So you’ve decided to be an entrepreneur and put up your own online business. Congratulations for making this decision to create a new stream of income!
Connections on Facebook and Instagram make it look so quick and easy. But there are still a lot you need to know and prepare for to have a successful online business. Let this article help you get started.
How do you set up your own online business?
There are many things to consider before you go live with your online store. You also need to be ready for a lot of competition as almost everything can be bought online these days.
It sounds stressful and overwhelming, but knowing these important things before launching your business can help ensure your success.
Decide on which products you want to sell
Without a product or service to sell, there really is no business to put up. So think about what you want to offer to the public that’s on high demand or popular at the moment.
If you want to focus on a niche product, make it a one of a kind product that’s practical yet will create buzz and excitement in your market.
Ideally, your product or service should help customers solve their problems. It should resonate with both existing and potential customers.
But more importantly, it should be something that you love, believe in, or are passionate about.
Know your target market
No matter how amazing your product is, it will not appeal to everybody. So you need to identify the market that your product or service is right for.
You can determine this by your customer profiles (demographics, hobbies, interests, lifestyle preferences etc.)
However, someone who is not a customer today can be a customer tomorrow, so also don’t discount people who are not your current market!
Educate yourself on internet selling laws
However, a separate bill that will facilitate online domestic and international dealings has already been introduced. This will cover all online transactions and protect both buyers and sellers in the Philippines.
Find a supplier
If you’re selling products that you will make yourself, you need suppliers for your materials or ingredients. You get full control over your product or brand and perform your own quality checks. You can also start with a small capital. But this means doing all the legwork, which means a lot of your time and energy.
You can also get a supplier that is a wholesaler or manufacturer. Your investment will be bigger because you will be paying another company to supply or produce your products for you.
Or you can opt for dropshipping. Simply source your products from a vendor who will also handle inventory and order fulfillment. It’s a good option if you want to put up an online store but don’t have the time, money, and resources to do everything on your own. But the downside is the number of competition that you will have, as well as lower profit margins.
Register your online business
These days, you can do it online. Visit DTI’s online business name registration page and fill up their online registration form.
Make sure that your proposed business name meets the criteria stated on the application page. For example, no scandalous, immoral, unlawful words.
Upon submission, you will be notified right away if there are any problems with your registration so that you can amend it.
If your business name is approved, you can immediately proceed to payment. After which you will be able to download your copy of the Undertaking, Certificate, and Official Receipt.
Choose a platform to sell your products
Depending on the product or service you will be selling, you can choose popular online platforms like Shopee, Lazada, Zalora, Carousell, or Facebook Marketplace.
You can also create a business profile on Instagram and post your items to sell while utilizing tools that will help you boost your posts and reach the right audience.
The key is to reach your target audience and put content in your site that will entice people to click, inquire, and add to cart.
You can achieve this by having regular promotions or posting beautiful images with attention-grabbing captions.
Set up a payment and delivery system
If you have an e-commerce site, you need to set up payment options that are convenient and secure for your shoppers.
Not everyone uses PayPal to shop, so you need to have other options for paying, like mobile wallets, credit or debit cards, or online bank transfers.
Some people also prefer to have their items in their hands first before making their payments, so consider having cash on delivery or cash on pickup options as well.
Pick a shipping partner that will handle your deliveries, so make sure to shop for the best one for your needs and your products.
Launch your online store
But before you do, your online store must look professional to attract the right customers and to establish it as a good and trustworthy site.
Make sure to have the right calls to action so that even casual visitors can turn to actual buyers. This can be achieved by a good and functional website design.
Visitors to your site should not feel overwhelmed by information or get lost when they click on something. It should be easy to navigate with everything they want to know right there.
If you are launching your online store on Facebook or Instagram, make sure to add photos that pop and captions and hashtags that connect to your target audience.
Good luck with your online business, and let us know your thoughts and experiences with running one in the comments section!