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One of the ways to become an online entrepreneur is to set up your own online store. An online store has many benefits over a physical store front, including 24 hours of operation, automated customer service, easy to showcase your products, and simple to maintain. Whether you’re creating your own products or acting as a reseller, an online store front can be a great way to generate passive income now. It’s relatively easy to set up your online store: Decide what you want to sell: You should choose your products before setting up shop, just like with a brick and mortar store.

What will your inventory consist of? Will you be making these products or selling from another manufacturer? It’s your store so it’s your decision. Choose your target demographic wisely and carry products that they are interested in. Decide on prices: Do some market research. What are these items going for elsewhere? How much is your competitor selling the products for? Will you be able to make a profit? Deciding on your prices before setting up your online store is crucial, as you may find it’s going to cost you more than you’ll earn. Buy a domain, find hosting and choose a web software: First, you’ll need a website. The website should be the same name as your store. Look and see if the website name is available and purchase it.

You can buy domains from several websites, but the most popular is GoDaddy. You can’t have a website if you have no place to host it. There’s plenty of hosting companies to choose from. I host all of my websites with JustHost which is affordable and the customer service is awesome. I’ve been with them for over a year and have experienced no problems with them. Then, you’ll find a web software to set up your store. There are also many softwares to choose, but one you can’t go wrong with is WordPress. Choose a design: If you’re not a web designer, obviously this will be the most difficult part. You can either hire a web designer to make a completely custom online store, or choose a professional looking template and customize it. You can find very nice WordPress e-commerce templates around the web.

Don’t forget to have a custom logo designed; branding is everything. Take great pictures: A picture is truly worth a thousand words, and a product that photographs well sells well. You can do this yourself by finding a blank background, take the photos with your digital camera under decent lighting, and uploading the photos to your site. Or, you can find a photographer to take the pictures for you. These pictures will showcase your products on your online store. Prepare the back end: You’ll want your online store to be smooth and functional. Make sure your shopping cart/bag works, test the checkout experience, and set up some automated e-mails to notify you when someone makes a sale, when their items have been shipped, and a thank you e-mail. Make sure all these things are up and running before your site goes live. Market and advertise: Notify top bloggers in your store’s niche that your online store is live. Set up social media profiles and do marketing and advertising everywhere. Your store can be wonderful but if no one knows about it, you won’t get any sales.

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