Steps for Starting Out Online
Starting a business online is a bit different than setting up one offline. Online businesses typically have lower startup costs which makes them an attractive option for hobby-based business which is often a tricky business venture to pursue. Follow these steps on how to start up an online scrapbooking shop.
Get a website with merchant account. These are easier to get nowadays since more businesses are online than ever before. A few decades ago, getting a website required taking programming classes and writing the code yourself or hiring someone to do it. There are many websites that offer attractive packages on commercial websites along with online merchant accounts which would allow you to process orders with credit cards. Among the most popular merchant accounts are Paypal and Merchant Express. Commercial website hosts include Yahoo and GoDaddy.
Set up an email address, toll-free number. A successful business has great customer service, so having contact information is essential. If operating the business from inside of your home, you must have different phone and email service that are not for your personal use. Most website hosting packages come with a domain name email address so that you can have your email as: email@example.com. Visit Ring Central (http://www.ringcentral.com) or Freedom Voice (http://www.freedomvoice.com) for options and plans.
Set up reliable shipping accounts. An online business depends mainly on shipping products to its customers instead of customers buying the products in a store. A reliable shipper is essential to offering top-notch product delivery that customers can rely on. In the online business arena, unreliable is definitely a turnoff and will drive customers away every time.
Research online sales tax (by state). Research sales tax requirements according to the state where the business operates. Different states have many different requirements. Some states don't charge any sales taxes, others do while still others only charge sales tax on certain items. Check with your state's Chamber of Commerce about online sales.