The digital world offers many chances and opportunities for entrepreneurs. For example in the form of a webshop. Such an online store can be very lucrative. In addition, starting is fairly easy and low-threshold. In principle, everyone can start a webshop from their lazy chair. Yet there are a number of things to keep in mind if you really want to be successful. Although the preparation of a business plan is not a requirement, it can certainly help you to get the best out of your company. How exactly is that? You can read that here.
Care for focus. With or without a business plan
Making a business plan is not an end in itself. It is a means to focus on. Are you already very structured out of yourself? Then chances are that you have already prepared your business plan. Are you not? Then it is advisable to make a webshop business plan. Without focus, you are not able to easily differ between main and side issues and that is bad for your company. Whether or not you start with a business plan, the 5 aspects below certainly deserve your attention when you start a webshop.
1. Get to know your target group
Many people start a webshop from their own hobby or interest. Think of a webshop with special comic books or an online store with handmade jewelry. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but it is also important to think from your customers: Who are they? What do they want? How can you best reach them? In short, get to know your target group. The better you understand your customers, the faster your webshop will grow. In doing so, avoid making assumptions based on your own experiences as a customer. You do this by carrying out objective analyzes. For example in the form of surveys and market research.
2. Analyze the competition
In addition to your customers, as an entrepreneur you naturally also want to know who your competitors are. Mapping your competitors is not for nothing an important part of any business plan. By looking at what differentiates you from your competitors, you gather valuable information. Information that you can use later for the promotion of your own webshop. You can also learn from the successes and mistakes of your competitors, so that you no longer have to invent the wheel yourself.
3. Follow the digital trends and developments
Perhaps you have a lot of knowledge about children’s clothing, Italian wine or wooden furniture, but do you know what the digital trends and developments are? Which technical requirements your webshop has to meet? How do you ensure good online security? How to generate more traffic to your website? The digital world is changing rapidly. So fast that you actually have to look three steps ahead. For example, more and more people shop on their smartphone or tablet. If your web shop is not mobile optimized and does not work well on mobile devices, this is a missed opportunity. In order to build a successful webshop, it is therefore wise to delve into digital trends and developments. Or to use external expertise.
4. Determine the ideal online marketing strategy
Where you can entice customers with a beautiful shop window at a physical store, you will need online promotion for your webshop. This involves, among other things, analyzing the search behavior of your customers. Which products are sought after? Which keywords are used? How did your customers end up on your webshop? For example via a search engine, social media or other websites. This is crucial information on the basis of which you can determine which online marketing strategy fits best with your web shop and which tools you will use.
5. Do not forget the financial picture
Of course, the earnings model should not be missing. If you use a business plan, the financial picture will be discussed anyway. But even if you decide to start without a business plan, it is wise to pay attention to the figures. Even if it was only to set realistic goals for yourself and to calculate the costs for web hosting, promotion, payment traffic and logistics. That way you know exactly what you have to convert to make a profit and where you could possibly save. With a good financial overview you keep a grip on your webshop.
If necessary, enable a helpline
As with so many things, also when starting a webshop: focus on what you are good at and, where necessary, turn on the help and knowledge of others. This may apply, for example, to building your webshop, but also to writing your business plan. Many starting entrepreneurs find this a waste of their money and just start with the thought ‘I’ll see where I’ll come out’. If you know, however, that half of all starting webshops have already stopped within a year, then you will understand why good preparation is so important. With a little help you will be so much better prepared and will not go under before you even started.