The Davpack Guide to Running an Online Business: Introduction
As we’ve mentioned on more than one occasion in the past, the internet has transformed the way we shop. It’s also transformed the way many people do business, allowing thousands of people to buy, sell and trade from the comfort of their own homes.
If you’re one of those people – and we know that there are quite a lot of you out there doing just that – there’s an awful lot of things you need to think about and do if you want to give your new venture a realistic chance of being a success. At Davpack, we like to think we know a bit about trading online, so we’re going to be running a series of blogs passing on some of the things we’ve learned over the years that we think might be of use to more recent arrivals to the world of e-commerce.
Whether you’re buying second hand clothes, doing them up and selling them on ebay, making and selling unique craft items via a site like notonthehighstreet.com or dealing in niche hobby supplies, chances are there’s someone after the same customers as you. And unlike the old days, when you only had the local area to worry about, today your competition could be pretty much anywhere in the world. The power of the internet may well be working for you, but it can also work against you!
That means you need to be even smarter about the way you go about the whole thing – so if you’re thinking that, because you won’t have to actually meet your customers face to face, you don’t have to be 100% professional, let me assure you here that you do!
So we’ll be letting you know a few things you can do to stay one step ahead – planning and research, getting started, setting up your own web store, making sure your potential customers know you’re there, deciding what to charge, marketing, using social media, the importance of blogging and becoming an expert, Finding the right kind of strong postal boxes and reliable couriers to ensure your goods reach your customers safely and quickly, getting your business some good word of mouth; the list goes on and on!
We’ll also take a look at some of the less common tools out there to help your business succeed and prosper – we’ve mentioned social media, and you should already be aware that Facebook and Twitter have become as much a forum for companies to market themselves as a place where you can let your friends, family, neighbours, workmates (past and present) and vague acquaintances know what you have for breakfast each morning. But there’s a lot more to it all than that – what do you know about the potential benefits of Behance or Diaspora, for example?
Next time, we’ll look at the things you need to do before you even let the world know you’re in business: research and planning!
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