How to Start an Ecommerce Business from Home

So, you want to earn money by selling things online.

Whether you’re advertising someone’s product, sharing affiliate links, or building an entire online store that carries your own branded products, as long as you don’t want to use the traditional brick-and-mortar system, it is e-commerce.

In a world dominated by giants such as Amazon, the future of retail lies in online sales.

But what if you don’t have all the money, and can’t pay for product storage?

Does this mean that you should give up on your dream?

Have you ever considered using an unused garage as a place to store e-commerce goods?

What do companies like Hewlett-Packard, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Mattel have in common? They were all launched in garages. You can, too.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Choose your product

Many people get into e-commerce because they have great ideas they think will sell.

People want to start an online retail store, but they often get stuck at the first step: how to choose a product to sell online?

It is important that you find a guaranteed profitable idea for your product in a popular niche, otherwise, you may end up waiting months to break even.

When thinking of business ideas, it is best to develop ideas you have a personal flair for as you will have more fun selling the products. A better understanding of what you are selling will make it easy to gain a foothold in the market and have a convincing proposition for potential buyers.

Secure your domain name and website

Ideally, you’ll want to use your company name as a domain name, but if it’s not available, choose a URL that is easy to pronounce and spell.

Do not make it difficult for people to find your website online as this will only delay your e-commerce growth.

Also, bear in mind that designing an e-commerce site can be your biggest business effort, so you want to be sure that it is not only visually attractive but also functional.

There are many ready-made e-commerce solutions, such as Shopify, or content management systems like WordPress that you can create an online store with, but you may need something specially tailored if your requirements are more than basic.

Take security seriously

Security is a practical risk to consider, especially if you are storing inventory in your garage at home.

Contrary to popular belief, a garage is not very secure.

If you have a lot of inventory or valuable equipment in your garage, you need to think about ways to proactively prevent intrusion and protect your assets.

One way is to install a security system. A security system will serve as deterrents to even the most determined burglar, so even though it may cost you a bit more, your goods will be safe and secure. Another option is a secure garage door. A secure garage door will serve as a double deterrent, especially if you go for the modern ones that cannot be opened manually.

Stock your inventory

Always make sure you have enough products. Without knowing how much you may need, it can be difficult, but it’s generally better to have more inventory.

Note the increase in sales so that you can know how to adjust for future orders.

Plan for the future

Running a garage business is fine in the short term, but you need to consider the big picture.

If you plan to change your e-commerce startup into a profitable company with large sales goals, at some point you will have to move to a larger or better space.

As with any aspect of the business, it is prudent to set goals for one, three, and five years.

Where do you see your company? Does it make sense to scale to a larger space at some point?

The more specific your answer to these questions is, the more strategic your development will be.

Wrapping up

E-commerce is a great business model to run from home if you choose products carefully, have good marketing skills to sell products, and choose the right e-commerce platform.

Selling on eBay and Amazon is a great way to open an e-commerce store if you don’t want to create your own store.

If you don’t create a full-fledged e-commerce site and still want to sell your products and services from a new or existing site, you can add a free or paid shopping cart and payment gateway to your existing site to start accepting payments from customers.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.