Welcome to 2020, the year when entrepreneurship is no longer only a men’s game. More and more women are becoming company owners, CEOs, corporate managers, and leaders.
Women are an essential part of the economy. Yet, they are talked about as consumers more often than they are as business owners. Data shows that women customers do 70-80% of consumer purchasing.
Next, we see more and more brands waving their “women-owned and operated” flag, which has lately become a badge of honor. Progress has been made for women to make incredible strides in the field of entrepreneurship. Yet as of 2017, only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies were run by women.
Things aren’t that different if you take a look at e-commerce businesses as well. If you search on Google for “e-commerce CEO’s”, out of all pictures that will show up, only a few of them are women.
For all the aspiring businesswomen out there, there has never been a better time to balance the scales in the entrepreneurship world. Today, thanks to e-commerce, it’s easier than ever to turn an idea into a successful brand. Here’s how to launch your own e-commerce business:
Find your product idea
Many an aspiring entrepreneur gets stuck at this first step. Every successful business venture must start with the right product, and some of the most popular and well-loved ideas are products that fill a gap in the market or find a solution to a widespread problem (think of Spanx and its founder Sara Blakely, for example).
Mastering your product and knowing where it fits in the market, along with any competitors and how you will stand out from the rest is crucial when starting out.
If you can’t come up with a winning product idea, here are a few recommendations:
- Think about a product you would need as it would solve one of your day-to-day problems
- Talk to your friends and family about a product they would buy
- Search on Google for new trends and see what products are expected to sell really well
- Look on social media platforms for popular products
- Look around your home/workplace for a product you can’t live without
- Conduct a small survey in your community to understand your audience’s day-to-day challenges and think of a product that can solve their problem
Good ideas are really everywhere you look. All you have to do is to stay alert and be observant.
Evaluate your idea
You may have, what you consider to be, the best product idea. Yet, are you 100% sure that it will sell? We recommend you to check a few aspects to make sure that you’ve picked a winner, including evaluating market demand, the existing competitors, and the viability of your product.
This step is critical if you want to build a highly profitable e-commerce business. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of money and a lot of your time on a product that won’t sell. Get it right, and you set your business for success.
Setting up your business
Like with any other business, be it online or traditional, there are a few aspects you need to get right to set it for success, including having a business plan template, researching your competition, and understanding your audience.
Start by researching your competition and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, including prices, audience, marketing strategies, and website. By conducting a competitive analysis, you’ll know not only what you’re up against, but also how to set your business apart from theirs.
Next, it’s time to write a detailed business plan that will be your business’s roadmap. The business plan must include every thought, idea, or plan you have for your online store, including business concept, financial features, your products, marketing plan, sales strategy, audience, and goals.
Build your brand
Now that you’ve figured out every small detail about your business, it is time to set it up. But, before you actually build the online medium where you’ll be selling your products, you need to come up with a compelling name for it and a logo for your brand.
Finding a brand name and an available domain name are two critical steps in setting up your online store because, at this point, you are actually building your brand. Take your time to find a unique and engaging brand name and to register the corresponding domain.
Next, craft your brand’s logo because it will be one of the first aspects that will connect your audience to your business. Make sure you craft a unique logo that reflects the nature of your business.
Create the online medium to sell your products
After these steps, you are finally ready to build your online store. Building an online store from scratch isn’t easy, especially if you are not a tech-savvy person. But here’s the good news: e-commerce CMS tools like Shopify Plus can make setting up your store really easy. You’ll get help with everything from building high-converting product pages to shooting beautiful product photography, choosing your e-commerce color palette, and much more.
When your online store is ready, don’t forget to test it yourself first, to make sure that the experience with your business will be smooth for the customers. If there is any aspect that might turn your customers away to your competitors, such as an unresponsive design or a slow site, make sure you fix it quickly.
Your online store it’s done and ready to sell. Now, it’s time to become the businesswoman you always wanted to be and start managing everything related to your business, including SEO and quality link building, marketing, customer service, and inventory.