How To Start Your Own E-commerce Business From Your Spare Room

It’s no surprise that you’ve opted to run your own e-commerce business from your home, as it can be one of the easiest business models to copy and can prove profitable (if researched correctly) far quicker than any others. However, you do have to make sure that you have enough room to run this business, as depending on what you sell, space could work out to be at a premium. 

As with all business models, if you want to succeed and have your new business survive the test of time, you need to put the work in and follow some very important steps.

First steps

This first step is crucial, so it’s important that you don’t rush it, take your time, and ensure that you have everything covered before you proceed any further. If you don’t, you could see that your business venture fails, and you’re left seriously out of pocket.

Research a profitable niche

Do your research, select a niche that you have some knowledge of, and find products that are associated with it. You’re fundamentally looking for products that are in high demand and don’t fluctuate or are likely to fall out of favor quickly (these products are best left to the e-commerce experts). 

Keep an eye on how much each unit sells for, and who pays for the shipping. If the customers tend to, then it’s all well and good, however, if the market is predominantly marked as free P&P, this could be an issue as it will affect your bottom line.

Once you’ve located a product that you think is a hit, you need to see how much it will cost you to get you stocked up. This can be a make-or-break area and it’s important that you take note of the two selling styles that are available to you:

  • Selling items with a small profit margin: you’ll have to sell a lot of these to make your money, which can take a lot of work. However, if they sell like hotcakes, you could be onto a good thing.
  • Selling items with a large profit margin: this can be seen as being the more desirable model as you won’t need to sell many to make a decent amount of money. However, often in this scenario, sales will be few and far between, which means that you could have stock hanging around and your money tied up, so it’s something you’ll need to weigh up in your own mind.

Obviously, the best scenario will be somewhere in the middle of both of these options or a possible mixture of the two, depending on what you choose and how much space they take up in your home.

All this research will have to be done for each product you feel could be right for you and the more in-depth you go, the better understanding of the market you’ll have, and therefore a better chance of success within it. You’ll also be able to use this information to draw up a business plan to encourage investors or show lenders, should you need to.

Next steps

The next steps involve putting your newly gained knowledge into action to create the e-commerce business you’ve pictured, and with each of these steps, you’ll find experts on hand to help you.

Source products

When it comes to sourcing products you have two real options available to you, although you’ll have to do the leg work to hunt down a supplier of the product you’ve chosen:

  • Wholesalers: You’ll find when you first start out that wholesalers are your best option. This is because you can order small amounts to test the water and they’ll be willing to share their knowledge if you have any gaps in your understanding of the products or the best methods of selling them.
  • Manufacturers: After successfully trialing a product, you may find that the amount you can get from a wholesaler isn’t enough, it’s not a fast enough supply, or it isn’t cost-effective. Moving your buying power to a manufacturer means that you’ll essentially be cutting out the middleman, so it will work out cheaper per unit, but you will have to buy in bulk when you order.

Choose selling styles and strategies

You’ll also have to choose your selling strategies or try a combination of what’s available. Using selling platforms is relatively easy and you can probably launch your business without too much hassle, but when using these, you’ll find that your products are lost in an exceptionally long list of competitors. However, choosing to have your products featured and for sale on your own website will mean that any potential customers will just be faced with your range of products. 

This, as you can see, could be a far better option and means that you won’t have to design your website yourself or quickly need to learn a lot about how to incorporate an online store such as Shopify on it. Instead, you can hire the services of a Shopify agency in Manchester, for example, to perform this task for you, thus providing you with a high-quality and fully functional website all ready for your potential customers to visit, browse, and most importantly, buy their items.

Work out shipping options

Of course, in order to keep your customers happy, you’ll have to source a shipping partner that will handle their goods quickly and with care. The one you choose will depend on the size and volume of the packages that you’ll be sending, as the US Postal Service and three-letter couriers might not be the best choice for large or fragile items. 

Read More: How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

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