How to Start an Online Clothing & Accessories Business

Quick Read

Obtain an online merchant account for credit card processing.
Credit card transactions will most likely make up the majority of your online sales, and all businesses, whether online or not, have to register with a merchant account provider to gain access to credit card networks.
A number of merchant account providers specialize in serving online businesses; shop around and compare the services of different providers before making a final decision.
Shop around and find a product that suits your current needs, future growth plans and budget constraints.
Large companies such as UPS and FedEx offer cost-efficient distribution services to small businesses, but smaller companies with ambitious growth plans may be able to offer you better terms.

How to Start an Online Clothing & Accessories Business

1. Decide on a form of business organization and register your business in your state. Even though you will be doing business on a larger scale, you still have to register as a legal company in your state. Consider the sole proprietorship form of organization if financial and legal liability protection are not a high priority for you and you want to simplify the registration process. Consider the Limited Liability Company (LLC) form of organization if you wish to be protected from personal liability for the business's debts and other obligations. 2. Obtain an online merchant account for credit card processing. Credit card transactions will most likely make up the majority of your online sales, and all businesses, whether online or not, have to register with a merchant account provider to gain access to credit card networks. A number of merchant account providers specialize in serving online businesses; shop around and compare the services of different providers before making a final decision. 3. Build a website around an e-commerce platform. Building an online store requires specialized e-commerce software, which integrates a shoppers' interface, a product database, a webmasters' interface and a payment gateway to bring together all of the elements needed to complete an online sales transaction. As with merchant accounts, small business owners have a range of options to choose from when buying a shopping-cart package. Shop around and find a product that suits your current needs, future growth plans and budget constraints. 4. Establish relationships with suppliers and distributors and stock your initial inventory. To remain as lean as possible, look to third-party solutions to obtain and ship inventory. In the early stage, look for suppliers who are willing to accept small-batch orders and ship them out quickly to reduce your inventory holding costs. When looking for a distribution partner, find a company with a wide enough reach to serve your target market. Large companies such as UPS and FedEx offer cost-efficient distribution services to small businesses, but smaller companies with ambitious growth plans may be able to offer you better terms.
The Original Article can be found on smallbusiness.chron.com
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