Starting an online business? Here are some things you should keep in mind before your launch.
1. The importance of developing a business plan
A business plan is a blueprint for how you will launch and run your business. Those that go to college for business management have the benefit of learning all about business plans and how to create them. Still, many people who decide to start a business do not have formal business education. Creating a business plan is vital to a successful launch because it lays out all of your research and ideas. Your plan should include what your vision is for the business, what you want to do, how you want to do it, and why you want to do it. You will include all the research you’ve conducted on vendors and suppliers, including packaging and shipping materials, location space, and anticipated expenses. You will create a proposed budget for your business, as well as research on possible funding streams to get started. The more you put into your business plan, the more attractive your business will be to potential investors, and the easier it will be to follow once you get started.
2. Whether outsourcing is the answer
There will be a wide range of tasks to be done for your business, from bookkeeping to shipping. You need to determine which jobs are better for internal employees and which would be more efficient to outsource. The term outsourcing often comes with a negative connotation and thoughts of call centers in foreign countries. However, the reality is that outsourcing means utilizing any third party for specific tasks. For example, you can buy shrink wrap equipment and do all of your own packaging in-house, or you can outsource the packaging to a reputable and experienced company like US packaging & Wrapping. They provide product testing, as well as fast and affordable service. After collecting all of the information for each option, you can choose which one is best for your company.
3. What programs will streamline your business
The more you can streamline your business, the more efficiently it will run and the less stress you will encounter during day-to-day operations. For example, Workboard provides companies with software programs that drive business continuity and OKRs. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, and it is a program that allows businesses to easily monitor internal projects and goals across multiple people, teams, and remote workers. Anytime you can automate a process, you will be saving time and resources. OKR software automates the process as a whole. You can check on individuals and team accomplishments daily to see how everyone is progressing towards their project goals.
4. How you will handle payments
With an eCommerce business, payments are handled remotely so that people can order products from the comfort of their homes, so you will need to research payment processing options that are both convenient for you and your customers. Similarly to how you can outsource your packaging to US Packaging & Wrapping, you can use SmartPayables for outsourced payment processing. Once set up with SmartPayables, they will handle all of your payment processing needs, and your money will be deposited directly into your account.
5. What kind of space you will need
The amount of space you are going to need to run your business will depend on whether or not you are selling your products or dropshipping products. The space will also depend on how much of the work you want to do internally. If you are operating a dropship company then you will need little more than an office space. If you are selling your products, you will need to decide how much of the work you want to do yourself and how much inventory you will need room to hold. For example, if you are planning to pack your own products, you will need room for the shrink wrap equipment and workers. If you are outsourcing, you will not need to worry about the extra space.