Starting an online business is not as difficult as many may believe. If you have the product, the platform, and the time…you can get going!
Before you begin, I would strongly suggest setting up a PayPal account. This will allow you to accept payments from Customers via PayPal, and have the funds either directly deposited into your bank account, or remain on your PayPal business debit card for use. There are so many advantages to having a PayPal account, we simply can’t list them all here. We strongly advise starting with PayPal.
Now to get your online business going, you’ll need a few things:
- Product/Service: Decide what you are selling, whether this is a service you provide, such as a baker, seamstress, etc, or whether you’re selling actual products.
- Business Name: Decide on a name for your online business. This should be a name that is easy to remember, and that resonates what your business is about.
- Platforms: Choose a platform. There are many FREE platforms out there to sell your items or promote your services. Take advantage of these freebies and get your business rolling before jumping into paying platforms. A few suggestions are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Brisk Sale, LinkedIn & Pinterest. Each of these platforms are totally free to use, and is currently being used by many businesses to promote their services or products, and even sell directly via the social media site itself.
- Additional Platform, SPREESY: Another good platform is Spreesy. This platform can serve as a storefront for your business. Spreesy is an amazing tool and integrates with your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. When you post an item for sale on Spreesy, you can automatically post the item on your social media pages simultaneously. This saves valuable time having to create a post for each social media platform. There are no contracts or commitments. When you make a sale using Spreesy, the service takes a very small percentage of the sale. Every Spreesy seller is automatically set up with an eCommerce store where customers can purchase products from any device. Though I have my main website for my boutique, I still use Spreesy as a back up page to sell on my social platforms. Here is my Spreesy page to give you a sample of what to expect: Uylee’s Boutique Spreesy Page.
- Additional Platform, SQUARE: Then there is also the wonderful platform of Square. Not only does square serve as a credit card processing center for your business, but it also allows you to create a FREE business website where Customers can directly purchase your items. I use Square for my online business as well. Here is my Square page to give you a sample of what you can expect or do with Square: Uylee’s Boutique Square Page. Square is free to use, and only charges a percentage of the sale that is made via their platform. It’s a great way to get started with no upfront investment.
- Selling Apps: And if you are selling products, never underestimate the power of selling apps. Never confine yourself to just one avenue. There are some great apps out there that allow you to sell directly on their site, and they assist you with shipping, suggest tips and provide Buyer and Seller protection. These sites are both online, and can also be downloaded as an app on your smart phone or tablet. The apps I enjoy using to sell my products are: PoshMark, Tradesy, Mercari, Depop and Ebay. There are no upfront fees or contracts to use these platforms. As with the others, a percentage is taken from your final sale price when you sale an item using their platform. And all of your selling on these apps are “online sales”. So there’s no meeting customers in person or setting up a physical shop.
- The Final Word: There are many other great ways to start your online business. This is simply the route we chose and it has worked wonderfully for us! We’re constantly making adjustments and trying to improve and continue to learn along the way. If one platform isn’t working, we try another. You’ll learn what works best for you through trying various avenues as well. Enjoy!
Until next time…….