Tips For Starting a Small Business Online

So you want to open your own online retail store. You have visions of web orders rolling in while you take business calls and ship products all in your pajamas. What may sound like a quick and easy idea may prove to be a long road of fruitless searches and monetary loss. Too many people have your same ideas and they may either be more experienced, loveportal have a better handle on the web or simple sell the right product at the right time. With the explosion of ecommerce sites, it is now very difficult to carve out your own identity on the web. I have provided a number tips and pointers that I have learned along the way in creating my own site: The Stork Store. I hope that you can learn from my many mistakes and feel more educated about the steps needed to become a successful online business.

Tips for starting a small business online:

Research the competition:

Before you spend any money on the new business idea, tax parcels research your online competition to make sure this is a profitable venture. Every company has a different business philosophy. Some companies play to the wealthy and upscale by offering higher prices, a more sophisticated website and special perks for spending at their site. Other companies offer extremely low prices on their products in an attempt to undercut their competitors. They are willing to accept lower profit margins if it means an increased sales volume. Make sure that you can find a niche within your product market and fejermegyemedia it will still be profitable. You want to find a middle ground that will allow you to make money as well as attract customers. There are a few products that I refuse to sell on the web strictly because my competitors are offering the products at wholesale prices. Their trick is to charge a higher shipping rate to make up for the monetary loss. Find out about their return policies and if you can match their ability to accept returns. Do a keyword search on three of your top items you want to sell and see if your product can compete price-wise with the search results. Make sure that the internet is not flooded with your product because it will be harder to gain a ranking among the search engines. It is easier to sell a product that is targeted at a smaller audience than the general public. For example, you may do better selling ceramic pink frogs than selling dog leashes. Fewer people are in the market for a ceramic frog and you may be able to move higher on Yahoo or Google.

Tax id:

Next, register your business and receive a tax id number. Tax identification numbers allow you to purchase a product from a manufacturer (without having to pay tax) and sell it to a consumer. This is known as a “reseller.” The tax id number is a federally regulated and used to help the government monitor your business. This number is also required if you have any employees. If you are a sole proprietor, or a person who is personally liable for all obligations, nordicnutris you are able to use your social security number. This may sound like an easier venture, however, if your business is sued, they have the ability to access your personal assets. Don’t forget that banks and credit card companies will also require a tax id number in order to open a business account.

Finding products:

Once you have decided that your idea may just float, you need to locate the product vendors. Use the internet, catalogs and yellow pages to locate their phone numbers and websites. Not all vendors will sell to an online store so you need to spend time talking to each company. First, find out if the vendor offers a wholesale program and at what type of discount. It is common for a company to charge you 50% of the consumer’s cost. If the product sells in the store for $100, then you should be able to purchase it for $50. Smaller companies or artists may offer a smaller discount such as 30%-45% so make sure those products will still be profitable for you to sell. Some companies will recommend that you stay within a certain price point so that you don’t undercut the competition or grossly profit from a sale. justshowbiz

Find out how they sell to vendors. Many companies sell their products in cases so for example, you would need to purchase six of the same picture frames. Some companies allow you to order one item at a time as long as it adds up to a certain dollar amount. You can purchase 6 different frames but the order must reach $100. This affects how you order inventory. If you believe a product can sell easily, you are safe buying in terms of cases. If you are trying a new product, you may not want to commit to 12 of the same pillow. Some companies will allow you to return products that don’t sell so make sure to check with their return policy. Typically, if a company accepts a returned product, you are given a store credit towards a future purchase. It is rare that a company will issue a credit check for unsold/returned merchandise but it can happen.

Ask them if they are able to drop ship the product directly to the customer. Drop ship means that the customer places the order through you and you pass it along to the vendor. The vendor ships the product to the customer and charges your account for each order. This is the best solution so you are not responsible for carrying inventory that may not be sold. Most companies project topics require that you carry inventory or place a minimum order so they are guaranteed a certain sales percent. I have one company that required a $250 minimum purchase. They still shipped directly to the customer one order at a time and deducted the money from my initial $250 order. I still didn’t carry inventory and they knew they had a set sales amount.

Some companies are able to blind drop ship so the package looks like it came from your store. The company includes your business cards, invoice, brochures and return address labels at no additional charge. That way a customer can track the order back to you and not to the company. This will help with reoccurring sales from the same customer. They grow to trust you as a supplier and not the vendor directly. For more info please visit sites here:-

Make sure to ask how the company would like to be paid and what type of terms you can negotiate. Terms are the schedule of your payments. Some vendors will give you discount if you pay immediately. Others will demand that you pay immediately, and some will let you pay over 30 or 60 days. This flexibility will allow you to “float” the cost of the inventory. If you get paid immediately, but don’t have to pay the vendor for 30 days, then you benefit. Money has an intrinsic value, and the longer you have it the better you are. If you are carrying inventory then longer terms gives you a chance to sell it and collect the money from your customers before paying the vendor. I had a product that in my mind was a winner. I order 3 cases of them and paid the costs. Two years later I was selling the item at my acquisition cost. So dollar for dollar it looks like I was even, however, I lost the value of the money (interest in the bank, or option to invest in another product) for two years. Check to see if you can pay via credit card so you gain the rewards on your credit card or if they only accept a check. When starting with a new vendor, many require references that show you have purchased items before and are reliable for payments. It is OK if you have never sold a product. Let the company know that you are a start up and ask if they can either keep a credit card on file or will waive the required references.


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