If you’ve been daydreaming of opening your own business, now could be an ideal time. Thanks to modern technologies such as online store platforms and mobile apps, the journey to entrepreneurship could be within your reach. Online shopping, also known as e-commerce, is the future of business. If you have an idea for a product or service you’d like to offer, e-commerce could be the key to getting your business off the ground.
Here are some ways you can harness the power of technology to get started.
Operations On the Go
Today’s entrepreneurs are constantly on the go. Thanks to wireless internet and streaming data, you may find yourself working from just about anywhere. Whether you’re meeting with a client or taking a subway train back home after a long day, you’ll need a way to stay connected and keep tabs on your business operations.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can help you make the most of your day, even when you’re out of the office or traveling. Rather than investing in a desktop computer, which you can’t take with you on the go, consider purchasing a mobile device instead.
For example, the new Apple iPad is one option that brings the power of a computer in a portable, lightweight device. If you’re more of an Android fan, you can get similar capabilities in the high-powered Samsung Galaxy S4. Both tablets are perfect choices, whether you need to invoice clients, check email, or review documents.
To make the most out of your new device, download the best business apps that can take your productivity to the next level. Tablet-friendly apps help you manage your business from anywhere. Workflowy, for instance, is a project management and collaboration app that helps you stay organized. You can take meeting notes, create to-do lists, outline projects, and easily expand, collapse, or move items from Android and Apple devices.
Instead of scrolling through project spreadsheets, which can be difficult to read on a tablet, consider signing up for an app like AirTable. The company’s tablet app presents your data in touch-friendly cards on tablets, or in spreadsheets when you’re viewing from a laptop or desktop computer. You’ll have the flexibility to see the data you need in the most readable format.
When it comes to starting your own online store, your website platform is everything. You’ll have a couple of different options to choose from, including “turnkey” platforms or a custom-coded online store solution. Here are the pros and cons of each:
- Turnkey platforms simplify e-commerce by handling the little details for you, such as coding, hosting, and credit card security. However, they’re harder to customize and more expensive in the long-term.
- Custom-coded solutions give you full control over your site and can be less expensive in the long run. However, they require more money up front because you’ll need to hire a professional web developer who specializes in e-commerce.
Weigh your options carefully because this crucial decision will impact the success of your e-commerce business. Consider your business model, goals, budget, and your unique needs. By doing some research before making your decision, you’ll feel confident in knowing you’ve chosen the best possible platform for your situation.
When it comes to setting up your online store, follow these best practices:
- Have a professional site that clearly explains what you do. Keep your navigation clean, engaging, and clearly labeled.
- Never “steal” images. Because Google Image searches contain copyrighted imagery, find your site photos on reputable stock image sites like Pixabay or Shutterstock.
- Do your research. You’ll be responsible for several crucial decisions as a business owner. From analyzing the competition to choosing a website platform, always do your homework before making a choice.
When opening your first business, you may not know where to start. Begin with educating yourself about e-commerce and the different options available to you, like turnkey platforms or custom-coded sites. Read advice, articles, and tutorials. Before making a decision, consider product reviews and testimonials. With the right tech, you can set your business up for success.