1. Analyze the products / services you want to take it online
The first step of starting an online store is to analyze in detail the products or services which you are planning to take online. Don’t focus on the product or the service focus on the need, most budding online entrepreneurs make the mistake of focussing on the product or the service instead of the real need. Conduct market research, identify whether your business is viable? Identify the needs of the customers and then move ahead.
2. Analyze your competitors who are already online selling similar services/ products
With an already cluttered online market, it is becoming difficult to find out unique online business ideas. You will find a competitor who is already selling the same service or product you are planning to sell. Do a thorough analysis of the competitor, what makes the product/service click with the customers. What problem does the business solve? Are they profitable? Or just keeping afloat.
3. Identify your USP (how you can differentiate from your competitors)
Find some chinks in the armor of your competitor remember every Achilles has a heel. Identify a USP(unique selling proposition) that your product or service will have, making it stand out from the crowd. Remember just having profitable online business ideas is not enough, your competitor has the first-mover advantage, you will need to offer something better or cheaper to gain a foothold in the market.
4. Make your Business Plan
Your business plan should answer a few basic questions about the business how big is the market size? How much will you need to sell to reach breakeven? How will you finance your startup and how much shall be the capital requirement? Do you have a Plan B?
Being into online management consulting we know that sometimes starry-eyed entrepreneurs are so excited and engulfed in their own idea that they cannot think pragmatically. Writing a business plan would help you with thinking straight.
5. Branding & Marketing Strategy
How do you want your users to perceive your brand? What channels of marketing and promotion are you going to use? What is your marketing and branding budget? Ask yourself these questions and create a branding and marketing strategy which resonates with your brand as well as with the expectations of the consumer.
6. Start developing your website & Mobile App (try to incorporate AI)
Now start developing your website and a mobile app. Remember you can start with a basic website and app and add the bells and whistles later. This will benefit you in two ways 1- The cost is controlled 2- leaves room for improvement as you can tinker with the website and app to know what works and what doesn’t. Good online store consultants will tell you to incorporate AI wherever necessary, for eg:- using chatbots for customer service.
7. Ensure most of your operations are automated
Today automated systems are helping businesses in order management, Inventory management and in Last-mile delivery tracking. You do not want a stock-out situation when you are conducting a sale, Remember Flipkart Big Billion day sale(the first one) there was an online ruckus and customers were disappointed with the quality of service. Automated systems can help you in avoiding similar situations.
8. Decide a launch date and ensure to complete within the timelines
Finally, it’s time to cut the ribbon, an online one though! Decide the launch date and communicate it very clear to all the stakeholders, your website and mobile app developers, your suppliers, your employees and your even to your spouse!
Phew! Seems a lot of work doesn’t it? want someone who does this kind of stuff day in day out? Who are expert online business consultants? With online business consulting services you will be able to put your business on auto-mode allowing you to think about your next venture.
YRC (Your Retail Coach) business experts have helped brands like Raymond, Aditya Birla Grasim and Scarters in the process to take their business online and will be proud to be associated with the Next Unicorn.