You are getting really excited. You have meticulously evaluated your product idea, chosen a product to sell online and settled on a supplier. The inventory you ordered is on its way and you are ready to get started. But what comes next? While you have your foot in the door, there is still a lot of work to be done in the pre-launch phase. The following 7 steps will help guide you as you prepare to launch:
- Choose and Prepare Social Networks
Social media provides a consistent flow of traffic and customers and allows you to share your brand and personality. It keeps people interested in your products and aware of your mission. Before launch, there are several tasks to complete to prepare your social channels. First, if you plan to use networks like Facebook and Twitter, you will need to claim your name. Second, make sure the social networks you choose will work best for your brand. Lastly, begin building a following and start connecting with followers.
- Complete Keyword Research
Keyword research is a vital part of search engine optimization. Choosing the right keywords ensures that search engines will understand what your ecommerce site is about and what products you sell. Before you start building your online store, make sure you create a strong list of keywords.
- Build Your Online Store
There are several things to consider when building your online store: choosing the right theme, the overall store design, product descriptions and photography and adding apps. If you are skilled in technology, you might be planning to build the site yourself. If you are not comfortable building it on your own, you can take advantage of the numerous platforms that offer help and a head start on a custom design.
- Establish Your Shipping Strategy
Shipping and fulfillment is a huge part of running a successful ecommerce business. It can either be incredibly efficient, or it can end up being disastrous and expensive. It is important to establish a shipping strategy now and decide whether you will handle fulfillment in-house.
- Organize Financials
Before you launch, make sure you have a firm grasp on your financials and have a solid budget. What are your shipping costs? How much will your software be? How much will it cost for merchant services (e.g. high risk ach processing, chargeback protection, etc.)? You will want to set specific revenue goals.
- Prepare Marketing Campaigns
Have you decided how you will offer your product to customers? For example, you could launch a Facebook ads campaign that also includes Instagram. Promotions are also very effective (e.g. 20% off everything, free shipping, etc.). Whatever strategy you adopt, just make sure it has both long-term (e.g. search engine optimization) and short-term components (e.g. generating immediate sales).
Once every “i” has been dotted and every “t” has been crossed, it is time to launch your business. If you are afraid not every aspect of your plan is perfect, never fear. Launch with confidence, but refrain from demanding perfection. A big part of running a successful business is trying, assessing, revaluating and trying again.
Author Bio:Business Funding expert, Nathan Hale, founded First American Merchant with his eyes set on helping the backbone of our country, small business owners. His passions include writing/producing music, and travel. First American Merchant is America’s Best high risk ach processing company, serving both traditional and high-risk Businesses.