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I am thinking of starting online office supplies business like - banking supplies, stationery, tax forms, envelopes, holiday cards, filing products, business laser checks, high security checks. Anyone have any idea about this kind of business? I want some good suggestions..
I'd say that it really depends on your startup budget. It can cost as little as $15K to $25K or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It all depends on what you are selling and the infrastructure that you need to support it. If you are starting small, you can find some really good templates to use on Shopify which can help you with you development and infrastructure costs.
Some other costs to consider include:
- Transaction fees: You'll need a solution to help you with secure payments. Vendors like PayPal charge you a small transaction fee on every purchase on your website.
- Web hosting fees: Obviously, TELUS can help you there. Here's a link to their web hosting website for small businesses.
- Shipping fees: You'll need to calculate this based on where you are sending a product and its weight, etc. You also need to consider if you are going to offer free shipping and build that cost into the price of your product.
- Promotional fees: You'll need to figure out what you'll need to spend to advertise your website to attract the right customers and reach your sales targets.
- Customer support/service: You'll need to set-up an infrastructure to provide the best customer experience possible.
- Inventory management: You'll need to figure out where you are going to store inventory and set-up a system to manage it efficiently.
I recently interviewed some eCommerce experts in Canada to share their tips for startup eCommerce success. I'll be posting the story on the TELUS Talks Business Blog soon and can send you the link when it is live.
Andrea provides some good points below, I would also like to add some of the resources available through the BDC and don't forget to leverage Social Networks. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin(obvious) all provide resources, groups and the ability to interact with people in similar situations and stages of their business or start up. I would also recommend to not solely focus on strictly online businesses as well. Many challenges facing a company can be relayed accross industries.
I think if we just supply service, we don't need much money, just tens or hundreds dollars.
If you are planing to sell physicalgoods, I can't say how much money you need to start.
I'm going to spend 10 thousand dollars to start my e-commerce business (sell watch online)
As promised, here's my latest post on the TELUS Talks Business blog which highlights tips from Canadian ecommerce companies: http://forum.telus.com/t5/TELUS-Talks-Business-Blog/Tech-Tip-6-Tips-for-setting-up-your-Ecommerce-si...
Hope the information is helpful.