Perhaps you have a great idea for a new e-commerce business but aren't sure how to go about creating an online shop. Or you want to expand your existing business on the internet but are unsure how to best market it online. Whatever your experience, starting out - and being successful - in e-commerce has never been easier or more affordable for SME and start-up businesses.
Why do I need this guide?
This guide will help you start out online without the need for internet expertise or expensive funding. From setting up a business to forming a company and paying taxes, from online trading regulations and creating a great online shop through to how to get your business found online via online marketing; the guide aims to guide small and SME businesses through the most important steps when starting out on the internet.
• 875 million active internet shoppers
• 90% SMEs find internet profitable place to trade
• Set up costs average 40% lower than SMEs anticipated.
With years of experience helping small and SME businesses set-up online, we know what businesses need to think about when they're starting out. We've also spoken to lots of successful small and SME businesses and asked them for their e-commerce and starting out tips and advice, which we think can dramatically improve your chances of success online and could mean you'll start making a profit on the internet sooner.
How to use this online business guide
We've arranged the guide in a number of sections. The sections are displayed along the top of this page, as well as in the menu on the left. Click on one of the sections to view the pages within that section listed on the left.
The 'Next' button at the bottom of every page will move you through to the next page. Or click on a section name to jump straight to it if you are interested in a specific section.
Get started - quick links
- New to e-commerce? Have a look at our E-commerce Explained section, which describes what you'll need to get started in e-commerce, what the advantages are and explains some common terminology.
- Want to set up an online business but not sure about the legal requirements or procedures? Jump to section 2 Forming an e-business.
- Have an existing business you want to move online? Your website and Accepting payments explain everything you'll need to know.
- Already trading online? Once you've set up your business and are accepting payments, Preventing fraud, Customer service and Online marketing help with some key issues for online businesses.