In this day and age, times are changing. More and more people want to be their own boss and be responsible for their own future. The internet makes this goal more accessible than ever, and e-commerce is an exciting road to success.
Still, knowing exactly how to build an ecommerce business that is actually good enough to generate income can be extremely difficult.
Creating an action plan is required to prioritize your resources in developing your own ecommerce business plan. For starters, this involves more than just setting up a website and getting started selling.
This guide acts like a checklist of sorts, providing tips on what to do before you begin:
1. Select a product for sale
If you are completely new to the world of ecommerce, you may be wondering what exactly you should be selling. In fact, it's a big reason people never take the plunge into starting their own ecommerce business.
In fact, you need to be strategic to identify a range of products or a single item that is trending or not so easy to find in stores or on popular ecommerce sites like Amazon.
Because of this, it is likely to lead to a dead end if you choose to sell books or jewelry. There are already many large players who meet these requirements.
Top Ecommerce Categories in Singapore / Image Credit: Janio.asia
Instead, you want to use more specific elements that appeal to a specific audience. Think of things that you, your friends, co-workers, or family would be interested in. Also, explore social selling sites like Pinterest, Etsy, or even Instagram for more information on the products for sale.
There really is inspiration everywhere once you start looking, and you can always check that your product ideas are good by searching for them on Google Trends.
2. Research and understand the market
Research is essential to the success of your ecommerce business.
Once you've chosen your products, take a look at your competitors and analyze what they're doing.
When researching competitors, keep the following points in mind to ensure that you are considering everything you can in the success of your ecommerce business:
- What is your business model
- Do you sell multiple items or just one product?
- Which social media channels do you use?
- Who is your target market?
- How do they drive sales (e.g. paid social networks, SEO, email, etc.)
- How engaged and loyal are their audiences
Knowing how much work and money to put into a startup can change your motivation for selling certain products.
You should also get an understanding of the regulatory landscape for your idea. You may need to comply with laws that can increase your costs, and alternatively, you may be able to get tax breaks or grants that can help your financial situation.
For one, you should get the Brilleg shield. The nationally recognized seal stands for the credibility and security of an e-commerce website. It also means that your business and online store fully comply with all codes and standards set by the Singapore government.
Ultimately, the better informed you are, the better you can plan ahead, minimize business risks, and improve your chances of success.
3. Integrate your company
Before you can execute your plan and start operations, you need to involve your business.
Remember that your choice of business structure will determine your liability risk, your taxes, and your ability to raise capital and run the business.
Most entrepreneurs prefer to form a Singapore Limited Liability Company due to its numerous advantages such as legal entity status, limited liability, credible image, perpetual succession and tax incentives.
Additionally, registering a Singapore limited company is quick and easy, and involves just two procedures, which in most cases can be completed within 24 hours.
If you need expertise in choosing a business structure and setting up a business, you should hire a professional corporate service provider such as Corporate Services Singapore to help you cope with legal requirements.
4. Set up an online shop
After you've selected your products and done your competitor research, the next step is to build your business.
Photo credit: Blog e-Desk
Choosing ecommerce CMS tools like Shopify can make setting up your store easy. First of all, you have a lot of templates and an e-commerce platform that is easy to integrate and does not require development support. Pick a theme that suits your target audience and prices that reflect the success you are planning to achieve.
Giving your ecommerce business a memorable name is guaranteed to make people remember your name. This goes for your logo too, which can be as colorful or creative as you want it to be.
When your website is ready to take orders, try creating a test order yourself to make sure the process goes smoothly for the customer. Cut down on any extra steps it takes to buy something online and only request information that is necessary for the check out process.
5. Marketing your business
After starting your business, focus 110 percent on ecommerce marketing. Everything else can wait until you are sure you can generate traffic and reach potential customers.
The secret of ecommerce marketing is finding the right channel for your products and then perfecting your marketing strategy until a new customer costs less than you make from a sale.
You should sell products with markups high enough to consistently cover your marketing expenses. You want to strive for that endless loop of spending less than you make every day.
Since ecommerce marketing can be a big bucket, you should rate your products well. A $ 100 investment should bring you at least $ 101 in revenue so you can use it again for advertising.
Also, make sure to reinvest all of your profits in your ads. In the early stages, it is not advisable to pocket all of your earnings.
Hence, you should closely monitor the relationship between profits made and ecommerce marketing spend by reviewing your advertising ROI at least twice a week.
Only when you get to this point can you start tweaking your store design, investing in creating a great brand, and looking for ways to make more money. You can't optimize a business if you don't have customers to try out various features first.
Hence, ecommerce marketing is really important to stand out from your competitors and generate sales.
6. Plan the fulfillment of your product / service
Photo credit: Monimedia
Once the customer has placed an order, you must deliver the product / service to your customer as specified. To do this, you need staff, space, and possibly inventory.
Make sure you are ready to deliver the products / services that you are promoting on your website. Nothing brings a business to a standstill faster than the inability to deliver what was sold.
If your online business is very small, you may want to consider the option of working from home. The home office program in Singapore is of particular importance in this context.
Under the home office system, owners, tenants, or people authorized to live in private or HDB (Housing Development Board) properties are allowed to run small businesses in their homes as long as their business does not fall under the system's negative list .
Note that the premises are mainly used for residential purposes, with only part of it being used as an office.
To set up your home office in Singapore, you must register with the Housing & Development Board (for HDB premises) or the Urban Redevelopment Authority (for private premises) and adhere to the terms of the program.
Note that your company must be previously registered with the Singapore Company Registrar (ACRA) in order to qualify for the Home Office program.
7. Bookkeeping and bookkeeping
Bookkeeping and bookkeeping are a mandatory requirement of any registered company.
From day one, all directors should try to put in place a good system for easily tracking and accounting for all business transactions.
In addition to the obvious benefits of knowing your financial condition and cash flow, it is important to keep an eye on a company's accounts to secure future business loans and investments.
Because of the high volume of transactions, many e-commerce companies are choosing to use accounting software to automate much of the bookkeeping and bookkeeping needs for their businesses.
Accounting and inventory management software like Xero can help make it easy to track and reconcile sales invoices, expenses, and banking transactions. The good news is that today many of these solutions can be integrated together and even with the various banks in Singapore to make your life even easier.
Other considerations to consider
A good ecommerce business plan requires some investment.
Ultimately, when you put money into your promotional tactics, you should convert into sales that you need. Unless you have a larger budget, you should rule out long-term ideas like SEO or email marketing for now.
With direct advertising via Facebook or AdWords, you can generate more sales immediately. The best thing to do is to learn not only how to run your first ecommerce marketing campaign on Facebook, but also how to optimize it.
Alternatively, read how others are approaching Instagram marketing or the latest trends in advertising on Snapchat. With this knowledge and inspiration, you can apply new strategies to your own ecommerce business.
Test your ad campaigns instead of your product pages if you want to evaluate the performance of your ecommerce marketing efforts.
This prevents you from stalling trying to analyze and change every little detail of your business. Just focus on advertising and marketing, not the "Buy" button on the product page.
While much of the advice on starting an ecommerce business seems easier said than done, it certainly helps to have a clear idea of how to get started, including how to get started with a simple business and setting up your energy for ecommerce -Marketing.
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