Too often people take a look at some of my small businesses and want to replicate them with different products/services.
These people first start searching for a product to sell. I think this mentality is wrong. First people should get serious about researching what goes into creating a small online business, THEN start looking for a product.
Many people don’t realize the first steps it takes to setup a fully functioning ecommerce website. This is just a short list of things to do:
- Finding a domain name, buying the domain
- Setting DNS servers for domain
- Finding hosting to resolve domain
- Creating an entire website
- Enabling shopping cart capabilities
- Opening a merchant account
- Finding suppliers or means of production for products/services
- Installing SSL security
- Getting page properly indexed in DMOZ and search engines
- Reaching customers
- Drawing people to the website
- Converting visitors into sales
Trying to do this on a budget of maybe less than $100 isn’t easy, so much of it must be done yourself. Something simple as designing a logo can be difficult if you don’t know how to use PhotoShop or other software.
Fortunately, there are solutions nowadays that take most of the technical stuff out of the process such as Volusion.com and Yahoo Stores, but even then it still really helps to be somewhat tech savvy.
If you’re serious about sometime starting up a small online business, first do some serious reading and research about the business and technical side….then decide on your product/service later. Don’t be afraid to sail uncharted waters.