Post from the public.
One of the best things about having an online store is the low initial costs associated with it. You don’t have to pay for a local, except for the storage space where you keep your merchandise; but you can easily have that neatly placed in your garage or basement. You also don’t have to pay utility bills or spend money on decorating. An online store is pretty much free.
But, sadly, it’s not quite free. Sure, you can find a lot of free resources and tools, but regardless, there is a minimum investment you are going to have to make on hardware, especially when you deal with sales. You will need…
A Sales Management Device
Of course you will need a computer, it’s an online store. But no, it’s not just having some personal computer and Internet access. You are going to have to invest a little more money and effort. Having just a regular computer can work for a while, but eventually, if you want to get serious, you are going to have to invest in some POS equipment.
Point of sale equipment, in this case, is a device with software to manage the sales of your store. It doesn’t have to be a computer; it can be a tablet or even a smartphone. You can find some good bundle packages that come with a tablet and the software already installed, and it also helps you manage the store’s web design, stock, and every other management aspect.
Customer Service Tools
If you want to have some quality in your customer service support, sooner or later you will need to get on the phone. Thus, you should invest in a good headset and microphone, and even a webcam. That way, you can set up phone conferences, or even video conferences, with your customers to talk face to face with them about any inquiries or problems they might have with their purchases or shipping. They will be grateful to find a real person taking care of their problems, and not just some automated machine or cold email. You can also save a lot of time when you can talk while doing something else, instead of wasting long hours typing away.
A Good Internet Connection
To be able to manage your customer calls, emails, and the constant management of data and media that managing an online store entails, you can’t have a slow internet connection and a modem older than dirt. What worked well enough for your personal needs won’t be enough for your professional demands, so you need to install the fastest internet connection and router that you can afford. While you are at it, invest in an electric surge protector. This machine will save you from losing information and even prevent your computer from damage if the area where you live suffers frequent fluctuations in power or power shutdowns. This way, you will have time to save your work and turn off your machine in a controlled way preventing damage to the hardware and your valuable data.
Crystal Stemberger uses Budgeting in the Fun Stuff to write about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way.