Phew! Lots of information to digest, lots of things to think about. :o)
I wanted to finish up this E-Book with a timetable of the things you'll need to get your business started on the right track. Some things you can do simultaneously, and some things have to wait for others to happen. It helps to have an idea where you should start and what you should be doing, and when. I can't put days or dates on this timeline, because in different places these things take different lengths of time, but this is the general order in which they should be done.
1. Think about where you want to host your store. You may decide you want to sell via Internet Auctions. Perhaps BOTH. There are many store solutions and auction sites out there, and you can certainly take your choice.
2. While you're deciding where and how you want to sell products, I strongly suggest that you get our WBI CertifiedTM Directory of Wholesalers. You'll find no better sources ANYWHERE of genuine Wholesale Suppliers that will provide all the products you need for your Store or Auctions, and the Market Research integration in our Tool will be invaluable for deciding what to sell. The reason you should have these at this time is twofold: research, and paperwork. Part of your decision about where your Store is going to be, or whether you prefer Auctions, or BOTH, involves Market Research. You need to know what's available to you so you can start searching in your future Store Solution or ECommerce Provider's shopping area, or your chosen Auction site, for your potential competition. You're looking for products that are not being oversold. Remember what we talked about? A little competition is good; that means that the products sell. Too much competition and the product is a waste of your time, and your store's space. Use the WBI CertifiedTM Directory to get your Market Research jump-started while you set up your business. That research is IMPORTANT to a successful Internet Store or Auction.
3. At the same time, you can begin to contact the Suppliers you might want to use, and gather information from them. There'll be a bit of paperwork that you can do at the same time as your business paperwork, and you can get it all finished up at the same time.
4. Start your business paperwork. You'll want to file your DBA, Fictitious Name, or corporate papers; whichever way you decide to go. In some places that can be done in person and right away. In others you may have to wait from a few days to a couple of weeks for your certificate to be mailed to you. You can use that time researching products and practicing with your Store or Auctions.
5. Once you have your business name, you can open your business bank account. Usually this is just a matter of depositing $100 or so in a new business account at your bank. This is also the time to check with your State's Department of Revenue regarding your Tax ID. Again, in some places it's quick and easy, and in some it may take a little time. Keep researching products during that time!
6. Contact a Merchant Account Provider. In order to accept your customers' credit card orders, you need a Merchant Account. You might even get one with an Internet Store Solution Provider that you choose. While you CAN use free services like PayPal, most Internet shoppers feel a much greater sense of security when they see that you accept Visa and MasterCard. It has the effect of legitimizing your business in their eyes.
7. Once you get your Tax ID, you're in business! Send in the paperwork you got from your distributors and open accounts with them. Remember, there are NO Monthly or Annual Account Setup Fees or Membership Fees with any of the Suppliers we list in our Directory. They are specifically researched to give you only Suppliers that are already willing to work with you as a home-based business owner.
8. When you've a good idea of the products you want to sell, you'll want to get your Domain Name. You should wait until this point, because the domain name for your first store should say something about the products you are selling. Beware of cut-rate domain registrars. You could find them out of business one day, and find yourself suddenly unable to control your own domain name. So make sure to use someone reliable.
9. Now that you've got your Supplier account(s) open, you can pick up wholesale price lists from them. Take the product research you've done, and compare pricing with other Internet Stores in your shopping area. Weed out the products in your general product lines that you can't make at LEAST 15% on easily. We make about 30% on the products we sell, as a general rule. Remember, you DON'T have to be the lowest priced! A clean, focused site or auction with up-front Customer Service information impresses more than a dollar or two in savings. As you decide on products that you will sell, keep a folder on your computer containing those product images and descriptions; you'll get those from your Wholesale Suppliers.
10. Now, it's time to get your Merchant Account. By now, you should have the following:
· Your business name and Tax ID
· Your business bank account
· Your Domain Name
· Your distributor account(s)
· Your Merchant Account
· A list of the products you can sell at a profit, complete with the prices you intend to charge
images and descriptions from your distributor
During this time, you should have been practicing with your Internet Store Solution software, or running a few Auctions. Now, you're ready to go.
11. Begin to load your product images, descriptions, and prices. Remember to create your Info page as well, containing your Contact information and Policies.
12. Once your products are loaded into your store or your new Auctions are prepared, you're ready to sell!
If you stick to your timeline, and work at it, you can actually complete this entire process and open your Store for business in less than a month, generally for under $500, depending of course on the site and store options you choose. I'm not just saying that. WE have worked through this entire process in the state of Florida, and did it just like I've described, for just that amount of money.
I appreciate your reading this far, and hope that you've gained some useful information here. I won't promise that I will hand you your dream, or that I'll make you rich. That's the difference between us and all the scam artists out there. I'm telling you the Truth, even though it's not as pretty as the lie. The Truth is that it takes work and dedication to build yourself a future that's free of timecards and bosses, but it most certainly CAN be done. WE did it; I've just told you how. So can you.
Are there other legitimate ways to approach Internet business? Sure. The methods I've outlined here are not meant to be a "complete business system". This E-Book simply describes the best methods I've found to start an Internet business with a very small investment.
Remember, no one can guarantee you success and wealth. If anyone does, run fast and far in the opposite direction! It's UP TO YOU. Do the work yourself. Have patience. Go step by step. Spend time on it. Use common sense.
That's how successful people become successful. YOU can be one of them.
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Worldwide Brands, Inc.