Jumping Into Entrepreneurship
There are more individual entrepreneurs now than at any other time in the history of the United States. Citizens around the world are leaving their desk jobs to pursue their passions and find the freedom of business ownership. If you keep your start-up fees low and take advantage of affordable online tools, you can be a successful business owner in no time.
When it comes to starting your own business, it may seem like a daunting task, but there are really just a few questions to ask yourself. Do you have a passion or idea that you know a lot about? Do you have access to a computer with internet? Are you willing to put in a little legwork before getting a lot of sales?
Have an Idea of What You Want to Do
The first step is to decide what you want to sell. This is where the skills, hobbies, and passions come into play. Are you great with your camera? Do your friends ask for your recipes all the time? Do you see a problem that you have the perfect solution to?
It’s important to have an idea or a skill set, or to partner up with someone who does, but lacks business knowledge. It is common for entrepreneurs fresh out of business school to try and set up various online companies without knowing much more than the business side of things. If you don’t have a skill, learn one.
Setting Up Shop
Once you’ve figured out what your business is all about, you know, selling organic homemade doggie treats, or designing prom dress, it really comes down to a little creative thinking and a lot of website management. By the time you’re set up, you’ll be a WordPress or Shopify pro. You should start with the simple things — buying a domain name and hosting services, finding a theme, and installing a shopping cart.
With the easier sites, you can complete all of these steps in less than 30 minutes, assuming you’re able to find the domain name you’re looking for. Domain hunting is easy; try a site like NameCheap to find and purchase the domain you want. For shopping carts, each should have their own theme options, so you must find specific WordPress or Shopify themes.
Most e-commerce sites make it incredibly easy to create contact forms and integrate social media, and some let you control all aspects of your website’s design, while others limit it to specific themes and streamlined features.
Now that you’ve set up your easy shopping cart, it’s time to drive traffic and make some sales! You can go the traditional route with TV ads and word-of-mouth, but online stores have a lot more options. They’re accessible all around the world, and can be promoted through the use of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
Online advertising is incredibly simple with the help of Google Adwords and various marketing add-ons. If you want to keep it simple, a few pages of content and projects will suffice, or you can add as many features,social share buttons, and blog posts as you desire. When it comes to your online store, the sky is the limit! So go ahead, start your business today.
Image: World Bank