Well hello there, Mr. or Mrs. young and hungry! I bet you’re looking for a way out of that 9 to 5. Or a way to afford a life of simple pleasures, like a regular vacation. Or a way to pay for your kid’s college tuition without having to sell a vital organ.
Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a fire burning in your soul for… more. More what though?!?
And isn’t that the age old question… how to be fulfilled in life?
And we’re all guilty of trying to MAKE things happen. We get a great idea. Figure out a hair brained scheme to make it happen, even invest a little time and money into it, only for it to fail. Every. Single. Time.
No, just me? *coughs*bullshit*
You know what all of us are guilty of? Not making a plan. Every good idea deserves the respect and due diligence of research, planning, and thoughtful implementation.
Think about it…
Getting married? OH HELL YEAH… you dated for what? 3 years before you got up the nerve for that investment?
And college? You either knew where you wanted to go because it was a family tradition OR you knew what you wanted to be growing up and picked out the best school for that program OR…. you were like the rest of us and took two years to decide and stressed if you were making the RIGHT first important decision of your young life!
Kids? Well, there’s no plan on earth that really prepares you for that but I guess I digress…
You get my point though, right? Everything in life that’s meaningful and valuable and worthwhile deserves the time and respect it takes to plan thoughtfully. Too much is at stake to half ass it and fly by the seat of your pants through the important stuff!
So WHY would you do the same thing with a potential business that could be the foundation for a successful financial foundation for yourself AND those you care for?
e-Commerce is the next big thing to bring the tidal wave easy money answers to the masses. But unless you’re smart about YOUR great marketable idea, it’s going to fizzle out and die, just like all the other ideas you’ve had before. But more importantly, so will some of your hope and motivation.
Over the next several weeks I’m going to release some content I’ve been planning for a few months. Because just like I’m preaching to you above, I’m taking what I deliver to you very seriously, researching, and making a plan to help you succeed.
I’m just like you. I barely have time for family, much less to enjoy life. And I’m squeezing in a few hours every day burning the midnight oil to make my side hustle my main gig. So I’ve learned a trick or two that I can share to make your way so much easier.
And one of my biggest passions is eCommerce stores.
If you’ve read about them even a little bit, then you know there are tons of articles on how to have an ecomm site and for every article out there, there’s a different method to make it work. It can be so confusing to wade through all the crap and KNOW just exactly how you should get started.
Here’s the thing, as an online service provider I’ve been in the trenches. I’ve offered web design, graphic design, virtual assistance, and a whole host of other services to my clients. I’ve made the mistakes, I’ve invested the time and money, and through my own experience I know for certain that ecomm can be THE way out. And it’s so much simpler than people who want to sell you something make it seem online.
For example, what would you say if I told you, you could start a Shopify site for local customers and that it will integrate with Facebook for around $10/month? Imagine the possibilities of being able to use the community you live in to fund that travel or college account.
AND NO! It wouldn’t be some MLM product that makes all your friends and family run away from you, very quickly!
What about if I told you that I know of a resource that would help you learn beginning Facebook ads… for FREE?!? And I mean from a true, legit Facebook ad expert who has created MULTIPLE six figure online business launches for client!
I told you I’ve been around the block and am in the know. You are GOING to want to pay attention to this if you’re even mildly interested and toying with the topic of an ecomm site.
Yes, some of the resources will cost a bit, some even a considerable investment. But not all. I’m here for the bootstrapper, budget conscious, and savvy. I can show you how to make this work no matter what financial level you’re at… scraping the bottom of the barrel or holding a little stash for the right opportunity.
Today we’re going to learn about the basics. The basics of planning. Without a strong foundation, anything you build crumbles. And that’s not going to happen on my watch. So without further ado…
The Definitive Step by Step Guide to Starting an eCommerce Business
Step 1: Pick something you’re into and knowledgeable about. For example, I’m into health and wellness. So if I start a store for myself, I might choose something like quick and healthy Indian meals on a dime. This will allow me to sell items needed in Indian cooking AND offer digital information, too. This is a double bonus because adding value to any opportunity for potential clients is more likely to convert them to buyers. Think about it…
If you were to go to my eCommerce store about quick and healthy Indian meals on a dime and see all the spices I carry, the kitchen tools, and even resources to use like cookbooks, etc… wouldn’t you be more apt to not just peruse my inventory but to also BUY if I’m offering a free weekly meal plan with your first purchase, AND you notice I have a blog on the site that contains dozens of delicious recipes with pics and were created USING the products I stock in my store?
So that’s the first step… what do you love? What are you passionate about? Start there.
And if you’re having a hard time deciding, think about something ALL your friends and family complain about. Seriously! Most successful marketers get that way because they figured out two things… how to solve someone’s pain point, and how to find those people and target them. It’s really that simple.
Step 2: Research the profitability of that niche market. Check out best sellers on Amazon and eBay. And here’s a little known fact, you can even find out what people are buying by checking out PayPal! Just go to the bottom of the PayPal homepage and click shop. Then select a category to find out the popular items in that category.
What’s great about this research is not only can you find out what’s in demand, but if you read the product reviews, you can also figure out a way to avoid the problems some retailers are having with the products if you plan in advance to try and avoid the issues….
…. All just because you did a little research on your bright idea!
Step 3: See if the market’s big enough to sustain long term income potential. Use the Keyword Planner tool to see how many searches are being done for the niche of products you want to carry. You can even search for specific brands, not just generic product types. The higher number of average monthly searches, the bigger the market you have to work with.
Step 4: Find your target market. Ask yourself these questions:
What is your target market demographics? (Age, gender, location of residence, etc.)
What are their behavior patterns? Are they digitally savvy?
What are their motivations and priorities?
What are their biggest challenges in your niche?
Why would they want to buy your products?
The more you define your target market, the better you can find them and sell to them once your store is up and running. And that’s worth money in the bank all day, every day.
Step 5: Validate your idea. Here’s where a little nepotism and curiosity will come in handy. Connect with your friends and family members. Tell them what you’re doing, especially the ones in your target audience. Sell to them directly. If they are interested, GREAT! If not, ask questions. Because if they ARE your target market, getting to the heart of WHY they aren’t interested is going to save you failure in the long run. And don’t get discouraged. This is just the research phase. If they aren’t interested, that’s GREAT data you can use to move forward. Trust me!
Other ways to sell your products without starting and eComm store just yet… sign up for MeetUp and network with your target audience at events. Sell products on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. And yes, even sell products on Facebook.
Take all the data received, feedback, sales, types of products bought… EVERYTHING. And go back to the drawing board with your findings and tweak what you’ve planned so far if needed. If everything supports your initial strategy, then full steam ahead. You have a validated idea that’s worth spending a little time and money on to get in front of the people who need your products.
Step 6: Create your eCommerce business and get ready to work. Honestly, this step is a whole other blog post in and of itself. But it’s the most EXCITING part to me. You get to see your dream start to come to life.
What steps did you take to start your eComm business? Share in the comments below.