Thanks to technological advances, the world’s entrepreneurs can find success and start a successful online business anywhere.
Although San Francisco continues to be a tech hub thanks to its close proximity to Silicon Valley.
The truth is that innovation can happen anywhere.
Even in the most rural towns, aspiring entrepreneurs are opening online shops.
It’s no wonder, then, that Forbes predicts the next wave of startup businesses will be based in middle America.
If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, here are some online tools to help you
reach a broad audience of customers:
The first rule of running an online business is simple: Give customers a way to purchase your
goods over the Internet.
Even if you have a local brick-and-mortar shop, you can reach more people with an online store.
Luckily, with so many options available these days, selling your goods online has never been easier.
For instance, you might launch your own e-commerce website, complete with a shopping cart feature that accepts credit card payments.
To provide your potential customers with even more options and convenient ways to pay, you could also sell your products on additional shopping sites and other platforms.
One unique way to sell online is through Rakuten’s exclusive merchant program.
Because Rakuten has connections with trusted national brands, your business could potentially reach millions of customers.
Their accounts team is always ready to help if you have questions or need any support.
If you’re selling services, such as graphic design or website development, then you won’t have
to worry about shipping costs.
For any business selling physical goods, however, packaging and shipping are essential considerations.
First, you’ll need sturdy, professional packaging that will get your products safely to their destination.
Ideally, your packaging should include your business logo or brand details.
According to Shopify, packaging inserts are an affordable way to add branding to your package.
As an extra bonus, you can use the inserts to cross-promote other products or thank customers with a special discount, increasing loyalty and retention.
Shipping costs can also add up for many businesses, which is why The Balance Small Business recommends negotiating your rates with the shipping provider.
Especially if you’re sending lots of packages each month, “small business shipping rates can be negotiated.”
Some entrepreneurs opt for dropshipping, a newer business model that eliminates the need to
With dropshipping, customers purchase items from your website that are stored at a third-party supplier.
After receiving payment, you direct the supplier to mail the products to the customer.
According to Entrepreneur.com, the key to a successful dropshipping business is to find the
If you choose an overseas supplier, read testimonials and find a responsive, communicative supplier you can trust.
Ask questions before hiring a supplier to make sure they meet your needs and can support your business as you grow.
Remember, even though you’re running an online business, you’ll still need to take the same
steps as any other company.
Write a business plan.
Get proper licensing.
Hire a CPA and a business attorney.
If you’ve never run a business before, these steps may sound daunting.
Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone.
By harnessing the power of the Internet, you can sell your products and services to anyone, anywhere—regardless of where you live.
If you’re interested in opening your own online store, start with a solid business plan and a web site.
Consider branching out to online merchants, marketplaces, and niche platforms.
Remember, the strategic decisions that you make today will help your business scale and grow in the long term.
By David Dixon
Rural Money Resource: You can’t run your business without a properly functioning website. IncomeActivator.com provides the world’s best all-inclusive revenue websites for any size business.