Despite the pandemic, people continue to open small businesses. With many people working from home, they are realizing that they can also get their side-hustle off the ground. Without their typical hour-long (or more) commute to the office, they can use that time productively. Many of these new business owners are selling goods online. They've probably figured out that there is a market for those hand-made items that they usually just give out to friends and family for the holidays. So, now that they've decided to launch their company, what's the next step for them?

Their Secret Weapon? Shopify

This week's Wall Street Journal has a story about how many new businesses are turning to Shopify to help them sell their items online. To make their business easier, Shopify provides things like

  • Create a website;
  • Accept online payments;
  • Ship and track orders to customers.

Many of their sellers are first-time business owners. They're learning their lessons as they go along with their website. Unfortunately, some of those lessons can be harsh ones at times.

Is Shopify Right For Your Business?

Depending on the type of business you are running, Shopify may or may not be the place to be. While there are lots of benefits to the infrastructure it can provide to your business, you can also put together a more individualized system for your business.

Obviously, there are many different ways to create a website these days. You can DIY or you can hire someone to create one for you. No matter which path you choose, if you are going to be accepting payments online through your website, there are significant technical and privacy concerns that you want to make sure you've got covered. People will not want to pay you money on a website that doesn't seem to be safe and secure.

Accepting online payments is a continually growing industry. I am constantly receiving sales calls from a variety of companies that claim that they can streamline the process and save me money. For your business, some common places to research for online payments are,

  • PayPal
  • Square
  • Venmo
  • Your bank

Each of these will have its benefits and frustrations, so it's important to do your research and go with the best option for you and your business.

And when it comes to shipping and tracking packages, you're surely aware of the big players (U.S. Post Office, FedEx, UPS, DHL), but if you are selling locally, don't ignore local delivery companies that may be able to offer your customers faster delivery to their door.

Your TEAM

You can go with a business in a box model like Shopify or you can research and implement each component separately. But if you're starting your business, don't forget to put together a TEAM to help you get going. We've used that acronym for Trusted Experts, Authorities, and Mentors and they can help you in a variety of areas of your business.

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Next Steps

If you're getting your business off the ground and need some assistance with the legal aspects, let's schedule a Legal Strategy Session to discuss where you are in the process and how an attorney can help you move forward.

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