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6 E-commerce checklist for entreprenuers

Here is a list of what I think you should consider, so you don't end up making some mistake which I did. in no particular order.

 

1. Chose your niche market - This is basically asking you to chose what business your want to start, e.g. fashion/retail, hospitality, or services. once you've made that decision, you'll then decide what particular area of that industry should be your focus. e.g. should you concentrate on baby clothing or women's fashion only, ( if you're choosing to go into fashion/retail industry) or should you start a mass production of all age and gender clothing. who are your target market, do you want your product or services tailored to high income earners, or middle to low income earners, in some industry you will have to decide the gender of your target market, all of these needs to be considered in what ever field or industry you want to enter, as that will help you narrow your focus to a more achievable goal and target.

 

2. Improve your niche market - To achieve success in any niche market, you'll need to do some research on areas to improve on similar existing services. no business is new in the market, that we know, but there is always room for improvement, so if you choose a niche market and improve your service on it, and then go on to launch a product or business with added benefit to consumers, that will give you an edge over your competitors. because you brought something new and different to the table, consumers will be attracted to it and hopefully embrace it.

 

3. Create a business plan - Every business need a working plan, there has to be some form of reference material to keep you honest about your project, help you track your progress as well give you a clearer understanding of your entire business objective. business plan is not limited to big cooperation's, or written for the sole purpose of bank loans, No. every business need to have it, otherwise you're setting yourself up to fail.  like I mentioned earlier, business plan gives you a clearer objective of your business, what you stand to gain from your venture, why your entered into the business in the first place, what you'll require to get started, how much you need to spend to get started, how you'll carry out your business practices, how you're going to source for your products and service and so much more.  the need for business plan is endless, so endeavour to create one before you start, don't say '' my business is too small or local'' , and so I don't need a plan. you'll end up like me, when i started my clothing line Sonia Nwajei I didn't have a business plan, and so I started with way too many products for a new designer and I ended up losing thousands of dollars creating fashion items that wasn't selling, because I didn't do my research nor have a business plan, as I thought that my designing skill and some revenue at my disposal was all I needed. big mistake. so create a business plan, start with one product and branch out as your business grows.

 

4. Pick a business name - this is a simple task really but many people keep worrying about it. choosing  your business name should depend on two factors, (1) what kind of business it is ( 2) and the message you want to send through to customers, e.g. automobile business name will be different to a fashion outfit name, or a restaurant, because they're very different industry, so the name of each business should represent  you and your unique vision as well as the industry you're in. I used my name for my business, because it's a clothing-line, so my name represents me as a designer and my skills, and the best part is, I don't have to register it, which meant lesser cost for a start-up budget. if you use your name to represent your business, you won't need to register it, you're only required to register a business name if it's different from your name. ( check with your country regulation though ).

 

5. Chose a website builder - In this digital age we can't stress enough the importance of online presence for everything will do in regards to business, as an entrepreneur online platforms have given us the most affordable means to present our skills and innovations to the world, but the thought of going through a website building process is very daunting for many, as traditional web-designers are very expensive and some don't deliver very professional job even after paying them so much, so choosing to build a website, how to start, or which platform to use is hard for many new start-up business, but there's good news, there are now many website building platform specifically targeted towards business owners with little to no IT expertise or technical know-how, all you need to do is subscribe to their platform and use their pre-built website templates to create a unique modern looking website, with no coding skills or even advance computer knowledge at all. that's how I started. I spent weeks researching website builders and platform, after searching for weeks I came to the conclusion that I should use a self building platforms, and I can tell you that it have been a blessing, using them have opened my knowledge on website deigning, I have learnt a lot and can now confidently design full functioning websites. So here's is list of these web-builders, they all offer different packages at different prices, some have a free subscription, but if you need to sell online ( which is ecommerce ) then you need to upgrade to a paid plan, in other to add payment options to your website.

 

Weebly.com  and many more, but these are once I have tried.

 

Some of these is the easiest web-builder to use if you don't have coding skills, because they all come with pre designed templates, so all you need to do is to replace the images and text with your own image and words. but you need to thoroughly compare the services to make sure you're picking the right platform for you, your business as well as your budget. some offer free custom domain, which saves you having to register for your business domain name, some have 24/7 live chat and phone support, should you get stock will designing, their team member can help through it over the chat/phone, while some don't have live chat for certain package. Some offer you SSL protection for every paid package, while other require higher paid subscription to get it. So you need to check everything before signing up, as many are annual subscription basis.  I use Jimdo because their template is easier to customise for me, it gives you access to HTML code if you wish to design you website from scratch as well SSL protection on all paid plan, though to get a 24/7 support, you need a higher subscription, so each platform has it's plus and minuses, check before you book.

 

6. Social media brand awareness - Each social media platform has a specific audience and usage In mind so it's important to pick the social media platform that's most suited to boost your brand image as well as connect your business to the right audience. I'll recommend you create a profile on your preferred social media channel as soon as possible, and start creating a buzz about your business before your actual launch. but don't spread your self too thin in this department, start with one or two social media channel and work on them, later when you feel the need to branch out to other channels then you can do so, don't be tempted to start with Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn profile all at once, you'll loose focus, and will not benefit from any of them because you'll barely have time to manage them all. so start small and grow big.

 

Hope you enjoyed today's article, please join me next week for another helpful tips, thank you.

 

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