This is a post in a series of four detailing how you can start a business during a recession (find them all eventually under the startup innovation tag). I think it is a commonly held view that we are about to enter into or are already in a recession. For whatever reason you are thinking about starting a business at this time, I am helping a startup on a similar path and thought I would share what I am thinking about to help them (more on my mentoring here). The focus in this series is the really early stages prior to launch and the emphasis is on how to do things on the cheap ;)
Assuming all has gone well in preparation for launch, one of the main things that you will presumably be doing at time of launch is selling your product or service. Whether it’s free, freemium, includes trials or fully paid for, at some point you will want to consider the transfer of a product or service and the beginning of a relationship with a customer or user. Well, you will need to consider the best way to sell and distribute your product/service and the best way to amplify that. You may want to consider doing it on a test basis before full blown launch but however you do it, you need to consider a few things.
There are so many factors to consider when selling something online that it would be impossible to consider them all in a short post.
It depends on whether you have a single product or multiple, product and/or service, physical and/or digital, fixed price and/or subscription, etc. And this is only the beginning.
In conclusion, you should consider a platform that is flexible. One such platform is WooCommerce although there are many others. It comes from the developers of WordPress and is free for the most part with the possibility of buying addons.
So many options to think about in this area too, but it’s crucial as it could make or break your business.
And there are similar dependencies. If you sell software or digital downloads, you will have far fewer challenges. If you sell physical products and these are complex and require installation, then so much the more challenging.
An obvious option is to go Direct to Consumer and learn what many established firms are. Or if your product suits it (like printed t-shirts), go on demand and integrate order and delivery into your site. Most attractive is the new trend in Dropshipping, where you commission suppliers to ‘drop’ shipments to your customers’ doorsteps on your behalf.
Bonus Tool/Service: Themes
You want your site to look cool and attractive and you don’t have the time or money to pay for a designer – start with a theme.
As you can see from the screenshot above and the link in the button below, WooCoomerce comes with a theme directory you can choose from.
There are many more choices than this as well. For instance, you could consider Divi or Elementor, both produce website building platforms dedicated to WordPress and offer themes that are focused on eCommerce. These would make it super easy for a non-technical person to customise a theme without having to start from scratch.