Making the decision to start your own side hustle is the first step of your journey. The first few years of starting a business require a lot of work, but the long-term benefits are well worth the effort.
Here we explore some online tools that will help you build a budding ecommerce empire, but first, you must confirm that there's a market for your product.
Does Anybody Need This?
Before getting started, it’s important to find out if there’s a need for the product or service that you're selling. Whether it's a physical item like jewelry, a digital app, or a business service, you need to make sure there's a market for it. All the marketing in the world won't sell a product that nobody wants, so this step is vital.
Assessing the need for a product doesn't necessarily mean finding something that everybody in the world wants. If you're offering a niche product with limited buyers, you can corner the market by getting in early or providing a superior service. On the other hand, providing a highly desirable product at a discounted rate can be equally profitable.
There are several ways to determine the legitimacy of your business idea by doing market research and collecting customer feedback. Pitching the idea on platforms like Kickstarter or researching the success rate of similar products are simple ways to get started.
Building Your Digital Brand
Once you've confirmed that your business idea is worth pursuing, you need to get your brand out there. These days, it's easier than ever to create a winning brand with the wealth of powerful tools available online. Either outsource your logo design and branding to a third party or test your artistic skills with a tool like Canva. With this excellent online app, you can quickly put together logos, web content, social media posts, and promotional material.
Learning to design your own brand and marketing materials can save you money in the long run but remember: there are pros out there that have been doing this for years, so make sure you're up to the task!
Once you've got your branding done, you'll need to start hitting some inboxes. MailChimp is one of the most popular online marketing tools available, helping thousands of businesses worldwide to reach their target audience. The MailChimp platform allows you to organize all your contacts in one place, create email lists, develop social media ads, and fine-tune your marketing campaigns.
Embrace the Wealth of Online Tools Available
Once you’ve begun building your brand, automated certain marketing tasks, and focussed on growing your customer base, you can get started streamlining your business management. In addition to the above tools, you'll find several other apps online to help you on your way.
Slack is a professional messaging platform trusted by thousands of startups the world over. Available for free or in 3 paid packages from Pro to Enterprise, Slack provides a single point of contact for all your business connections.
For simple, consolidated project management in an attractive and collaborative fashion, you can't beat Trello. This Webby award-winning platform provides a digital Kanban-style tool that makes project management an enjoyable experience.
For more practical information about how to run a successful ecommerce side hustle, check out our first article in this series.