Originally Posted by Lance M.
A fish business of course.. lol I guess selling equipment. I was just wondering if there was any information in regards to this, like how to set up a website, put items on there, do the shipping, and charging and then how would you find a wholesaler to get the equipment from?
Wow. That's a loaded question you've got there! You might've just as well have asked what the best salt mix was!
But seriously... there's a lot to learn and unfortunately (just like our wonderful hobby) there are a lot of different people out there with different ideas. But here it is in a nutshell:
1. Figure out what you want to sell, and more importantly - who are your customers going to be?
2. How are you going to get those customers?
3. How are you going to keep those customers and generate additional purchases.
4. How are you going to fund all the startup costs, and how long is it going to take you to recoup those costs?
5. If reselling wholesale products, how are you going to compete with the big boys that buy in huge quantities?
Those are the real questions you need to be focusing on at this early point. Forget the website stuff, the shopping carts, and all that stuff. That's the easy stuff. The days of "put up a website and they will come" is pretty much over. Unless, of course, you have something so unique that people can't find it anywhere else. Those are "niche markets" and are a fantastic place to base a web-based business on. But if you're trying to break into a fairly saturated market, you're going to have to figure out why people would want to buy from you (a new, untested supplier) versus a known entity. Put yourself in your customers shoes.
The easy stuff... the web side of things... is way more involved than I have space to write here. But it's truly simple. Things you need will be:
1. Domain - that's the www.yournamehere.com
2. Web Host - the company that you'll lease/rent space from to host your site.
3. Website - either DIY or hire a pro
4. Shopping Cart - a handful of "free" shopping carts are out there. Those get incorporated into your website.
5. Business bank account
6. Merchant account - this is the credit card processor that will facilitate putting the $$ from your customers into your bank account
7. Payment gateway - this is the secure "gateway" that takes payment info from your shopping cart/website and passes it to your credit card processor. (Note that some options out there like PayPal can combine pieces 5-7.)
8. Advertising - search engines alone just don't cut it anymore. Plan on utilizing a pay per click service like Google AdWords, or any of the others.
But really... don't even think about the web stuff right now. It's probably a good idea to search for "how to start a home-based business" type books now, and get the basics under your belt. After you've developed a Business Plan (if you're going to ask any banks for $$, you're going to have to have one of these), then start looking into the "how to setup a web-based business" type books.
As you dig into this, feel free to PM me. I run a little web based craft business and can answer any specific questions you might have. Good luck!