How to Start an Online Business

Mar 7, 2016
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Sharlene Han

It’s not Always about being Better. It’s About Being Different.

Customers will enter your site or blog, and ask themselves – ‘why is this site worth spending time on?’ Ask yourself that same question. Whether it is a more convenient service, cheaper prices or a whole new product itself, finding your niche in the market is key to success.

‘Just like throwing spaghetti at a wall, you have to find the one that sticks’.

– Daniel Jovevski – Perth’s top 100 business owners.

Got a killer idea? Remember to protect it by employing a Website Terms and Conditions and a Privacy Policy. If you’re also wondering what other types of businesses you could start, you can also check out our comprehensive list of business ideas.

Which E-Commerce Site is best for you?

1. Top Tier Website Development: Shopify and Bigcommerce

For the tech-savvy online business owners out there, Shopify and Bigcommerce are the two leading e-commerce sites available to you. Both sites offer a huge range of professionally designed templates, with a hub of qualified experts available 24/7 at your figure tips.

The ‘App Store’ offers options as coupon development, bookkeeping and inventory management. These complex features may leave you are more inclined to employ a website developer to assist you, and if you do ensure you utilise a Website Development Agreement. These agreements help avoid miscommunication and disputes while adding clarity to vital legal elements such as design and development specifications, payment, intellectual property, confidentiality and termination.

2. Mid Tier Website Development: Wix eCommerce and Squarespace

For the less elaborate website concepts, take a look at the more suitable and easy to use platforms such as Wix and Squarespace.

Wix’s easy to use drag and drop features allows users to easily insert content and images. Both sites give access to a good set of tools and templates to help start your website, and provide the user with full access and control.

The biggest selling point though? It’s significantly cheaper than the big sites such as Shopify and Bigcommerce, so this may be the best option for start-ups on a budget.

1% inspiration, 99% perspiration

Yes, it will be hard work – but here are some tips to help avoid your hard work going to waste.

Find your market

Instead of aimlessly selling to the masses, identify your audience and target them specifically. Find out what these groups of people want and address these needs directly. Consider not only content, but also the way this content is conveyed. For example, if one of your target markets are middle aged women, you might want to look at focusing on emails or newsletters, instead of social media websites.

Keep Relevant and Fresh

A television show once taught me the valuable lesson that the way to attract a man’s attention is – always be there. Although not full-proof, I don’t see why this couldn’t work for online businesses.

Stay prevalent on social media platforms, and always maintain connection with your already existing customer base. Constantly improving the quality of your homepage and landing pages are also important as it keeps audiences interested.

Customers also want to know that the information from your site is reliable and correct, so do your research. *Remember to utilise a Website’s Terms and Conditions, which provides a disclaimer that limits your website’s liability.

Focus on Back-End Sales and Upselling

The first sale is always the hardest. 36% of the people that have already bought from you are likely to come back, so hang on to these customers. Offer products that complement their original purchase, and use discount codes to reward these customers for their loyalty.

When selling online, keep in mind that you will be dealing with confidential and private client information, such as addresses and credit card details. Ensure to employ a Privacy Policy, which not only protects you and your customers, but establishes a level of trustworthiness and reliability.

Track your Website’s Performance

Tracking your performance is vital, as it shows you what’s working – but more importantly, what isn’t working. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Product Performance: What are your most and least popular items?
  • Traffic Sources: Where are most of your customers coming from? If your site is attracting international customers, you may want to consider adding a ‘language’ feature to make your site more user friendly.
  • Conversion Rate and Bounce Rate(%): The percentage of people that actually purchase something, and conversely, the percentage of people that leave the page once they enter.

Feeling more confident? Get started now.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

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