How Opening Your Own Online Store From Home Can Change Everything

By Victoria Kelley

by ELYSIAN Magazine

Creating a side hustle can be about more than merely generating passive income. Of course, the extra income is important with everything going on in the world, but it can go much deeper than that. It can spark something inside you that builds confidence and growth. 

Everyone has a niche, to your favorite artist or the smallest homemade hacks that make your life easier. Selling these products from the comfort of your home can change your life more than expected. The e-commerce industry has skyrocketed over the years, and more products and DIYs are out there to be sold and purchased. 

When I decided to invest in myself, it was essential to understand my niche, what I was already good at and what I could get even better at. That structure has allowed me to move through the various steps on starting a business for myself, and what has led me to success. Without asking these questions I may not have been able to create a strong foundation to look upon while starting my business, as well as preparing myself for what was to come. 


Research the Market: Find Your Perfect Product

When starting your online store, the question is: What do you sell? It can be as simple as selling the small DIY you made for a wedding or your best friend’s birthday party. It can be as creative as selling a few specialty graphics, if design is your thing. Figuring out what product to sell can be easier than you think. Look at your strengths and your weaknesses in order to be prepared. 

Looking at your own skills and creativity sets each e-commerce seller apart. No two people are alike, and neither are businesses, and the individuality in each product has allowed so many to grow their online businesses. Also, question your opportunities and threats. Were you able to find a way to sell your product at a different price that sets you apart from others? Are you entering a market with items that can easily be found in your local stores? If you know you will buy the product you have come up with, then you have the product you already believe in. Always believe in your product.


Research Your Competition & Set a Marketing Strategy

Now that you have found what you aim to sell, it is time to brand yourself. One of the most important parts of starting a business is ensuring that your personal brand will set you apart from others. Having a solid personal brand can create a connection with your customers. Social media has made marketing on your own easier than ever. It has also made scouting competitors easy. For instance, looking for the item in your TikTok search bar can help you to decide how to be different. Additionally, time spent looking on Instagram can be centered on scrolling through hashtags and related profiles to note what you can be doing differently. 


Shipping Strategies 

While running a business out of your home, you must ensure the shipping logistics are aligned. There are an overwhelming amount of shipping carriers and outlets to go through for your product, and it is vital to research which one fulfills your needs with the best margins. 

Choosing your shipping rates can seem daunting as it can turn the customer away, but it is crucial to ensure your shipping rates do not cut into your profits, yet are low enough that your customer will not go elsewhere. Packaging can also be a bit overwhelming, especially when you want to make a good impression on your customers. Still, it is important to choose packaging you are comfortable with that speaks for your brand. Make sure to consider the product weight and size to have a baseline for your product. 

Invest in a good shipping company you can trust, whether USPS or UPS; they are the final bridge separating you from your customer. Don’t overthink your packaging, however, because it is your product that will speak for itself.


Launch Your Brand with Different Strategies

Don’t be afraid to research the ins-and-outs of your online presence. The notion of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may be a scary thought initially, but using tools to figure out how to make your Google presence and that of other search engines stronger, even before beginning, can help you start with a strong presence immediately. Researching before you begin is a vital step to ensure you know what you are investing your time and effort in. It is better to be prepared for all things starting a business before truly diving in rather than after. 


Understand the Cons to Starting an Online Business

Investing in yourself can be a scary decision at first, and ensuring that you are fully aware of what is to be done before starting can set you up for success. Utilizing the various resources available will allow you to understand if this is a venture worth doing. 

Starting a side hustle in 2023 may feel like it is over-glamorized, so reflecting within yourself, and deciding whether it is something worth doing is, above all, the most important. Remember, this “side hustle” doesn’t have to be an online store, according to expert Rachel Ngom, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Pinterest,” who quickly propelled her status to elite entrepreneur, having started an online course on how to monetize one’s brand through the platform.

“Don’t start an online store in 2023, the profit margins are awful,” Ngom said. “The information space is way more lucrative!”

Rather than be afraid of what happens, I recommend being in a position to believe in all the reasons why you even wanted to start a business – even questioning if you are ready to invest in yourself. This is already more than others are doing and puts you one step ahead of them.

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