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Experts say that 2022 is a great time to start a small business for the following reasons:
- Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are pivoting toward the “phygital” (physical + digital), and there will be greater digital solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
- Users and merchants alike will have more access to tech-enabled resources and shopping experiences. That way, everything will be easier for both sides of the transaction.
- There will also be multiple channels that allow brands and business owners to widen and diversify their engagement.
If you want to try your hand at running a small online store, 2022 might be a good time to start exploring. If you do your homework, plan right, and use the right strategies, the cost of failure is low. Furthermore, you will have firsthand experience that will provide you with hindsight wisdom that you can use for your next endeavor. Here are some tips for starting a small merch shop this year.
Sell Stuff That Nobody Else Is Selling
It is simple economics: If you have a product monopoly, you will have more people patronizing your business and fewer competitors to shoo away. Here are some ways you can zero in on a product that no one else in your immediate vicinity is providing:
- Do simple market research: Find what is trendy and interesting for people nowadays. Is it cooking? Plants? Bags? How about K-pop? You can do this by immersing yourself in popular platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. Check out what is constantly trending and see if there is a business opportunity there.
- Find an interesting product: Once you find a unique product, check if no one else is selling it yet on popular platforms like Amazon. While you might be able to get away with selling products sold for cheaper on other shopping platforms, you will need to do some killer marketing. You’ll need to present the product in new and fresh ways so that consumers will choose to do business with you instead of these other platforms.
- Check smaller shops: You also need to check if no other smaller shops are selling them yet. So basically, when it comes to selling merch online: The more niche and exclusive, the better.
Partner with the Right People and Suppliers
Once you find a product that not many people in your area are providing, you need to make sure that you are partnering with the right people, especially if the products are coming from abroad. For example, suppose the products come from the United States and you are in the Philippines. In that case, you need to find somebody trustworthy to be your middleman or warehouse, so to say. These people will be in charge of sending you the balikbayan box that will carry the merchandise or products. That way, you want to ensure that they can be relied upon to pack well and not misuse your capital.
If you have family from your products’ place of origin and have a good relationship with them, take the plunge and ask them to be part of your business idea. Make it worth their while and give them a small commission for their efforts. Who knows? If it all works out, you might end up having a viable family business opportunity that you can pass down to the next generation.
Strengthen Your Branding and Register a Domain Name
Whether you like it or not, you will need to learn how to market your products in an already saturated digital marketing landscape. This means coming up with an engaging business name, a unique brand identity, and engaging content. Here are a few tips for coming up with a great business name:
- Choose one that is original, easy to remember and pronounce, and one that has some significance, so you instantly have a compelling backstory or brand narrative. Make sure it has an available .com domain.
- Don’t choose a business name that is too long, references an already existing brand or product, or uses a combination of numbers and words.
You also want to start on the right foot by ensuring that everything you do is above board, so make sure that your business has the proper licensing and registration. If you have a passion for business and know your way around growing sales or marketing a new product, then let 2022 be the year that you start your hand at building something of value. Your consumers will thank you for providing them with quality products, and you get to be the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of being.