Starting an Online Shop: The Benefits, Mistakes to Avoid and How to Get Started
If you are looking for a way to add passive income, consider the benefits of starting an online shop. Online retail has almost limitless potential. Unlike traditional retail, the startup costs are relatively small. You also reach a wider, more diverse clientele that organically grows with time. Plus, you can sell your goods and market your brand from the comfort of your own home.
Starting an online store from scratch isn’t exactly “passive,” but over time you can create an organic audience that you can cut back on the amount of time you have to invest in brand exposure. Investing in a home-mailing system can also cut back on the time and costs of packaging and shipping your goods. Or, you can sell digital products as a way to make passive income, but there is a greater risk of others pirating your wares. You can also cut down on the initial time investment if you buy an existing e-commerce store that already has a loyal fan base and online presence.
Mistakes to Avoid When Establishing an Online Shop
A big mistake many people make when starting a store is spreading themselves too thin when it comes to the products they sell. We all have a lot of ideas that have the potential for success, but when you are starting out, keeping your inventory simple gives you room to grow. It’s more important to build your brand and audience than it is to expand the amount of products you own.
When you establish an online store, you will eventually be approached by online marketing companies that will claim to double, triple or even quadruple your clientele. However, you would have to invest a crazy amount of money in their services with little to no guarantee that they will follow up on their claims. Instead of wasting your money and time, check out free eBooks that teach you the basics about the world of eCommerce and marketing. It’s best to educate yourself about the process so you are aware of the work that goes into marketing if and when you decide to outsource the work in the future.
Entrepreneurs have two main choices when it comes to eCommerce platforms: off-the-shelf versus custom. Off-the-shelf eCommerce platforms are ready-made and allow store owners to immediately upload their product and get the ball rolling. However, any customizations you want are going to cost extra and may involve risky plug-ins that can compromise security. On the other hand, investing in a custom online store platform involves working with a developer to create a platform that is exactly what you need. However, hiring a developer is costly and the process can take a lot longer to set up.
A huge part of marketing your brand is content. When it comes to content, always focus on quality over quantity. You can use every hack you find online to try and multiply your audience, but if your content isn’t useful or readable, it won’t make any difference. Establish a block of time in your week to create content that your audience will appreciate. Use social media tools to automate posts that promote your content throughout the week, so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week. Being consistent with a quality content plan will expand your business more effectively than any smooth-talking PPC company.
An eCommerce shop is a great way to make passive income, but setting up your store takes a healthy investment of time and money. Avoid the mistake of biting off more than you can chew by keeping things simple, especially when it comes to inventory. Consider the importance of customization when it comes to the online platform on which you build your shop. Organic content marketing is the best long-term strategy for building clientele. Always focus on quality over quantity and educate yourself to avoid the various marketing scams that will eventually target your business.
Guest post courtesy of Dean Burgess