How to build a successful e-commerce business

So you want to start an e-commerce business. Perhaps you make your own items that you want to sell. Or maybe you’re planning to source items from wholesalers to sell to an online market.

Either way, there are some simple steps you need to take to get your e-commerce business off the ground, and build a successful enterprise.

To help you take the first steps in your new e-commerce business, here are some steps you need to take.

Write a business plan

It doesn’t matter what you plan to sell, or how. Every business needs a well-thought through business plan. A business plan will enable you to consider every aspect of your business, and spot any holes you may have missed.

Find a good business name

Ideally, the name of your business will to both capture the attention of a consumer, and give an indication as to the purpose of your business. It also needs to be easy to spell, say and remember.

Register your business

Registration procedures will be governed by the laws of the country you’re in, and are dependent on the type of business you want to establish. Whether you’re choosing a sole proprietorship, a company, or a partnership registration, make sure that you have the legal capacity to operate your business.

Build a website

To establish your online business, you also need a properly designed and fully functioning e-commerce website. You can either hire a developer to build a bespoke e-commerce site, or use third party tools to take take care of the ‘shop’ element of your business.

Establish a payment mechanism

If people are going to purchase via your website, you’ll need some way of processing online payments. There are plenty of secure payment gateways like PowerCash21 to choose from.

Get the right legal cover

It’s essential to know the laws that govern the specific business you’re about to start. What permits or authorisation might you need? And do you require (or are you advised to get) some kind of insurance to protect your business?

Plan your marketing

Once your website is established, your products sourced and you have the right legal cover, you then need to think about how customers are going to find your e-commerce website. And for this, you need to understand your marketing journey and have a marketing plan for it.

Photo by Igor Miske