How to Start an Ecommerce Business: 9 Essential Start-up Checklist

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

If you've got a great idea for a product or service that can be sold online, but you don't know exactly the first thing to do, this guide will help you get started.

First, let's dive into why Ecommerce has become so popular? what are the advantages of Ecommerce Business for retailers and customers? We all are in an era where everyone is familiar with Ecommerce. The rising popularity of e-commerce as a way to trade goods is not only a result of the growth of the internet. Advancements in telecommunications technology have aided in the success of e-commerce, as well as the increased levels of competition between merchants to sell the best quality goods at the lowest price. Furthermore, the development of enhanced trading rules has resulted in more liberal trading between countries that can also be achieved within a short period of time.

Ecommerce therefore benefits both the retailer and the customer. Business can be conducted from a number of locations and traditional retail companies can now expand to online stores with updated content. Customers can access the latest products and information instantly, and can purchase the goods from the comfort of their homes. Some businesses are developed exclusively in an online setting, eliminating the traditional costs of a physical company, such as overhead costs and employee costs. (sources from merchant account).

Have you decided yet if running an Ecommerce Business is for you? If it's a BIG YES, then here's the several key steps to follow when starting an Ecommerce Business:

1. Create a Great Business Name

Once you have figured out what products you want to sell online, then create an ideal name that reflects your identity and describes your business. Take note: a clear, powerful name can be extremely helpful in your marketing and branding efforts. Get the name right or you can conduct a business name search to make sure it's not already in use. Once you’ve chosen the name, register it. (If you form an LLC, corporation, or limited partnership this will happen automatically in the state where you file your paperwork.)

2. Secure a Winning Domain Name for Your Website

The domain name can be anything one legally purchases from a domain registrar, consider Shopify as you can now check domain availability instantly. Having your own domain name, website and email addresses will give your business a more professional look, protect copyrights and trademarks, build creditability, increase brand awareness, and search engine positioning (get more information here).

3. Choose the Right Business Structure and Register

One of the key decisions you’ll make when starting a business is the type of legal structure you choose for your business:

  • Sole Proprietorship

  • Partnership

  • S Corporation and Limited Liability Company

If you intend to work alone, sole proprietorship may be the way to go. With this structure, your business earnings are taxed only once, unlike other business structures. A partnership does not pay tax on its income but "passes through" any profits or losses to the individual partners. At tax time, the partnership must file a tax return (Form 1065) that reports its income and loss to the IRS. In addition, each partner reports his or her share of income and loss on Schedule K-1 of Form 1065. On the other hand, owners of the corporation pay a double tax on the business's earnings. Not only are corporations subject to corporate income tax at both the federal and state levels, but any earnings distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends are taxed at individual tax rates on their personal income tax returns (get more information here)

4. Get Your Employer Identification Number

What is an EIN and Who needs an EIN? An Employer Identification Number (EIN) or also known as Federal Tax Identification Number is a unique identification number that is assigned to a business entity so that it can easily be identified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If your business is established as a corporation or partnership, you’re legally required to get an EIN so you can open a business bank account, apply for business licenses and file your tax returns. If you're a sole proprietor and plan to hire employees, you're also required to get an EIN.

Not sure whether you need an EIN? Review this guide from the IRS. To obtain an employer identification number easily and for free, apply online at the IRS website.

5. Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

You can't operate in an area that is not zoned for your type of business unless you first get a variance or conditional-use permit. To get a variance, you'll need to present your case before your city's planning commission. In many cases, variances are quite easy to get, as long as you can show that your business won't disrupt the character of the neighborhood where you plan to locate (get more information here).

6. Create a Website and Find the Right Vendors Online

If you have successfully completed number 1-5 then the next step is building your dream website, consider Shopify, they offer web-based website builder that gets your business up and running in no time. Hosting your entire business website on Shopify is easy and hassle-free. Starting an E-commerce business doesn't have to be a long process anymore. You need an expert to help you develop and execute a solid strategy to launch your first profitable store. If you are ready, let me help run a successful Ecommerce Business.

Choosing the right vendors/suppliers is essential for your business success. They provide the most suitable goods or services at the most suitable prices and in the right time frames for your specific business needs. A great place to start locating them is through online. There are variety of search engines for overseas manufacturers. For example, Alibaba or Global Sources are good places to start for a wide variety of items. You may also start attending industry events and exhibitions to examine personally their products and services.

7. Do Product Testing and Research

In today's global marketplace, the competition for consumer interest is fiercer than ever. Even if you believe your new product idea is a guaranteed winner, testing the market before you launch can also help you tweak what you're selling or how you’re selling it, helping you maximize your profits (get more information here)

8. Choose the Right Ecommerce Software for Your Needs

In order to get things done more effectively and efficiently, it is very essential you know several Ecommerce tools or apps as it serves an important function in your business. You may need to find one for customer relationship management, accounting, project management, and email marketing. So, If you are serious about starting an Ecommerce business, check this guide to find out what tools is worth your time and money, and what’s not.

9. Invest in Email Marketing or Run a Successful Advertising Campaign

Marketing and advertising are two concepts that share exactly the same objective. Both plays a very significant role in building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers because it gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them. Looking for another smart and easy Facebook Marketing Ideas that convince and convert? Let me get you on the road to running successful or high-converting facebook advertising campaign


Thanks for reading! If you know someone who may need this step-by-step guide, share this with them!

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this blog? Let me know in the comments below!



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