Thanks to the rise of drop shipping and e-commerce, it's never been easier to run your brand online. It can still be a daunting process and often knowing exactly how to start an online business that makes money can be remarkably difficult.
If you are thinking of starting an online brand, maybe you know that feeling too.
Here is everything you need to know about how to start a brand.
Find the Right Platform
By platform, we mean a virtual space for your e-commerce business. Just like a brick and mortar store, you're going to need a virtual location to showcase your products.
You can use a basic e-commerce store template like Shopify or Amazon. Both are intuitive and are used by millions of e-commerce entrepreneurs all over the world.
If you're a complete newbie to the world of e-commerce, you might be wondering what exactly should you sell.
There are millions of products to choose from, so finding the right product for you may seem a little daunting. Not knowing what to sell is one of the most common reasons why people don't follow through with their entrepreneurial ambitions.
Here are two things to think about when it comes to picking a product to sell.
First, is the product trending? And second, is the product easy to find elsewhere or available on popular e-commerce sites like Amazon?
You can check if a product is trending or forecasted to trend by using Google trends.
This gives you a sense of how often people are looking for a particular product. If more and more people are searching for a product every month, you can safely say that product is trending.
If a product is easy to find elsewhere, it might be a generic product. Generic products like jewelry or books are already widely available. New drop shippers trying to sell products like these will struggle to compete against bigger e-commerce stores.
The better strategy is to find a niche product or set of products that appeal to a very particular audience.
Start by making a list of product ideas you want to sell in your e-commerce store. Ask yourself what friends, family, and other like-minded people might be interested in buying.
Then go online and see how easy it is to find the products on your list.
What can you find on sites like Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook? If there are limited options on those sites, you might be onto a great product idea.
Now that you've picked your product, it's time to find a supplier. This is where the drop shipping business model is worth mentioning.
Among entrepreneurs, drop shipping is growing more popular every year. It requires less investment upfront because there's no requirement that merchants stock their own inventory.
You have set up your store and are ready to take orders. You have a great product, and you're working with a great supplier.
Now it's time to find some customers with a sensible marketing strategy.
After that, fine tune your strategy so that the cost of finding a customer is less than what you earned from the sale.
According to this article, great customer service is key to your business’s overall success.
Luckily, there are several ways to offer great customer service.
First, you can implement self-service guides and a comprehensive FAQ page. This helps customers answer their questions without emailing you, which saves time and energy for both of you.
Second, you can offer live chat support if you have enough time. This might be a good thing to do in the beginning, when traffic isn't quite flooding in, and you learn a lot about your market by addressing customer questions directly.
Finally, you can ask your customers to give product reviews. These reviews go a long way towards answering other customers’ questions about how a product fits or functions.
How much more profit would you make if everybody who came to your website completed a purchase? Get creative.
This is an aspect of entrepreneurship that requires constant experimentation. If something comes to mind that you think will make customers more likely to buy your products, try it out, measure the results, and try again.
This is why you should always keep the performance of your website in mind and seek to optimize it wherever possible.
This is where little store tweaks can add up to a big impact on your bottom line.
Avoid Common Problems
When developing a new business, many entrepreneurs make a few common mistakes that can be avoided by having the right knowledge. Many startups try to replicate the same structure as a big and well-established business.
The problem with this is those big companies have lots of resources and a well-established customer base. They know what works and what doesn't for their particular product. But for a start-up, things are a little different.
Many startups don't have the experience and the data to know what will work and should be ready to change or modify the plan based on the response of the market. It's like driving a Jeep off-road in a very rough terrain where decisions need to be made based on immediate feedback in order not to crash.
To be successful, the new startup needs a business model that is both profitable and sustainable. The new company needs to find a way to constantly and systematically acquire new customers and find a way to turn their desires into a constant stream of revenue.
You must understand what the customer wants and how to sell it to them.
Learn How to Start a Brand
As an entrepreneur, you should always be curious about new ideas that advance the success of your brand.
At the same time, you should always be revisiting your stock of steady selling products. If something isn't selling, replace it with an item that's flying off the virtual shelves.
Learn how to start a brand by following the tips above. It's all part of the fun of being an entrepreneur.
Check out our blog on how to successfully run your online business.