- Define your niche market.
- Develop your business identity.
- Write brief mission statement.
- Have a reliable source for your product- manufacturers/suppliers.
- Have a reliable source to deliver your product- direct delivery or drop-shippers.
Address your Web Logistics
- Choose a web hosting provider.
- Address costs, liability and your plan on how to handle service interruptions, denial of service, or risks associated with the products and/or services you offer.
- Designing your e-commerce site: Will you contract a web designer and/or graphic designer?
- Address web-marketing & Search Engine Optimization for your website and products - How will you ensuring that your clients find you on the web?
Address your Business Logistics
- Establish your phone & fax service.
- Establish PayPal/Google checkout accounts or a merchant account (direct credit card processing)?
- Create your business procedures, fees and dispute mechanisms.
- Information Security: Determine what services are offered/needed to establish
security for payments and/or the personal information of your customers/site users.
- Contract with a preferred shipper: set up shipping provider accounts; establish fixed & discount shipping rates.
- Purchase shipping supplies.
- Contract with suppliers/vendors.
Create the Terms & Conditions of Use for your website:
- Consider disclaimers & limitations of liability.
- What state's laws will apply? How and where will disputes be litigated?
- How will you require customers/users to read these Terms & Conditions and make them legally binding?
Warranties/liability for products, services, content:
- charge backs, consumer disputes, procedures for returns
- responsibility for shipping and handling costs
- Liability for 3rd party content (product descriptions, endorsements, comments)
- Liability and use of copyrighted materials/trademarks- Will you monitor copyright issues and complaints?
- Establish procedures for safeguarding certain non-personal information.
- Determine marketing practices: Will you sell website user information?
- Certain industries and certain information require privacy notices.
- Ensure compliance with applicable Federal and state laws (particularly if kids under 13yrs use your site).