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4 May 2013

Starting an online shop, part 1: brain storming and research



You've got your idea. It’s a good one…in fact, in your head it’s pretty darn amazing. That’s great, now you really need to start thinking about your idea. Ask yourself these questions:

1) What is your idea? Yes, that’s an obvious question but it’s good to write it down and get yourself really thinking about it.

2) How will you create it? Do you have the materials? Do you need more training?

3) Target audience - who is the product/service etc aimed at?

4) Has it already been done? If so, how can you improve on those products already out there? Could you offer something personalised?

5) How are you going to fund this?

6) Where would you like to sell your product? Have you checked the rates, joining fees and small print of each marketplace? Write down the pros and cons for all those marketplace platforms and do a comparison, looking at what works for you now. 

7) Ask for feedback/tips/advice from sellers who are doing well. On this point, remember to write a polite yet friendly email. For starters, ensure you find out their name. There’s nothing worse as a seller getting emails where the sender clearly hasn’t bothered to find out your name or even introduce themselves or even sign off! It’s just plain rude and not at all professional. And remember; don’t ask them to tell you absolutely everything about selling online. It’s not that we won’t tell you, it’s more to do with lack of time. Whole books have been written on this topic, so one email just won’t cut it. If you can’t find answers to certain, burning questions by looking online or reading a book, approach a seller. Remember, you may not get an answer straight away or you may not get an answer at all. Don’t get disheartened at this. Chin up, move on and ask someone else.

This may seem like quite a bit of work and possibly a little boring but it’s essential and shows you’re serious about making a go of it. Plus, it will ensure there are no nasty surprises down the line because you've done your homework.

Now get that pen and paper out and start scribbling!

Happy brain storming and stay tuned for the next topic - Practice, Practice, Practice!

Jo :-) x

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