If you’re thinking about starting an eCommerce business and selling products online, use this checklist to do it the right way.
Start With Your Business Name
The first thing to do is choose a fabulous, memorable business name that no one else is using. You can conduct a corporate name search to make sure it’s not already in use. Once you’ve chosen the name, register it.
Secure Your Domain Name and Website
The design of your e-Commerce site may be the biggest business expense you have. But you want to ensure that it’s not only visually appealing, but also functional. There are out-of-the-box e-Commerce solutions to begin with, but you may require something more custom-made if your needs are more than basic.
Select the Best Business Structure and Register Your Business
You’ve got several options when it comes to your business structure:
- LL C
Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Operating an eCommerce business does not exclude you from needing certain business licenses and permits. Check with your city, county, and state to see what sorts of sales tax licenses or home business licenses you need, and get those approved before you start operating.
Find the Right Vendors
You’ll have a lot of competition selling products online, so it’s in your best interest to find the best quality and best prices for the products you sell or materials you use to create your products. Shop around until you find a vendor you want to do business with long-term.
Start Marketing Early
Even if you’re not up and running, it’s a good idea to set up social media profiles and writing content for your blog now so that you’re not starting from scratch Day 1. You can set up your website with a “coming soon” page where people who are interested can sign up to get updates.
Get More Productive with the Right Software
Technology can make so much of your work easier, so before you start your e-Commerce business, play around with customer relationship management, accounting, project management, and email marketing software that you can integrate into what you’re doing once you launch.
Stock Your Inventory
Whether you’ve got a warehouse full of products somewhere or your inventory lives in your garage, make sure you’ve got enough to launch. It can be tricky, not knowing how much you’ll need, but in general, it’s better to have too much inventory than not enough. Pay attention to how your sales increase so you can be smart with future orders.
Make Sure Your Business Stays Compliant
Once you launch your e-Commerce business, things are going to move at the speed of light. Don’t overlook filing your annual report, if you incorporated or filed an LLC, nor those annual fees for business permits. If you need to, put these deadlines on your calendar so you stay on top of them.
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