Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MarketPlaces For New Businesses Starting Up

MarketPlaces For New Businesses Starting Up. Having a Back Up Plan is good too.

Starting a new business we generally choose a marketplace, or a platform to start with. We are nervous starting out, it takes so much work, there is so much to learn, we have to know so much, marketing needs to be done, SEO, and there is really a lot to consider. So, when starting out you try to go with a platform that does some of this work for you. 

For handmade, upcycled, repurposed, vintage, supplies, and so on many sellers will start with Etsy as they are growing, and becoming known. There is also Artfire that some sellers will use too. Don't forget Ebay the big one that is still around after all these years, and Amazon too. It just depends on what you are selling, and the exposure you are looking to have for your products. Using recognizable sites adds an extra dose of reputation, and accountability to your shops. 

Many are not sure who to trust online, and that is understandable. When shopping sites like Etsy, Ebay, or Amazon people know that they will have a place to report fraud, non-delivery, and offer feedback too. Keep in mind when building your business from scratch that using a recognizable website will add instant credibility for you too. 

What you need to understand is that when using marketplaces you do not truly own your small business with them. These marketplaces own the shops that they host, and they do reserve the right to manage them however they feel fit to do. You are paying them rent to use their platforms to sell your goods. When you use these places you agree to their contracts, their terms, their rules, and their policies. So, it is always good to have a back-up plan as mentioned. 

Honestly, think about it. If your shop was closed by one of these marketplaces due to violation of rules, copy rights, infringements, etc without any warning - What would you do?  What would you lose? Think of all the hours, and time invested into your shops. So, if you are serious about your small business you will want to look at these marketplaces as a starting point for you, not a permanent home. 

I would recommend that you have a domain for your business as soon as possible. You can use the domain for the platform you have chosen to start with. Build your reputation with the domain directed there. What is good about having a domain is that it can be redirected at any time, and you are not losing out on anything. This is a part of that back-up plan you should have for the "just in case" something happens. 

Yes, it is good to start with a reputable marketplace. Find one that is organized for a new business with low inventory. Make sure that it is clean, simple to use, feels comfortable for use by you....everyone is nervous first starting out, does the proper job of show casing your products, your brand, your reputation (feedback, previous sales, followers, admirers) 

Many feel that when they first start they should have their own websites right away. It takes a lot of work to set up a site, build your reputation, work with SEO for visibility and to be found, and etc. With you learning a new venture it is good to start out simpler so that you can learn with it. Using a marketplace is a way to start for your customers getting to know you, learn your brand, your business, and what you have to offer. 

Most places you can start your shops free today with some of your products, and your pictures. Once you open shop hopefully you will have some user friendly tools to use that you can play with, and learn from. Also, with some of these user friendly sites it is nice to have tools that show you anayltics of views you receive, traffic, sales, income received, keywords being used to find you, etc. These kind of stats can help you see what marketing efforts are working for you, and what is not working for you. They are good to learn from.

Once you have worked with a platform you will come to a point that you are out growing the place. This is why you want to have that back-up plan working so that you can start to move on, expand, or if an issue arises with the marketplace you are able to move on. Having the domain looks good on business cards too. When you decide to move the domain can be redirected, and customers will always be able to find you by using that domain too.

Remember to visit with Lisa at Market Your Creativity. She has had more experience with some of these issues, and she is sharing them with everyone to learn from. 

Thanks so much for visiting with LilacsNDreams today. Have a Happy Hump Day everyone! See you again soon. 

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