In these trying times, many of us are looking for ways to make a little extra money. If you’re crafty and have an eye for design, why not start an online store? Running an online store can be a great way to earn some extra cash, and it doesn’t have to be a full-time commitment. However, you may feel as if starting an online store can feel like a daunting task. But with the right planning and execution, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the basics of starting an online store, as well as some things to keep in mind as you get started.
Why is Starting an Online Store a Great Side Hustle?
If you’re looking for a great way to make some extra money, starting an online store is a great option. Not only is it relatively easy to get started, but you can also reach a global audience with your products. And best of all, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about starting an online store.
First, you’ll need to find a niche market that you can serve. This could be anything from pet supplies to vintage clothing. Once you’ve pinpointed your niche, you’ll need to find a reliable source for your products. You may want to consider dropshipping, which is where you sell products that are shipped directly from the supplier. This can be a great way to get started without having to invest in inventory upfront.
Finally, you’ll need to build a website and set up some basic marketing. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you with this. Once your site is up and running, you can start promoting your products and making sales. With a little effort, you can easily turn your online store into a successful side hustle. Now let’s run through these key points in a bit more detail….
1. Planning Your Store
The first step to starting any business is to have a plan. This is especially true for an online store, where there are a lot of moving parts. So what do you need to include in your plan? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Your niche: What are you going to sell? Figure out what products you want to sell and who your target market is. This will help you determine what platform you want to use (more on that below), as well as what kinds of marketing strategies you’ll need to use to reach your target market.
Your budget: How much money do you have to work with? You’ll need to factor in the cost of setting up your store (website hosting, eCommerce platform fees, etc.), as well as the cost of inventory and shipping. Knowing how much you have to work with from the start will help you stay within your budget and avoid going into debt.
Your timeline: When do you want to launch your store? It’s important to set a realistic timeline for yourself so that you don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged. If this is your first time starting an online store, it’s probably best to give yourself at least a few months from start to finish. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to plan things out and get everything set up without feeling too rushed.
2. Choosing an eCommerce Platform
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to start setting up your store. The first step is choosing an eCommerce platform. There are a lot of different platforms out there (Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce), so it’s important to do your research and figure out which one is best for your needs. Consider things like cost, ease of use, features, etc. when making your decision. Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to start building your store!
When you’re just starting out, it’s important to choose an eCommerce platform that is easy to use and set up. Shopify is a popular option for many new store owners because it offers a wide range of templates, excellent customer support, and a user-friendly interface. Another popular option is Woocommerce, which is a plugin that you can add to your existing WordPress website.
3. Selecting Products to Sell
Once you’ve chosen your platform, it’s time to start thinking about what products you want to sell. If you’re selling handmade items, make sure that you have enough inventory to meet customer demand. It’s also important to choose products that will appeal to your target market. For example, if you’re selling handmade jewelry, your target market might be women aged 25-35.
If you know that you want to find a supplier, then you’re going to want to start researching this as soon as possible. Whether you want to customize your orders yourself or select inventory that a supplier already has available, you need the time to work out what that will be.
4. Building Your Storefront
Now comes the fun part: designing your storefront! This is where you’ll get to be creative and put your own personal touch on things. Think about things like color scheme, branding and logos, page layout, and so on. As you’re designing your storefront, keep in mind that it should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. After all, you want customers to actually stick around and shop!
5. Listing Your Products Well
Next, you’ll also want to take some time to write compelling product descriptions for each of the items you’re selling. This is another great opportunity to show off your personality and style through writing. Your product descriptions should be clear and concise, and they should highlight the unique features of your products. Be sure to avoid using too much jargon or technical language. Also include things like key features, benefits, why customers need or want the product—anything that will help convince potential buyers that they need what you’re selling!
Don’t forget about adding high-quality photos of each product. Excellent product photos are essential for any eCommerce business. poor quality photos will kill any chances of making a sale, so make sure that your product photos are high-resolution and well-lit. You should also include multiple photos of each product from different angles.
6. Setting Up the Finer Details
Then you’ll want to make sure that you’re ready to take orders, payments, and ship everything out. You’ll want to know how you’re going to accept payments online and set up with a payment company, such as Stripe. You’ll also want to understand when and how you’ll receive the money and bear in mind and issues with payments. For that, you can learn more at “Credit Card Dispute Resolution: Guide for Cardholders and Merchants” to ensure you’re prepared for what you can do.
Then you’ll also want to ensure that you have your shipping down. Shipping and delivery can be one of the most tricky parts of running an online store. You’ll need to research shipping options and find a delivery service that meets your needs. Be sure to factor in shipping costs when setting the price of your products. It can work to get a range of quotes until you find an option that works best for you.
7. Marketing Your New Store Online
The final step is promoting your store so that people can find it! Before you can start selling your wares, you need to let people know that your online store exists! Marketing is key to ensuring that your business thrives. There are a number of ways to spread the word about your new store. Start by creating a social media profile for your business and populate it with regular content. Make sure to include links to your store in every post. You can also run targeted ads on social media platforms or Google.
Another great way to generate interest is to offer discounts and coupons for first-time buyers. You can also reach out to influencers and ask them to promote your store. It’s all about trial and error and seeing what kind of marketing tactics are going to get you the best results. By taking advantage of all these marketing strategies, you’ll be sure to attract new customers to your online store.
Bringing Your Side-Hustle Store to Life! So there you have it—a crash course in starting an online store. Running an online store can be a great way to earn some extra money on the side—or even turn it into a full-time gig! If you’ve been thinking about starting a side hustle but aren’t sure where to start, this could be the perfect option for you! Just remember that starting an online store takes time, effort, and planning—but it can definitely be worth it in the end! Thanks for reading! With the right approach, you could be running a successful online business in no time.