Questions You Should Ask before Starting Your Online Business

Are you getting the feeling that you are missing something or missing out?

The Online journey like all other journeys must start with preparations. Know the Why, the Who, the What, the How and the When of starting this journey. Let us do a little introspection before we do the extrospection.

There needs to be some soul-searching here to find out the real Why.

  • Why do you want to take your business online? The other side of the coin would be- why aren’t you selling online?
  • My big WHY-what is driving me to sell my products online? Is it for the reach or is there something else?

The Who

While trying to figure out if you want to sell online you really need to really the Who. Who is my potential customer? Is my customer online? If yes, then why?

The What

Curiosity did not kill the cat- it saves it. You need to ask the What and get the answers before you go any further.

  • What are the entry barriers?
  • What do I have to do to get my business online?
  • What am I offering to the customer by going online?
  • What problem or need of his or hers am I addressing?
  • What are my price points?
  • What are the legal implications by setting up an online presence?
  • What are competitors doing?
  • What should I do better than my competition?

The How

Once you have decided you want to board the online train -it is time for you to ask -How.

  • How different is it than selling from a physical store or a dealership?
  • How many of the online shoppers know that I have a solution for their problem or their need? If not, why not?
  • How do I define my online market?
  • How do I know the size of my market?
  • How do I attract them to my online store?
  • How do I convert them from shoppers to buyers?
  • How do I sell my products?
  • How much will my involvement be in my online business?
  • How do I project the growth and scale of my online business?

The Where

In the traditional physical marketplace, it was all about Location- Location- Location. Online it is equally important for you to position or place your products in the right markets and the right marketplaces.

Your products should be placed on the correct virtual shelves and at eye-level for increased visibility.

You can host a store on your website, or on an Ecommerce platform or sell on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Shopify etc.

You need to know where your potential customers go to buy and how to reach them?

According to Statista, Amazon has over 40% of the retail e-Commerce market share as of February 2021, followed by Walmart with 7.1%. While, all have heard of Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart- there are over 100 marketplaces – maybe more that are helping sellers connect with customers online.

Your success will depend on your choice and how you go about it.

The When

Sometimes timing is all there is. Being in the right place at the right time-matters.

Selling online follows pretty much the same pattern as physical stores but on a different scale requiring different preparations. When- becomes important as besides physical products it is the online aspect that needs to adapt to the external circumstances of the market and the competition. You need to be agile and nimble at the same time.

What is the scope of the online market? Look at these numbers.

  • In 2021 there were 2.1 million etailers (selling B2C) in the US (according to etailinsights)
  • Brick-and-mortar retain stores reduced 25.8% between 2019 and 2020(according to Statista)
  • Retain eCommerce revenue was expected to increase by 8.7% and a general trend of 7-8% per year (according to Statista)


The online share of the consumer market is increasing year by year and the brick-and-mortar is on the decline. One thing we know by now is that online marketplaces are gradually raking in more and more purchases being made by consumers.

Needless to stress- the situation is fluid, and no crystal ball can correctly predict what is going to be the situation tomorrow or the next year and beyond, besides stating that online sales will keep on growing.

One thing is for sure – the digital era is here to stay, and we need to adapt – and adapt quickly. Manufacturers and brand owners – need to know where to sell and how to target their potential customers to grow their sales, increase profitability and have sustainable growth.

Not only is the company’s growth dependent on it but its survival too.

There are many more questions which go into the details of an online business such as packaging, shipping, inventory management, order fulfillment, performance criteria, customer engagement and support, follow up and follow through.


At TMAP LLC, we do just that. We advise small and medium manufacturers and brand owners how to sell online. We help them answer the questions stated above and many more so that -not only is the foundation solid – our clients start on a good footing-properly grounded and poised for growth.

We believe in enriching lives, one business at a time.

Call now or connect and we can help you answer the questions and much more

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