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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 26 January 2021
  • Public Relations

3 Tips for Taking Your Small Business Online

For years, Mary and Rebecca of Function Junction were told they needed a website to sell their kitchenware, but it wasn’t as simple as just building one. Neither came from a technology-heavy background and faced several barriers to entry. However, after some conversation with friends and research, they were successful in getting their website started.

As part of our small business advice series, here are Mary and Rebecca’s three tips for taking your business online:

1. Don’t just dabble online.

Woman on a laptop computer

Whether you own a storefront or are solely operating online, Rebecca and Mary say that you should treat your website like its own business. “If you’re working every day in your brick-and-mortar business, you need to work every day in your online business as well,” Rebecca says. Establish times to check-in online, answer questions or concerns and pack up any orders to ship. Give your virtual customers the same attention you give those walking through your shop’s door.

2. Pick a platform.

When it comes to your website’s actual build, there are a lot of options to choose from. A templated platform can help keep costs low and give a modern look without much fuss. However, there isn’t a ton of customization that comes with templates. If you needed customization, you could work with a developer like Mary and Rebecca. When they wanted to add a ‘recipes’ page to their website, their developer was able to build it to their exact specifications. Keep in mind, it does tend to cost more to hire someone.

There are also preexisting websites that have you make a profile and use their platform to sell your products. These sites are beneficial if you are just starting your business, but your brand can get lost among the rest. Picking the best platform for your business is essential and there is no wrong answer just which is right for you.

3. Keep products profitable. 

Woman placing an online order with her mobile phone

Logistics was a big factor for Rebecca and Mary when they considered building their website. Bringing the product into the store, finding ways to ship it economically and selling products at a price that accounted for all of those steps was a process. “Make sure that you have the resources and the energy to make the investment before you take the plunge,” Rebecca says. Once you do have the logistics down, however, your small business can compete on a larger scale and benefit from the larger reach.

Taking your small business online is a big task, but with the right logistics, platform and dedication, you can be successful.

Keep checking back and follow us on social media for more small business advice! Our series features insights and ways to implement changes from small business owners across the country.


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