Online business drastically cuts down your overheads, because you don’t have to rent a physical shop or hire a cashier. Your start-up costs are minimal, and even big offline businesses are now taking the virtual route. Your primary expenses will be shipping, and maybe door-to-door delivery.
Aside from a physical storefront, online shops have all the same requirements as ‘regular shops’. First, you need someone to receive payments. In a virtual store, this is done by a merchant processor. So the first thing to do is pick the right one. You want a payment processor that has low fees and lots of free tools.
Find a payment processor
If you have any financial challenges, double-check your payment processor’s website to see if they’ll cover you. These might include low credit, prior bankruptcy, or little start-up capital. If your business is very new, or if you’re selling ‘high risk’ products and services, make sure your payment processor is okay with that.
Create a Website
Now you need an online store. There are lots of services that well help you create your online store and host it for you. Alternatively, you could start yours from scratch or hire a web designer. For the latter two options, you need to buy a domain or a hosting package. It’s a lot easier than it might sound, and there are lots of great options out there, many of which are free or “freemium” which will let you wait to purchase upgrades when your business grows to the point where it’s worthwhile to pay for them them.
Select your payment options
On your website/online store, it’s important to have an SSL certificate, so that customers know it’s safe to enter their credit card details or other private information. Some merchant processors include it as part of their package. You also need a shopping cart to make it easy for customers to select items. This may be provided for an extra fee, or it may be provided for free from your merchant account provider.
For more information on selling goods online, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.