Do you want to start an online business from scratch?
When stripped down to its basics, it can be a short journey from a thought in your head to money in your pocket.
Starting any kind of new venture can be overwhelming. After the initial excitement of having a great idea fades and you realise you’ve actually got to do something, many people freeze and go no further.
That’s why I decided to go super basic and put together 7 simple steps to making your first online sale.
Step 1. Find a product to sell
You can’t start a business without anything to sell so, do your research.
Ask yourself if there’s any product you’d happily buy if it existed, ask friends and family – think about what the world needs right now.
When you’ve decided on something, then…
Step 2. Find a supplier
Many online retailers source their products from China through sites like AliExpress, but it really depends on what you want to sell.
Maybe you have a neighbour who makes cute jewellery in her spare time or a local business who sells great-smelling candles. These could make great suppliers.
Step 3. Find people who want to buy your product
Okay, many would argue that this step should be before you choose a product and a supplier – either/or, market research is vital.
If there’s no demand for your fabulous product idea, then there’s no point in continuing – you won’t sell a single unit.
Step 4. Set up a website or somewhere people can buy your product
These days you can choose from a plethora of sites and methods to sell your wares. Facebook, eBay, Shopify, Etsy and of course our favourite, Amazon – more about that later.
Your choice depends on your brand, product and in the case of Shopify, how confident you feel designing your own shop.
Step 5. Get your product in front of your ideal customer
Marketing is a HUGE topic than spans advertising, optimisation of listings, SEO and much more and there are options to suit all experience levels and budgets.
Once your marketing clicks into place, nothing is stopping your product being a roaring success.
Step 6. Ship your product on time
Just because someone has clicked BUY on your product doesn’t mean the sale is over. Before you open the bottle of champagne, make sure you actually send the product on time and via their chosen delivery service.
Step 7. Keep your customer happy
This could be called aftersales. Answer any queries, deal with complaints and refunds etc.
Don’t forget about a customer once he’s bought from you. Each sale is a great opportunity to show your amazing customer service skills that inspire the buyer to come back to YOU and maybe even recommend you to their friends.
Win-win. Rinse and repeat!
Why I sell through Amazon
Steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 are all mostly covered by Amazon themselves when you choose to sell your product through the site.
For a beginner, it’s fantastic knowing you don’t need to create a site and generate traffic from thin air, Amazon does it all for you.
Amazon also handles the shipping (FBA) and a large proportion of the customer service, meaning you can use the time to research and source more products and grow your business.
Although I’ve tried to make these steps sound as simple as possible, there’s no denying there’s a lot of work to do to make your product and your business a success.
Make sure you check my other articles to dive deeper into each of these steps.
Thanks for reading!
Virtual hugs and kisses