Online Store

momprenuermomprenuer Posts: 1subscriber
edited November 2006 in Business Planning
Hello All,
I`m new to the site, and will hopefully soon be a new entreprenuer.  I have a few questions and was wondering if anyone can help me out.  I would like to open an online retail store, but I`m a bit lacking in info about some things. 
First: There are certain products that I would like to sell, how do I obtain these products from the company? Do I obtain a merchant account? or buy in bulk from somewhere besides the company?  Where or How can I get my product?
Second: What would be the best place or avenue to get a business plan put together? I intend to invest as much as possible for a good one, with research and analysis done.
Third: What are the best sites for an online store, that come with cart setup, site design and maintance and the ability to expand upon growth.  
I know this is alot to ask, but I find myself overwhelmed to the point of a headache trying to research and maintain all the advice I`ve been finding online.  I`m really hoping you ladies and gents can put things in perspective for me.
Thank You in Advance for Your Time.
Venice

Comments

  • MNGrillGuyMNGrillGuy Posts: 2subscriber
    The first step is to determine if your business can make money.  Get quotes for your product, add up what you think monthly expenses might be, choose a reasonable selling price, estimate monthly sales and then make a go/no go decision.  If it`s a go, then you can look into web design, business plans etc.  To get a good price on product you`ll have to spend a lot of money to buy in bulk so it becomes important to think about how best to finance this first purchase.  Good luck!
     
  • enlightDanenlightDan Posts: 0subscriber
    The first step is to determine if your business can make money.  Get quotes for your product, add up what you think monthly expenses might be, choose a reasonable selling price, estimate monthly sales and then make a go/no go decision.  If it`s a go, then you can look into web design, business plans etc.  To get a good price on product you`ll have to spend a lot of money to buy in bulk so it becomes important to think about how best to finance this first purchase.  Good luck!
     In your monthly expenses, don`t forget to account for web hosting and website maintenance costs. An e-commerce site requires care & attention just like your classic brick & mortar.Good luck!
  • BeckyBecky Posts: 1subscriber
    Hi Mompreneur...
    Two books I`ve found very useful:
    Retail Business Kit for Dummies - Although it focuses in Bricks & Mortar stores, this book has some great retail tips.  I found particularly useful the sections about getting merchandise and dealing with suppliers.  It also has a section on business plans.
    Starting an Online Business for Dummies - This one will give you more of the the details of web design and hosting, online payments, etc.
    There are TONS of books, web sites, etc out there to read on these topics, but I found these books were a good place for me to start.
    Good luck with your venture!
    Becky
  • momprenuermomprenuer Posts: 1subscriber
    Thank You so much for the advice. I have made an appointment to meet with the SCORE team in my area.  Going to go invest in the books right away.
    On the other end, do you think it would be wise to find investors, since I`ll have to buy everything in bulk. Will I have to hold product? How would I set up to have the product shipped directly from the wholesaler?
  • BeckyBecky Posts: 1subscriber
    Craig is right, the business plan is key.  Although it might seem daunting at first, find a business plan outline and take some time to put your initial thoughts down.  You won`t have answers for all of the sections, but at least it will start the wheels turning.  It took me a while to get my thoughts down on paper.  Its strange because I was really sick for a week in April of this year and was forced to take some down time and to rest.  Of all things, started writing my business plan that week!
    The 10 Steps on this site are great too.  Going through them will force you to ask yourself some really important questions.  I think its a good reality check and makes you think about why you want to do the business and what you truly want to accomplish.
    I`ve used a lot of these tools personally and have determined that I needed to do a COMPLETE overhall of my finances.  As a result I`m now going through the process of cutting my expenses.  I realized that I`m going to have to make some big sacrifices if I want to start my new venture.  (And let me tell you, this has not been easy for me, as I am a definite spender and have never been a saver...)  Its very eye opening and has shown me just how badly I want to go after my dreams! 
     
     
  • Kay06Kay06 Posts: 2subscriber
    Hi I am also planning on opening a online store.  Check out Yahoo small business.  They give you everything you need to open up website, merchant accounts, etc.  They charge $40 a month but look into it.  I am also having a hard time finding a wholesaler.  I don`t have the money to buy in bulk so I am going to do "Drop Shipping".  When someone orders from me I then place the order with the wholesaler and they ship directly to the customer.  Check out www.worldwidebrands.com</A>  They have a lot of info on wholesalers.  Good Luck!
  • BeckyBecky Posts: 1subscriber
    Craig...thanks for your insight and comments.  It is interesting how things happen...
  • agelguyagelguy Posts: 1subscriber
    kk`;`;`;`
    agelguy8/18/2008 5:46 AM
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