process for ecommerce business?

1: Choose your business model

Will you be selling products or services? Do you want to sell to other businesses or to consumers?

2: Research

Who are your competitors? What will make your product/service stand out from them? Who are you aiming your product/service at? These are all questions you need to consider before moving on to the next stage.

3: Select your value delivery method

The logistics. Here you will need to think about how you are going to source, store, brand, package and deliver your products. If you offer a service, think about how you are going to deliver this service to your desired customer.

4: Write an ecommerce business plan

A business plan should include your mission and objectives; it should outline exactly what you plan to do, and how you will achieve it. Remember to set yourself realistic goals.

If you’re unsure of where to start download a free business plan template from websites like Forbes.

5: Choose a legal status for your business

You need to set up your business. Your options are:

• Sole trader (you’re responsible for all profits and all losses)

• Partnership (you’ll share management and profits with one or more people)

• Limited liability partnership (an incorporated partnership which is a separate legal entity)

• Limited company (a private company in which shareholder assets are protected, and shareholder liability to the company’s creditors is limited by the extent to which they invested)

If this legal jargon leaves you scratching your head, please feel free to pick up the phone and give us a call on 0117 435 4350; we are more than happy to advise.

6: Choose your business name

This is the fun part – choosing a business name. We suggest creating a logo so your brand can be easily identified. Think about creating brand guidelines, with colours, fonts and styles. Create a logo that embodies your business’s values and offerings.

7: Build your online shop

A very important stage. This is to where you are leading potential customers. Use an ecommerce website builder such as Wix or Shopify – it’s a quick, easy, and cost-effective way of creating your site.

Bear in mind, consumers form impressions in mere seconds. Hence, ensure your website is free from clutter, visually engaging with ample graphics, and simple to navigate.

8: Set up for payments

The next step is to set up a merchant account so your website can accept card payments. This is where funds go to be cleared and verified before they’re deposited into your business account. Either talk to your bank for advice or search for a merchant services company.

9: Market your ecommerce business

Now you’re all set up you need your audience to know who you are and what you have to offer. Think about setting up social media accounts, starting a blog, building up an email database, advertising or setting up a Google ads campaign

Document required for e-commerece business

Starting an e-commerce business involves several steps, and the documentation required may vary depending on your location, business model, and industry regulations. Here’s a general guide to the essential documents you might need for an e-commerce business, but it’s important to consult with legal and business professionals to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations:

  1. Business Plan:
    • Outline your business goals, target market, products or services, marketing strategy, and financial projections.
  2. Legal Structure Documentation:
    • Depending on your location, you may need to register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Provide the necessary documentation such as articles of incorporation or registration.
  3. Business License:
    • Obtain the required business licenses and permits for your location. This may include a general business license and any specific licenses related to your industry.
  4. Tax Identification Number:
    • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the tax authorities.
  5. Domain Name Registration:
    • Register your business domain name for your e-commerce website. Keep documentation of the registration.
  6. Website Terms of Service and Privacy Policy:
    • Draft legal documents that outline the terms and conditions for using your website, as well as how customer data is collected, stored, and used.
  7. Product Descriptions and Policies:
    • Clearly outline product descriptions, pricing, shipping policies, and return/refund policies on your website.
  8. Payment Gateway Documentation:
    • If you’re using a third-party payment gateway, provide the necessary documentation and agreements.
  9. SSL Certificate:
    • Ensure your website has a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to secure online transactions.
  10. Inventory Records:
    • Keep detailed records of your inventory, including product descriptions, quantities, and suppliers.
  11. Customer Agreements:
    • Draft agreements that govern the relationship between your business and customers. This may include terms and conditions of sale.
  12. Intellectual Property Documentation:
    • If you have trademarks, patents, or copyrights, provide documentation to protect your intellectual property.
  13. Insurance Policies:
    • Obtain appropriate business insurance coverage, such as general liability insurance and product liability insurance.
  14. Employee Agreements (if applicable):
    • If you have employees, create employment contracts outlining terms and conditions of employment.
  15. Marketing and Advertising Documents:
    • Ensure compliance with advertising laws and document your marketing strategies.
  16. Record Keeping System:
    • Implement a system for maintaining financial records, invoices, and other important documentation.
  17. Compliance Documents:
    • Ensure compliance with data protection laws, consumer protection laws, and any other relevant regulations in your industry.
  18. Dispute Resolution Procedures:
    • Establish procedures for handling customer complaints and disputes.


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