Category Archives: Websites

Ready to start an online store?

With all the news about people making a ton of money online, many aspiring entrepreneurs are excited at the prospect of starting an ecommerce store. However, many people don’t think through all the things that they need to consider before they even start the process of building an ecommerce site.

Here are eight things to consider before starting an online store.

1. What Products Are You Going to Sell?

One of the most important decisions is determining which products you will sell on your online store. Your best bet is to start small – with a few select products that are based around a specific niche, i.e. breastfeeding products, scuba diving gear, hiking products, travel gadgets, hemp products, etc. Start with a handful of products in that niche – you can always add more products to your store as you grow. Check out your competition and see who you’re up against.

Be sure to pick a niche that you’re personally interested in. If you’re not interested in what you’re selling, you will quickly lose your passion.

Also, look for unique products that can’t be bought at Target, Walmart or other big brand stores — you will never be able to compete with them on price or promotion.

For instance, when I had an ecommerce site, I searched for mom- or parent-invented products that weren’t available through mass market stores. Plus, these types of product manufacturers are typically more willing to work with you on terms and drop shipping (which we will talk about in a little bit.) You can also look for innovative products to sell on crowdfunding sources like Indiegogo or Kickstarter.

When you determine which niche products you’re going to sell, see if there are industry associations, trade websites or magazines. If so, join, follow and subscribe. Also, if there are product tradeshows around your product niche, attend these trade shows to discover new products, speak with the manufacturer reps directly and learn more about the industry in general. Often at the tradeshows you will be able to negotiate better pricing or drop shipping arrangements – especially if the manufacturer is launching a new product and they’re looking for new distributors.  Continue reading

3 Easy Ways to Up Your Google Analytics Game

Being able to make data-driven decisions on customer data in real time should be every business’s goal. As businesses collect data from their websites, digital analytics can give them the power to transform that data into useful knowledge they can act on.

When digital analytics is done right, it will help you and your organization improve online marketing effectiveness, generate new customer insights, drive revenue and ultimately make better business decisions.

But getting there is hard.  By now, you may have heard of Google Analytics (GA) and hopefully, you have a GA account set up for your small business. Google Analytics is a great resource for small businesses because it’s free and easy to get started. But just because you are collecting data does not mean that the data is ready to inform your business decisions.

Continue reading

Ask SCORE | How can I make business blogging more manageable?

According to Hubspot, B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t. Also, companies who provide relevant content in their blogs get 97% more links to their websites because readers share it.

These seem like very strong incentives to start and maintain a business blog.

Blogging can be an important part of a small business content marketing strategy. It can help you by increasing your online authority, building trust and credibility as readers see your expertise and knowledge of your industry.

It can also improve your chances of ranking better in online searches. Websites that generate new content regularly are favored over those that do not.  Continue reading

Should you design your own small business website?

website concept diagram hand drawing on tablet pc

If you’re starting a new business, you can quickly get caught up in developing the visual aspects of your concepts. Branding and having a web presence are important (and exciting!), and there are thousands of designers out there who have created beautiful products for their clients.

But do you need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a web design made from scratch? If you’re bootstrapping, that kind of investment might be out of the question right away.

If you’re not sure if you should spend money on a web designer or DIY, think about these three situations where doing it yourself could be a great option.  Continue reading

Content Management: How to get started on your website or blog.

written by the SBA

Content is king in this day and age.

Getting started can be overwhelming with the sheer number of options that are out there. People increasingly look for do-it-yourself alternatives to avoid hiring expensive designers to develop custom websites. The great news for small business owners is that affordable options are not only increasing in quantity, but in quality. You can build a website and blog for your business that look great, are easy to use, and don’t cost and arm and a leg.  Continue reading