In our self-storage business we are fortunate enough to have a great range of clients, using this self-storage for a whole range of purposes.
As we get to know each other, clients often share their hopes, dreams, and frustrations with us. We love this as it is part of our friendly philosophy, and we take time to hear them out.
What constantly encourages us is the number of new clients taking up storage for their business purposes. This despite the tough state of the economy, new ideas are always emerging. Many of these new businesses are online startups, where people bravely step out into the wide world of internet marketing to sell their products.
As entrepreneurs, their business models cleverly use our storage units as a base for stocking and distribution of products, which indirectly makes us their partners in business.
At Stop & Store Fareham, our findings are that this trend is growing at a rapid rate, and storage units play an important role in the online marketing.
Setting up an Online Business
We are very encouraged by the spirit of our community who, even in the face of retrenchments and furloughs, show a lot of initiative to start new businesses.
This is an ideal time to start an online business. You need a few important things, like a computer and an online connection, and of course a product to sell, as well as a lot of belief in yourself.
Many people we have spoken to have decided to turn their hobbies into a business. Some are graduating from selling at local markets to getting products out to a wider audience.
The good news is that not too much technical expertise is needed. Nowadays, all the tools are provided in user friendly format to anyone wishing to build an online business.
When your website is complete, it will form the foundation for your product offerings. From there it’s a matter of buying, making, storing, and shipping the products you will be selling.
What About Trending Products?
It may be that you don’t have a hobby that you can turn into a business. Finding the correct niche to sell in is critical to the success of an online business. Look at some of the categories that are trending right now to ensure that you are selling product that people want.
You have two options, firstly to sell someone else’s product (called dropshipping) or your own, if you have some time and can invest in your own product development.
With dropshipping you earn a commission for selling someone else’s product. This is done online through your website, and you give the orders for shipment to someone else.
The good thing with dropshipping is that it’s a quick way to get up and running. As a marketing representative for someone else, it is a less involved way of doing online business.
Developing your own Products
Our clients that have chosen to develop their own product range are adamant that it critical to research the market and understand the demographics.
It seems that some of the most desired online products right now are in the following niches:
Travel accessories, Health and beauty products, Smart watches, Health and Skin Care, Hobbies and Crafts, Lamps and Shades, Mobile Accessories, Pet products, Fine jewelry, Sleepwear.
This may help direct your thoughts and break them down further into bespoke, branded goods for sale from your online store.
Whichever route you choose, whether it’s dropshipping, converting your hobby to a business, or your own product range, these identical steps apply to get you up and running.
Let’s see what you need to do:
Remember that this is an ideal home office business, and many people are doing it. A popular choice of online platform is WordPress, its an open source and free, easy to follow and user friendly. You can do it yourself.
- The Name of Your Business
If you already have a name in mind, see if its available and register a domain for it. A .com name is more universal and sounds best.
- Install WordPress next.
Use your hosting provider’s help if you have problems, but installation is easy and quick. Configured the settings and choose a theme in line with the product category you are developing.
- Install your e-commerce platform
You need an e-commerce platform that accommodate all your important. trading information. This will let you create product pages, receive payments, and provide you with good selling strategies and extensions. We suggest WooCommerce for help you reach customers and generate sales.
- Get your Payment Gateway up and running
A secure gateway is needed to accept payments, and there are a few good ones available to you. For your own peace of mind, compare fees, understand how security works, and read reviews. Look at PayPal.
- Get you Products up
This is the fun part. Shoot great photos and write exciting descriptions for your products. Let them be better than the rest (look online to see what your opposition is doing). Then load them onto the product page.
- Round off your Website
Make your website look professional from start to finish by filling all the landing pages key words and copy that is geared for search engine optimization. Do a great “About us” and FAQ’s page with interesting topics.
- Expand your Reach with Extensions
Now that the site is complete, get the business out to the market. To do this use extensions — these are great add-ons aimed at giving the online store greater functionality and wider options. Check out WooCommerce’s marketplace of extensions for this.
- Use Tools to Generate Sales
Read more about SEO and how it will help you get customers. Great Google tools, like analytics will tell you what key words work best, finetune your copy and get customers through some ad words.
Meanwhile you can rest assure that at Shop& Store your stock is safe and distribution is easy from our storage unit when needed. You just get the sales! We take all the hassle away from you at a price much less than any formal premises elsewhere.
Call us at Stop and Store Fareham on 01329 556174
Thackeray Mall, Unit C (First Floor) 26a, Fareham PO16 0PQ