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Starting An Online Quilt Shop

Summary

Setting up an online quilt shop can be complex. This article covers the first key decisions you have to make to be successful.

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Starting An Online Quilt Shop

An Internet Shop Owner's Guide

Where to begin? We all ask that question when we think about starting a new endeavor, but with an internet shop there are a few specific decisions that can make or break your business, so let's talk about those first steps.

Starting An Internet Shop

 

Decision 1 – What Are You Selling?

It is hard to choose a name, email address, or website without defining exactly what you are selling. Is it a product, group of products, or a service? Spending time now researching what is available in the marketplace is important so that you can offer something that is not currently available.  Will it appeal to a wide audience and offer you potential to grow your business? With that established, it is time to move on to step two.

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Decision 2 – Choosing a Business Name

For a name you will want something memorable and not already in use. Think of at least 10 ideas for names and then ask your friends with interest in your future business type for suggestions. From there you can choose your top picks and then search the internet to see if the name is already taken. If so, move to choice 2, etc. It is more difficult to think of names once you have seen ones on the internet, so have a good long list in mind before you begin to see if “your name” is already in business.

After you have a name secured, make it public so that someone doesn’t begin using it while you are starting your business. A great first step is to make a business Facebook page that puts your name out and gives people an idea of what you will be carrying in your internet shop.

sign

 

Decision 3 – Choosing an Email Address and Website URL

Think this one through carefully, you will want something easy to remember and something that will not cause confusion. A common problem is that characters look different in different fonts. For instance, a numeral one in some fonts looks a lot like a letter l in others. Try typing out your future email address and changing the fonts to all “regular” choices to make sure that your address will be easy to read. Also keep in mind that your website and email address will be seen in foreign countries. Does your business name mean something in other languages that will be confusing?

You will want to run an web search to see if your potential website URL is already in use and then choose a provider. Keep in mind with your email address and URL that if they are tied to a service provider (like COX, VISTAPRINT, VERIZON, etc.) then you will be tied to keeping these companies as your provider for the life of your business regardless of their service or how their prices increase, or risk losing customers during a change. This is especially important if you will be producing a product like patterns that will have your email address and website printed on them that customers will hold on to for many years. It is quite expensive to change your provider since you would need to rebuild your website, update your products with the new address, notify your customers directly of the changes, get new business cards, checks, signs, etc. So check out your potential provider carefully. Ask your friends if they have had good luck with their service providers and join Facebook pages that deal with your chosen field and query them to see if anyone has suggestions of ones to use/avoid. Spending the time now to do your research could save you thousands of dollars and many future headaches.

Now that you have some tips to get you started, go out there and start your business and have fun!

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Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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