So many people have reached out to me and ask how I started my online boutique. I finally have time to write a post about this. This post will briefly go over the steps to open an online shop. Starting an online shop can be complicated if you don’t know where to begin. I’m sure you may be having doubtful thoughts about opening a shop, like wondering if you need to become a computer wiz or a website designer in order to begin or manage the shop well, questions about how costly opening a shop may be, wondering if you need professional help, or even doubts as to whether or not you will succeed. The list goes on.
I started with Sora Street Boutique in August 2018. It is a one mama show (I do everything myself). Sora Street Boutique is a small shop carrying primarily baby + kid + toddler clothes. We are all about affordable and trendy clothes for your little ones. Check us out by clicking on the picture below 😉
Enough advertising. Let’s get to the point!
- Think about what you are selling.
I’m sure you have in mind what you want to sell already. Imaging in your head if that is what you really want to do. Can you see yourself dedicating time and effort into the shop? Also, can you see your business being successful 10 years from now. Once you have an idea in your mind, you can start thinking up names for your business (think of a name that you really like and can live with) The next step is all legal documentation.
2. Register for Tax ID (EIN), Seller permit..
EIN or Tax ID is like the social security number for your business. You use this to pay your taxes to your state quarterly or yearly (depending on how much your income is).
Apply for a sellers permit, also known as a tax exemption. This license will allow you to buy from wholesalers or manufacturers without paying taxes. You will collect tax as you resell their products.
Note: Every state requires different laws. Check the law from your own state.
3. Open up a business bank account.
In order to open up a bank account, you will be required to present your business EIN number. I highly recommend to open up a business bank account. This will help separate from your personal money and your business money.
4. Set up your website
You can hire a professional to help you set up the website the way you want. I didn’t hire anyone since I didn’t have a large budget. I set up my website by myself. I use Shopify to run my website. Shopify is pretty user friendly and you are given the option to buy your own domain. So, I’m sure you will do great setting up your website without hiring a professional if you choose to do so.
5. Find wholesalers, or manufactures.
Do tons of research online to figure out where to buy from wholesalers or manufactures. You can also find and attend fashion trade shows to find wholesalers as well. Like how a magician can’t reveal his trick, I won’t be sharing where I get my products from. Trust me though, it took me 100s of hours of research for me to figure this one out.😬
Note: Most of wholesalers require you to provide your sellers permit and EIN number.
6. Social Media.
Create a business Instagram and Facebook account. Instagram plays a HUGE role in online business. SO, take advantage of this platform to find customers through that space. Remember, the Internet is a busy place; you can’t sit back and wait for customers to visit your website and make purchases. Look for ways to actively promote your business. This is probably the hardest part of owning a small online shop.
When you first open your shop, be prepared for the first few months of minimal sales. Don’t worry, because this is completely normal. Just don’t feel discourage. Building your business takes more than one day. It takes time and effort. But you got this! 👊🏻
That is pretty much it. Leave a comment if you have any questions. If you haven’t followed my blog yet make sure you do so. My next post soon will be about what you need for your online store supply list. Stay tuned! ❤️