Have a Business Plan
- 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? Safeguarding Privacy: - 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).