything.
Some policies have laws and regulations affecting them, and so you’ll need to be aware of trade laws in your region, however you may sometimes want to go above what is legally required to provide a better service. Think about your shipping policies, returns policies, and which payment methods you will accept (for instance, will you accept PayPal?), and have these planned out before you start building a site.
Your target audience will become important once you start creating the content for your site and marketing it, and so it is good to have a clear understanding of who your ideal customer is right off the bat, and also the regions you want to target. If you sell niche products, for instance you are starting a business that sells sports supplies specific to a given sport, it will be easy to know who your customers are likely to be. However, for broader things, such as home décor products, gifts or technology, it is worth brainstorming where in the market your brand will sit (high end versus budget, trendy versus traditional, for instance). Also, whether you are going to try and sell mostly domestically, or internationally.
These are a few things you can be working on in the coming weeks to help prepare yourself for a home ecommerce launch in early 2018!