eCommerce has been rising steadily in popularity over the past couple of decades. Today, millions of Canadians shop online every single day. Starting up an online store in Canada can be an exciting venture, but you need to have a plan in place for making money from it. Follow the tips below to ensure that you have all the necessary information before you launch your business.
Find your Niche
Choosing a niche will help you narrow in on the product or service that you will be providing. Having a niche will determine the customers you will work with, the business relationships you will form, and the way that you will market yourself. It will also help you stand out from the bigger competitors in the field. You will be working with a specific type of customer who may have found that bigger competing companies overlooked their needs.
Take some time to collect market research about the current needs that people have. You will be able to target a specific market segment that can benefit from your business. For instance, you can start a website offering home décor consultations. For your niche, you can specifically reach out to customers who need help with decluttering or becoming minimalistic.
Create a Website
A website is your key to connecting with clients all around the world. Setting up a professional website will establish your credibility and spread your message. Be sure to include a section for contact information, a thorough description of the products or services that you offer, and a rationale of why working with you will provide value to customers.
An important step in creating a website is finding a good web hosting provider. There are many Canadian web hosting companies that will offer good service for a reasonable price. The features you should look for in a web host are:
- Uptime rates
- Website speeds
- Customer support availability
- Storage space/resources
- The flexibility of plans (ability to upgrade at a later point in time)
Become Financially Literate
If you want your business to succeed, now is the time to broaden your knowledge of finance. You are not likely to have enough funds to hire an outside accountant for your business, so you will be managing the books by yourself.
Create a cash flow projection by using a template found online. You can expect to make little to no money at the beginning, as most businesses will break even in their first year of operation. After that first year, you should have enough knowledge about the workings of your business to determine if you need to cut costs, raise your prices, or lay off staff (if applicable). Keep an eye on your competitor’s prices, as you will need to be able to provide a rationalization if yours are significantly higher than theirs.
Start a Blog
Having a blog will enable you to make a meaningful connection to potential clients and raise awareness of your business. A well-written blog post can entice customers into checking out your products or services or result in them recommending you to someone else. In addition, your blog post can be easily shared on a social media platform, which will draw in more viewers.
Some of your blog posts should emphasize the need that people have for what you are offering. By reading the post, a viewer should see how working with you will benefit their lives. The blog can also provide you a platform to showcase promotions and new product launches.
Not all your blog posts need to relate to your eCommerce business. You can branch off-topic to keep viewers entertained. You can also work with other online companies and offer to promote their business on your blog if they do the same for you. Building relationships like these will help improve your visibility in the long run, as those companies have a whole different client base who may have an interest in checking out your website.
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