When entering the world of online business as a newbie, the one thing you’ll know for sure is that there is, in fact, a lot of things to know! There is rarely someone to hold your hand through it all, which means you’ll have to discover a lot for yourself. However, the useful part of living in 2018 is that there are so many great little pieces of technology that can assist first-time online business owners.
Selling your own custom phone cases? Maybe you retail vintage and rare watches? Whatever it might be, you’ll need to set up an online store, and the route many take is using a template. PrestaShop is regarded as the better ecommerce software option for beginners, whilst Magento is commonly said to be a template more suited to those with some programming knowledge. Naturally, you’ll need your account to be hosted online so that it can be accessed by those on the internet, so it’s possible to join PrestaShop with 1&1 and find a suitable hosting package.
You’ll likely want to know how your store is performing after a few months. Google Analytics can help inform you on the amount of traffic your site is generating, where that traffic is actually coming from, and even things like how long a visitor is staying on the website, plus many more useful functions. With any online business, one of the best weapons you can have is information, so the better informed you are, the more likely you are to fix mistakes and progress.
Of course, even though this focus is on an online store, there may well come a time when you find yourself selling your products at markets or pop-up stalls. These opportunities are hard to pass, especially if you’re a newbie. Customers in 2018 may not always carry cash with them, which is why you need to have the option of card payment. With Square, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into a point of sale register when you receive a card reader and the necessary software. This is fantastic, as it would be a shame to miss out on a sale just because you didn’t provide every available payment option.
Quora and Reddit
Even though you’ll be discovering a lot of new things on your own, it’s always good to know that there are thousands and thousands of other people out there who have been in the same situation as you. That’s why it’s a great idea to connect with other first-time online business owners over forums like Quora and Reddit. The latter contains a great thread solely dedicated for entrepreneurs, so if there is ever an urgent question that someone hasn’t asked already, then feel free to pose it to the online community. The responses are generally helpful and friendly, as these people are in a similar position.
When first starting out as an online business owner, you might not need Dropbox straight away, but if you ever get to the point where you have a team and you’re in the creative business (such as T-shirts, jewelry, etc.) then it may be necessary at some point to use the file sharing service. If you want to share pictures of new items with your team, or even other documents pertaining to your online business, then Dropbox will certainly be useful. Some prefer Google Drive over Dropbox, but as both are fairly similar, it will come down to minor preferences at the end of the day.
You may well find your own useful apps and websites to use as your online business grows, however, these are simply some of the best to get you started. Be sure to take advantage of them, as they can help you succeed in the tough world that is selling online.