Step 1: Find what you want to sell

The first thing you want to do is find out what you will be selling. Until you do this, you probably can not do anything else. As well, this may seem like a small step to some, but this is probably the biggest decision you can make when getting into ecommerce business. There are a wide variety of products that will not sell online for various reasons. Perhaps the market is too crowded, perhaps it would be too expensive to ship to online customers so they can get far better pricing at local retailers, or maybe it is not a product that people are going to look for. This is just a few things that could keep a product for selling. You need to be realistic with yourself and determine whether your product that you have in mind is a product that you would consider buying.

Step 2: Become a legal entity

This could really be something you do before step one or simultaneously, but I placed it here because most people will drop the idea of selling online before they ever complete their product research. So to save you money, I would encourage you to take your time with the research and really evaluate whether you want to sell online or not before making the leap to invest in becoming a legal entity. Generally, this can be done by simply retrieving a DBA from your state. If you are unsure of exactly where to go or how to do it, you might use a service such as to obtain a sales tax ID. This sales tax ID is what allows you to work with real wholesalers for wholesale pricing. If they are not asking for a sales tax ID, then they probably are not truly a wholesaler. This is a good way to sort the bad ones from the good ones.

Step 3: Begin the development of your website

There are numerous ways to go about this, but below I have some smaller individual steps that might help you if you are unsure the route to go.

1. Obtain a domain name (example:

2. Evaluate other websites you like so you know what direction you want to go

3. Either find shopping cart software that you like, or find a developer to develop what you have in mind.

4. Ensure that your website is easy to manage before you have your website go live.
The presence and clarity of your website is going to be very important. You are a small business, but the great thing about being online is that you certainly do not have to portray yourself as such. Some of the most successful online websites today started out as one or maybe two people and grew, many still are that way. You would not know it because their website looks professional and it is easy to use. I would encourage you to read more about what makes a good website, or rely on a professional to give you advice. A good way to find out what you are looking for is to look at other websites and determine what you do and do not like about them. Make sure the developer(s) are aware of these to ensure you get exactly what you want.

Step 4: Market your website

This is going to be a key on whether you succeed or not. The life of internet websites is not a “build it and they will come” model. When your website is released, no one knows who you are. Even the search engines will be skeptical about sending traffic your way at first. You probably will not be at the top of Google if someone searches for the product you are selling. Marketing is the only way to change this and there are several avenues you can take. You can advertise on other websites that are related to yours. For example, if you are selling telephones for people who are hard of hearing, you might advertise your telephones on a website that deals with a loss of hearing in someway or another.

If you are marketing your website properly, you should be well on your way to several sales online and a successful business. Good luck!