How to start an eCommerce business

May 3, 2022 | Business planning

Running your own business is exciting. You’re your own boss, beholden to nobody else and building your own thing from the ground up. The income can be rewarding, too.

But what sort of business do you see yourself running?

Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more common for people to open up eCommerce businesses given shopping trends among shoppers, which the pandemic has only exacerbated.

But starting an eCommerce business is still hard work and requires a lot of difficult decision making.

There’s no need to wing it though. Read this blog for advice on how to start your own eCommerce business.

Choose your niche

When you’re starting out as a business owner, trying to sell a huge range of products or services probably isn’t going to work. 

More often than not, your customers are simply going to be confused about what you’re trying to do. You’ll also find it difficult to establish a digital presence if your business isn’t focusing on a particular market.

So, step one is finding a niche. 

That includes finding a very particular type of product, be they physical or digital, and making that choice based on your areas of expertise. Ask yourself what skills and marketable knowledge you have. In other words, play to your strengths.

You can do this when you’re thinking about the product. For instance, if you’re strong at graphic design, you could create your own digital prints. 

Something like that would definitely be a marketable product given the uniqueness of the product to your store, setting you apart from your competitors.

Research your competitors

You should then start researching the market you want to enter.

Do that by looking at other businesses in your sector and see what they’re doing well and what you think you could do better.

Ask yourself:

  • how are they reaching customers?
  • what appeals to you about their website?
  • what’s their business model?

Try to look into their marketing, too. How influential are they on social media? Do they pay for advertisements? Do they have a quality website?

Identifying where you can improve on their example is the key. Perhaps you do much better work to drive online traffic to your website or offer a unique product that customers can only get from you. The only way you’ll know is by looking at what you’re going up against.

Write a business plan

With your competitive research complete, it’s time to write your business plan.

A business plan is a roadmap that helps map out your ideas and is crucial for any business looking to succeed. 

This is where you’ll decide your business’s structure, model and mission, and detail the prices of all your products.

It should also include a financial plan, outline your management and organisation and a marketing plan.

It goes without saying, but writing a business plan is a tough task, so don’t hesitate to ask us for help with yours.

Set up your business

The next challenge is actually setting up the business. 

So, you’ll have to choose a business name, design a logo and create a website (or get someone to do it for you).

You’ll also need to get to grips with search engine optimisation (SEO). This is especially important for an online business, as this is what will draw online traffic to your website over your competitors.

Accounting and taxes

While it’s not as flashy as choosing a business name or designing a logo, you need to sort out your accounting and tax obligations as a new business. 

That includes opening a bank account, developing a bookkeeping system, determining your tax obligations, tracking expenses, setting up payroll (if needed) and much more. 

As a new business owner, don’t underestimate how busy you’ll be. Instead, hire a business accountant to take on your accounting so you can get back to where your business really needs you in its early days.

At Blue-Shore, we would also be delighted to provide you with the best business advice for eCommerce startups.

Talk to us today about your business.

Ready to go? We’re excited to hear from you.

Let’s get started, as soon as you’re ready. We’re always up for a chat about how we can support you and your business.

Quickbooks logo
aat logo
ACCA logo