Many traditional forms of employment, particularly in the manufacturing industry, have been eroded because traditional tasks have been taken over by automation.
An increasing number of people have turned to self-employment, either in the building trades or in the production and processing of digital information. Those people who are of an entrepreneurial turn of mind have used their talents in particular niches to set up an eCommerce business. Below are some tips on identifying your particular interest, setting up a website and targeting your niche market.
Tip 1. Turning Ideas into Reality
The first step in setting up your business is to identify a product or area for which you have some experience and that you know is in demand.
Spend a couple of hours researching the search terms that people use when they are looking for a particular product or specific information. At the moment there is a growing market for self-published novels at a low price. You may also want to look at providing specialist books and early editions at competitive prices. If you want to sell books to an identified market, the next thing you need is a website.
Tip 2. Setting up and Optimizing Your Site – Building a Brand
The best platform for your site (and the easiest for beginners) is WordPress. Make sure that your URL includes two or three of your main keywords, i.e. self-published novels, specialist books and early editions, and start promoting your business on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
If you plan on selling products through your site then you will need an eCommerce facility or shopping cart that allows you to make and accept payments, mostly through PayPal. If you market your site and your products effectively and you start getting requests from paying customers, then you need a source of packaging materials so you can dispatch the goods to your customers.
For single orders of a novel or specialist book jiffy bags are the ideal type of packaging. Once your business starts to grow, you could find yourself supplying specialist book shops. If you are sending out bulk orders of books then besides the jiffy bags you will need some cardboard boxes. Marketing your site and your products and gaining a reputation for excellent customer service will help to build and establish your brand.
Tip 3. Expanding Your Business
If you have done your homework and your marketing well you could soon find that you do not have the physical resources and know-how to deal with a growing number of orders. Many entrepreneurs find that as their business expands, they need specialist services that will deal with the flow of orders, the packing and dispatch as well as ordering and stock control.
Fulfilment service companies deal with the hard edge of your business, making sure that orders are processed as quickly as possible. Fulfilment service companies will provide all the cardboard boxes and occasional jiffy bags that are needed to pack and deliver your customers’ orders. The internet has opened up a whole new way of doing business with customers in many different parts of the world, which is why ecommerce continues to expand.