8 Essential Steps to Follow Before Starting an Online Store

Are you considering launching an internet business? E-commerce sales are anticipated to hit $3.45 trillion globally this year, so it's a fantastic idea. According to The Oracles' panel of successful e-commerce business owners and consultants, there are eight steps you should follow when starting your company.

1. Focus on your areas of strength and delegate the rest.

I recruited folks who knew how to build an e-commerce firm because I don't even own a laptop or iPad. I adhere to one simple principle: Immediately enquire if you are unsure about something's meaning. Don't act as if. My areas of expertise are marketing, branding, determining your target market, and creating a story about the product—all of which are essential in e-commerce. Play to your strengths, and everything you don't know, learn or outsource. —Bethenny Frankel, a businesswoman and philanthropist who founded the charity BStrong and the Skinnygirl lifestyle brand, is a New York Times bestselling author, and a shark on the reality television show Shark Tank.

2. Prepare for potential shopping patterns.

You require the appropriate infrastructure, such as Magento or Shopify, from a practical standpoint. However, what's more crucial is that you consider how we'll shop in the future. The reality three years from now is where you want to play, yet too many people concentrate on our actions today. For instance, everyone warned me they would never buy something online when I started my e-commerce company. Now consider websites like Woot.com, whose flash discounts and everyday offers revolutionised online retail.


Mobile will, in my opinion, become more crucial for e-commerce companies. The ones that develop the simplest, most natural, and seamless method of making a purchase on a mobile device will come out on top. It's just me, though. Consider where the market will be in 36 months, then have faith in your instincts, make the necessary plans, and exercise patience. —Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerX and the author of the five-time New York Times bestseller Crushing It!

3. Perform this easy calculation.

"The rule of thumb for e-commerce is that your profit on each order must be higher than the expense of acquiring a new customer. This is the main area of focus whenever I launch or consult with an e-commerce business. Start by separating your revenue and expenses for a typical order. Include the price of the item, the cost of importing and delivering it, the cost of packaging it, and any merchant or warehousing fees. Before deciding to place a large purchase for your goods, conduct a presale trial to determine your customer acquisition cost. This will give you a rough sense of how much it would cost to "purchase" a customer on websites like Facebook and Google.

If your cost to acquire a customer exceeds your profit per order, don't give up. This was the scenario with alphabetlegends.com, the final e-commerce company I co-founded. By negotiating a larger purchase with the supplier, we were able to reduce prices. We also increased profit by enhancing our landing pages and upselling to customers. Start off with assurance in your data and clarity over your area of concentration. —Jay Wright, CEO of the Ecommerce Equation, co-founder of two successful e-commerce businesses with annual sales of over $100 million, and growth advisor to over 200 e-commerce companies. You can find Jay on LinkedIn.

4. Correctly set up your corporate structure.

Make it simple for investors to invest in your business because, if you want to grow from your garage to greatness, access to finance is important. If your housekeeping is a mess, investors will view your business as mom-and-pop. They will see a well-run firm ready to deliver them a tremendous ROI, nevertheless, if they choose the correct corporate structure and maintain accurate records.

A certificate of incorporation, action of incorporator, founding stock purchase agreement, initial board action, and bylaws are among the well-written legal documents you require. Investors want to know that you are legally the owner of whatever your team produces, so you require your employees to sign offer letters, agreements relating to employee intellectual information and inventions, nondisclosure agreements, and agreements relating to consulting services. The good news is that law firms and software developers have teamed up to make it easier for you to handle everything while working with your staff, attorneys, investors, and board members. Start out right to avoid having to restart. —James Daily, founding partner of the Daily Law Group, which provides high-profile clients with litigation support for fiduciary abuse cases involving fraud, crisis management, and business and family issues. You can connect with James on LinkedIn.

5. Do your homework.

"First, choose the platform on which to sell. Unless you already have a following, in which case you might launch your own store using a platform like Shopify, I advise starting with Amazon. Start off with just one product, and to make sure people will buy it, look at comparable ones that are selling well.

On Alibaba.com or by searching for your product and "manufacturer" on Google, you can find manufacturers.

Request samples from a few different vendors, then pick the best option for the money. After accounting for inventory, shipping, packing, credit card, fulfilment, and platform fees, your profit should range from 30% to 40%.

Use polished images and well-written sales content to promote the characteristics of the product while selling the benefits. Give customers the option to try your goods risk-free. Launch a marketing campaign with an initial discount using Facebook advertising, social media, and email. Then invite satisfied consumers to provide reviews and follow up with your buyers to find out what they liked and didn't like. —Matt Clark, co-founder, chairman, and co-inventor of Amazing.com and Amazing Selling Machine; follow Matt on Instagram.

6. Put marketing first.

"My agency has grown dozens of online retailers, some to $1 million in sales and others to over $10 million. Those that expand quickly share a number of characteristics. They first have a differentiating feature around which marketers may build a narrative. They are not just another retailer of apparel or supplements.

The next stage after having a well-made product is marketing, namely generating interest in it, cash flow, and sales. We create a website with great conversion rates and send them traffic via Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Learn how to market yourself or hire a part-time marketer who is knowledgeable about strategy, copywriting, sales funnels, and advertising even when you can't initially afford a high-end firm. Keep in mind that no matter how great your product is, if no one sees it, you'll never make any money. —Rudy Mawer, CEO and founder of ROI Machines and RudyMawer.com; an expert in Facebook marketing and advertising who started a multimillion-dollar company by the age of 26; follow Rudy on Instagram

7. Produce material for your audience.

Anyone can compete in e-commerce thanks to the internet's extensive accessibility. Entry obstacles have disappeared. The question then becomes: How will you benefit your potential customers? That is how a sale is closed. Everyone uses the same strategy for marketing. What will make you unique? through producing valuable content.

As an illustration, I have a YouTube series where I respond to inquiries on day trading. I posted a video every day for three years, and sales started to rise right away. I also organise free events all over the world to inform people, not to make a profit. My objective is to mentor traders before giving them my capital to trade with. So if I want to make money, I need to teach them how to be successful. Increase consumer trust by providing them with value and connecting their success to yours. Customers will approach you, so stop pressuring them into buying. —Marcello Arrambide, co-founder of SpeedUpTrader and the Day Trading Academy, a funding firm for budding day traders. You can contact with Marcello on LinkedIn.

8. Locate a superb mentor who can help you.

My English teacher used to tell us every day, "You haven't invented anything new. In the age of e-commerce, it has never been more true. Before you, thousands of online business owners had brilliant ideas, started operations, failed, and succeeded. Find a mentor who can help you through the tough times and view your difficulties from a fresh angle to tap into that immense reservoir of knowledge. A competent mentor will assess where you are and provide guidance on your future. On websites like Clarity.fm and eCommerceFuel, you can locate e-commerce mentors. —Johnathan Ruggiero, co-founder and CEO of the business that makes wedding bands, Manly Bands; find Johnathan on LinkedIn.

Credit: The Oracle