2017-11-30 00:00:00 Running a Business English Discover how to start an online store with a solid online framework and legal Canadian registration. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/ca_qrc/uploads/2017/12/Female-in-home-office-discusses-how-to-start-an-online-store.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/business/small-business-online-store-steps/ Checklist for Setting Up an Online Retail Business

Checklist for Setting Up an Online Retail Business

2 min read

Building an online business seems simple at first glance, a website, credit card processing, and you’re all set. As with any company, however, the reality is more complicated once you get into the practicalities of how to start an online store. Step-by-step checklists can help you work through the process. By taking the time to get all of your ducks in order and building a solid foundation, you can set your company up for success in Canada’s rapidly expanding ecommerce market.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan describes your company, its goals, and likely opportunities. It forces you to organize your ideas, analyze the market, and identify your competitive advantage to determine how to open an internet store that meets current consumer demand. The plan should also include financial forecasts, sales and traffic targets, a marketing plan, and a description of operations.

Choose a Business Name and Purchase a Domain

Come up with an ideal name for your business, and purchase a matching domain name through a company such as GoDaddy or Web Hosting Canada. Be prepared to be flexible with the name you may find that all matching domains are taken, or that another business has a strikingly similar title. Make adjustments until you find a unique name with an available URL.

Choose a Structure

One of the most important parts of the how to start an online store step-by-step process is picking a structure. Depending on your situation, you might pick a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or co-operative.

Register the Business

Using your company’s chosen structure, you must register the business to get a federal Business Number and CRA program accounts, including corporation income tax, GST/HST, payroll deductions, and import-export. Use the Business Registration Online tool, then register the business in your province. British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario have online tools; for other regions, check with your provincial or territorial business registrar for instructions.

Purchase a Hosting Plan

Using the projected sales from your business plan, estimate web traffic to your online store in the first year. Then, purchase a web hosting plan with the server space and speed to keep your site up and running under your highest projected visitor levels. When you’re just learning how to start an online store, it’s also worth investigating the hosting company’s data security measures, uptime performance, backup procedures, and scalability.

Design a Logo

Turn your business name into a logo that is legible at small and large sizes. Choose colors and logo marks that match your vision for the company. Since your logo appears on virtually every business document and website, it’s worth your money to work with a professional graphic designer when starting an online store.

Build a Website

As you determine how to start an e-store, understand your website is the most crucial component. Work with a graphic designer and a web developer to build a beautiful, bug-free site that protects customer data, allows easy ordering, and is set up for updating and scaling down the road. If you’re an experienced coder, save money by building your own site; use trusted platforms such as Shopify for easy ordering and credit card processing, then connect the credit card processing system to your business bank account.

When you’re excited to start selling, these beginning stages of business-building can feel draining, but they’re crucial for longevity. With a plan and a solid online framework, you can start selecting products, building inventory, and creating listings with confidence.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

Related Articles

How to Create an Emergency Preparation Checklist for Your Business

The events that have the biggest impacts on your business are often…

Read more

How to start a business in 15 steps: Guide, checklist, and canvas

 You’re ready to take the leap and start a business. Congratulations! Making…

Read more

A Guide to Business Moving Expenses with Checklist

Anyone who has ever undertaken a big move knows how chaotic it…

Read more