Starting any business from square one is never an easy task, and this is especially true in the competitive eCommerce market. There are so many things to do and so many decisions to make.
Finding a solid starting point is always important, but with many different aspects to starting an eCommerce business, what really is the best starting spot? Let’s dive into a few tips to help you begin.
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Research the eCommerce industry
If you are reading this article, congrats, you are already taking the first step in starting an eCommerce business.
Researching the industry is important because it will give you a better understanding of what is currently happening and where potential growth areas may be. Keep track of trends, current market leaders, and up-and-coming companies.
Be sure to look specifically in your local area and industry — for example, if you plan on selling handmade clothing, what is the market like for that in your city? Are there already a lot of local competitors, or does it seem like an untapped market?
Select Your Business Name and Choose a Legal Structure
Choosing the right business name can make all the difference. Your business name should be memorable and clearly convey your business’s offers.
Additionally, it is important to choose the appropriate legal structure for your eCommerce business. Consider factors like:
- Personal liability
- Ease of management
Research your options and consult with a legal professional if necessary. This will provide you with options to ensure your business is properly structured from the start.
Apply for an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is your business’s social security number. This will be necessary to open a business bank account and file taxes, among other things.
It’s top of mind for tracking business finances and can also be helpful for building business credit. Applying for an EIN is simple and can usually be completed online in just a few minutes. But when you go to apply, make sure you have the necessary information on hand, like your business structure and legal name.
Obtain Business Permits and Licenses
Depending on your industry, location, and specific offers, you may need to obtain certain permits or licenses for your eCommerce business.
Research local and state regulations and requirements to ensure you operate within the law. This can also be a good time to look into any required business insurance you may need.
While online businesses usually have fewer restrictions, it’s important to understand and comply with any necessary permits or licenses, especially if you are shipping physical products.
Choose an eCommerce Platform and Create Your Website
Once all the necessary preparations are in place, it’s time to set up your online presence. Choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business is crucial — it will determine the functionality and design of your website.
The most popular eCommerce platforms are Shopify and WooCommerce, both are great options for eCommerce startups and have their pros and cons. If you are looking for a custom solution with unique features and dynamic pages, get a WooCommerce development expert to help build a website just for you. If you need something turnkey and easy to integrate with other standard systems, Shopify is a great choice. To dive deep into this topic, check out this comparison page from a Portland website development company.
Take the time to research your options and choose a platform that best suits the needs of your eCommerce business. Once you have chosen a platform, it’s time to create your website and start selling!
Starting an eCommerce business can seem overwhelming at first. But by following these tips and conducting thorough research, you can set yourself up for success in the online marketplace. Happy selling!