Starting your own web store or webshop has become increasingly easier in recent years. Not only large organizations choose an online webshop. Smaller one-man businesses also benefit from the advantages of a webshop. So you are no longer bound to opening hours, you can start your own store as a private person and you are in control of your own income. Consider, for example, people who make jewelry as a hobby and want to sell it. This is possible via a page on Facebook or Instagram, but a web store is more professional.
In this article we tell you more about starting your own shop. What is involved? Which aspects do you need to take into account? How do you make your online store profitable? Did you know that nowadays you can choose from ready-made web stores? That way you don't have to invest a lot in the design of your own shop.
Start with your own online shop
You can start an online shop in different ways. You can rent a web store, where you pay a fixed amount per month. You can choose from different layouts and payment options. This is ideal for hobbyists who do not have a Chamber of Commerce number, but want to start their own shop. In order to be able to offer a payment option such as iDEAL, you normally need a Chamber of Commerce number. Incidentally, applying for one Chamber of Commerce number necessary if you want to turn your hobby into your work. In that case, you must declare your income to the Tax Authorities every quarter.
As an alternative to renting a web store, you can also have a customized web store made. A widely used system is Magento, for which you will find numerous standard layouts on the internet. These layouts, often called templates, cost between 50 and 100 dollars each. You can then use them all your life! You pay around 50 euros a year for web hosting and a domain name. It may be wise to have the web shop installed by a specialist.
What do I need to start my own webshop? Six things!
- Domain name. That is either a brand name, such as Bloeise, or a product name, such as Crosleyplatenspeler.nl. You have to load a brand name (what do you think of at Bloeise?). A product name limits your assortment. (You do not expect watches at Crosleyplatenspeler.nl).
- Webshop. An online service with which you set up a web store or software (such as open source Woocommerce) that you install on an internet server where you purchase web hosting. Internet service providers sometimes also offer support for web stores. Remember: after setting up, how do I improve the web store afterwards? Who does that? A webshop is just like a house: never finished.
- Chamber of Commerce number. Do you want to sell goods or services to the general public to make a profit? Then you need a Chamber of Commerce number. It costs € 50. You must also provide a company name. The Chamber of Commerce passes on your information to the Tax Authorities. You have to calculate VAT on your products and, after deducting the VAT on the costs that you have incurred, pay every quarter to the tax authorities. Please note the Small Business Regulation: do you have to pay less than € 1883 in VAT per year? Then you can keep the VAT! If you also meet the criteria for entrepreneurs (especially: do you spend 1225 hours a year on your webshop? That is 24 hours a week on average) then your tax return will change.
- Accountancy. Yes, you can in an Excel spreadsheet. You have to keep track: what are you selling? What do you buy yourself? These are your incoming and outgoing invoices. In addition, you must calculate the VAT per quarter so that you can pay the tax authorities. You also need an income statement every year: all turnover made, minus costs and depreciation is the profit. Finally, you also need financial statements. For example, you use that PC or scanner for several years, and therefore you have to process it differently: write off. But if you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, special arrangements apply. Do yourself a big favor and take one accountant, if only to boot.
- Products. No web shop without assortment. Jewelry, unlimited 4G subscriptions, white goods parts, caps or cat clothing? This choice is very difficult. See where your passion lies, what you see trade in, what you are good at and possibly what you think should change in the world. (more cats with caps!) Troublesome? Then do it the other way around and start with the target group.
- Target audience. Men or women? Teenagers? Baby boomers who like to go to the South of France in the summer? Consider which target group you know well or have worked with. Then ask yourself: what do they spend good money on? What is important to them? What problems are they trying to solve? Where do they get pleasure from? If you started with a product then it is simple: who buys my product? Then you can then consider how you will reach them, seduce them and motivate you to purchase.
These are the six things that you must have at least to start your own webshop. Minimal. A whole load comes on top. In a normal, large company you have a complete department for everything, you have to fill it in yourself. These include: stockroom (incoming goods, storage, shipping of packages and goods), online marketing (SEO, SEA, Display, branding, e-mail, content marketing, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok ... etc) administration (purchase and sale outside the Netherlands, AOV insurance, pension accrual, payroll administration, investments, etc), staff (freelancers, platforms, temporary workers, contracts, insurance against unemployment, online recruitment, etc), relationship management (suppliers, important customers, affiliate marketing, platforms such as bol.com and Amazon, business associations, municipality). You never know enough. The most important lesson to learn as an entrepreneur? Know when you can hand something over. So that you can focus on what you are good at and enjoy.
Starting points for the webshop
When you start your own web store, you have to pay attention to various aspects. There are so many people with an online store nowadays. This makes it difficult to position your own online store properly. How do you attract potential customers to your web store? How do you distinguish yourself from others? And how do you tempt your visitors to make a purchase? It is wise to make a clear plan in advance. In this plan you describe which products you offer, who your target group is and how you do it marketing campaigns to put on. Marketing simply means: bringing your product to the market. This makes it easier to develop a successful web store that connects with your customers! Above all, it is important to start small, but to think big.
Tips for a flying start to your own web store:
- Product Range. Start with a small assortment, so you don't have to buy a large stock right away. Also drop shipping can be a good idea in the initial phase: you sell and a supplier then does the delivery.
- SEO and content marketing. Add a nice blog to your website every week! This way you increase the chance that people will return to your web store. Use long keywords (typically three words) as the basis for your text. Process these in the title, headings, meta-description, alt-image tags of the images and internal links. That way you force yourself to provide the specific information that people are looking for. Link each blog to the next step: view the product here, like us on Facebook, sign up for the newsletter or try it yourself.
- Get social. First share your web store with friends and family so that they can share it with their circle of friends. It is a cheap way to attract visitors. Make sure you learn how to get these people satisfied. Will you succeed? Then your webshop will be recommended to their friends and family. Do you not succeed? Then there is real work to be done, because that means that if you do not improve your service, you will always have to look for new customers. And then you will never be able to become financially independent. Social media is no different than the amplifier of the positive feedback that your web store receives. Look, nice card from a satisfied customer! Or: What a sweet review I got from…. etc. Keep focusing on that first group of friends and family. Are you unsure about a product? Share that uncertainty!
There is so much more to tell. State in your response below: what would you like to know?