In this day and age we are what you may call people on the go. A better description would be people who have so much to do with so little time. We prefer everything to be at our fingertips—we have drive through banking and drive through laundry. At the same time most of us do our business online—from buying airline tickets, paying bills, to even buying groceries.

To cash in on this trend, having an online store is a good business plan to have. An online store allows you to sell to people you would otherwise not reach. At the same time it gives people the ability to purchase from you with ease and convenience—you’re just a click away.

However, know that you are not the only one with an online store. Competitors abound which may cause your revenues, let alone profits, to be less than expected. In fact, you may even suffer losses from your endeavor. If you are really gung ho about setting one up, here are a few things to prepare when you’re starting an online store.

First, have in mind the kind of shop you will be opening up especially the niche market you will be in. Think of something that you are passionate about and at the same time people would want to buy from you. Be enthusiastic, as it will give you the endurance and perseverance to go on, especially when your business is not doing well.

If you’re just starting out, do not expect things to go right the first, the second, or even the third time. In business, always expect the unexpected. Once you have your idea, the second thing you need is to have your shop’s own website for people to visit and transact business from.

When creating a budget for your online store make sure it covers things such as the domain name registration, webhosting, web page design, the software that allows people to browse and order items, and other related activities. Third, look for suppliers for the items that you showcase in your storefront that can not only supply you with quality goods but can deliver your customer’s orders on time.

Some suppliers would be happy to take care of both supply and distribution—meaning they will not only have the product but will deliver it as well. Check on their turn-around time when processing orders. While having quality goods is a must, but so is on-time delivery. Anything less would detract from your goodwill—people would not buy from you if you not only sell sub-standard quality items but also have late delivery.

If you build on your credibility of selling quality items on time, your online store should prosper. Fourth, even if your supplier will deliver your customer’s orders, still have a physical location to store at least some inventory to cover demand surges for a given period of time. Don’t overstock as it would not only require a bigger space but also your capital would be tied up in the inventory which you may not be able to turn to liquid cash quickly.

On the other hand, don’t under-stock—doing so may prevent you from meeting the surge in demand. Have at least a working knowledge on inventory management. If you have to do the delivery yourself find a courier service that has a good on-time-delivery record. They may have bulk rates which would make it cheaper for you in the long run.

Finally, make sure you have a good online shopping cart. If your customers find it hard time to place their orders they would rather go somewhere else. Remember, the reason customers shop in an online store is for the convenience. You won’t cover everything when you start your online store.

Just be prepared and be flexible when the unexpected happens.

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article, Menno Spijkstra, is an underground Internet Marketer who has been successful in selling products online for many years. Discover how Menno increased his sales using his very own Copywriting Manual.