If you’re thinking about starting a product-based or eCommerce business, and regardless of whether you’re creating your own products or reselling others – ideally, you need to start getting the sales in fast.
After all, the quicker you can start generating some income, the quicker you can expand and grow – and create a profitable business.
The trap many new business owners fall into though – is thinking that they have to wait until they have ALL their products perfected and sorted, before launching anything.
Which means they can be working for months and months on developing or sourcing products, before starting to build the profile of their brand, before building their websites and before they even earn any money.
Meaning they’re already starting well behind the eight ball – and potentially putting themselves at risk by investing heavily upfront before they even know if their ideas and brand will work.
Because really – you only have to have ONE product to start an eCommerce website.
And in reality – you can start promoting or pre-selling products, before they even land in your hot little hands.
You don’t need to wait until you have 25 products at the ready. Nor 100.
You just need to start selling what you already have, right now. As soon as you can.
If you have one product ready to go – start selling that. That way, you can start testing the market with that one product – which might help guide you on future products or future improvements. Then, add another product – start selling and testing that one.
This approach is much, much smarter.
So, here’s how I would go about getting a brand-new product-based business up and running, as quicky as possible and generating cash – so you can earn and test the market, as you grow.
Here are the main steps:
- Build a professional eCommerce website
- Upload your (initial) products
- Build a basic Facebook presence
- Add more products over time
- Move on to more advanced tactics.
1. Start with a solid, professional-looking (but simple) website
These days, setting up an eCommerce website isn’t anywhere near as difficult as it used to be.
With fully cloud-hosted platforms, all the functionality you need to sell online, is already created and at your fingertips. You simply sign up to the platform, choose a design template, enter in payment and shipping settings, upload your products and start selling.
With all this easy peasy technology available though, it never ceases to amaze me just how many terrible eCommerce websites there are out there.
Please make sure you start your website RIGHT. You need a professional-looking precense before ANYBODY will take any serious notice of you.
Very simply – amateurish designs will put people off. They won’t trust your website if it looks like your 5 year old child built it.
My favourite platform is BigCommerce.
Simply sign up to the platform – and your new website is at your fingertips.
They have a great range of templates, both free and paid (at affordable prices – like $200ish!) that you can use as your base design – and then you simply customise it by uploading your logo and changing the colours to suit your branding, etc.
Using a professionally designed template will give you that professional-looking site without any hassle or great expense. And it will prevent you from ending up with an amateurish-looking design that will put customers off. In fact – these templates are optimised for both SEO and Conversions – so you can start getting results from the get-go. (Smart, right?)
And once you have your design, you simply upload your products, set up your categories and decide what shipping and payment options to provide.
BigCommerce also offers great integrations for marketing and can feed your product data into Facebook, Ebay and Amazon if you need it to – making it much easier to keep track of inventory across multiple platforms.
The only down-sides to using a platform like BigCommerce – is that they own your website design and assets. So, if you wanted to move your website to something more flexible like WordPress/WooCommerce later on – you would have to basically start over with your design. But there isn’t necessarily a need to do this (many 6 and 7 figure businesses use this platform) – or if you do feel the need, chances are, you’ll have the money at that point to invest in that.
But if you’re keen to get up and running quickly – and selling quickly – with super easy order management – BigCommerce is perfect.
2. Upload your (initial) product catalogue
Start by adding your initial products that you have available, right now.
If that’s one product – or five – or 10 – it doesn’t matter.
Start with what you can – and as mentioned – add more products as they become available.
Pay attention though to how you NAME your products.
Along with the descriptions you use.
Always focus on outcomes and benefits for your intended customer – not just list their technical specs.
And dig as deep as you can into the emotional benefits of what you sell. If you’re selling a pair of flattering jeans – tell your customer how it will smooth their bumps and make them look sexier. Don’t just tell them the material and shade of denim they come in.
Emotions sell a product or service – facts and logic justify a purchasing decision.
3. Start building a profile on Facebook
Once you have your website up and running, with at least one product available to purchase (with a great product description!), you need to start building interest and driving traffic to your site.
The easiest and cheapest way to do this initially, is by creating a business Facebook page and getting people to follow it.
To get followers – start by inviting friends and family to ‘Like’ it. Then, share it to relevant Facebook groups.
And while you do that – start posting some interesting content on your page.
Your posts might include:
- An introduction to the ethos and mission of your brand.
- An introduction to your product/s.
- Who you are as a business owner and person (make yourself friendly and approachable and unique!).
- How your shipping operates – how quick it is, what carriers you use, etc.
- How your website securely processes payment.
- How they can contact you with questions.
You might also want to start turning these posts into ‘blog posts’ that you post on your new website. Customers (and Google!) trust websites that keep posting regular content.
4. Add more products over time
Once you start selling your initial few products, you can continue to add more as you develop them or source them.
Then, you can focus on getting these to sell via your Facebook audience.
5. Move on to more advanced tactics
Once you’ve conquered the above, eventually, you might want to get more complex by using Facebook Ads and utilising other platforms such as Instagram or YouTube to drive more traffic and sales.
But I always recommend that you start with the basics.
Utilise Facebook groups, network with like-minded people, pull people back to your Facebook page, drive traffic to your website and start getting your products out there for free.
Then think about:
- Paid Ads
- Strategic Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- SEO Website Copywriting
- Design Optimisation
- Print Advertising
- Guest Blog Posts
- Influencer Marketing
How to get started with BigCommerce
It’s super easy to sign up with BigCommerce and start playing around with the platform.
They also offer a free two-week trial, so you can try before you commit.
And if you sign up using my link, right now, you can also get your first month free.
Their ‘Standard’ plan is a great place to start at just $29.95 US per month.
But if you can stretch, I highly recommend their ‘Plus’ plan at $79.95 US per month, as this gives you ‘abandoned cart’ functionality, which can really help increase your sales (as the money is always in the follow up!).
Here’s the link: https://bigcommerce.zfrcsk.net/c/1411826/169601/2941
(Disclaimer – this is an Affiliate link, but I only recommend this platform as I’ve used it to build my own 6-figure eCommerce business in a previous life and my husband still uses it successfully for his business. It’s by far the easiest platform to setup, use and manage – particularly if you’re non-techy.)
Clearly, this is a very quick and basic rundown as to how you might go about setting up a new eCommerce website and start driving sales as quickly as possible.
However, your results may vary, depending on your skillset and knowledge.
Your ability to design a nice-looking website will depend on your skills in that area. The templates give you a good base, but you will need to figure out how to customise it so it creates the right look for your brand. This might come easily to you – or it might not.
You’ll also need to know about how to ‘pitch’ your brand and your products in the form of Website Copywriting. Which is what I do. Because without the right copy, your ideal customers won’t connect with you or your brand, and if they don’t connect, there’s a jolly good chance they won’t buy.
You’ll also need to know how to articulate the right messages on Facebook, in order to pull your target customers in.
A lot of this may well take some professional input – so if you need help, reach out.
I offer basic BigCommerce setups starting at $997.
I can also help with copywriting and digital marketing.
Email me at email@example.com to enquire.