Jasmine's Place Issue No. 9 - January/February 2014 - Page 48

and whatever plug-ins thereafter. With something like £300, our website was up and running. At this point, you’ll need product images and descriptions. Set up your payment gateway from your website. You’ll need a: • Card payment processing provider (eg. WorldPay, Ogone, Sage Pay) • Merchant Account to receive funds (this is different from your current account but check with your bank or shop around to see what rates are for debit cards, credit cards and how many transactions can be processed for free) You can also integrate PayPal as a payment mechanism relatively easily. 6. Search Engine Optimisation There isn’t an overnight solution but rather a consistent effort to improve your search ranking. Please read up on SEO. We aren’t experts but here’s what we do: • Create fresh content on our site regularly • Keyword our products and tag our images with Google search terms. • Create backlinks by listing our business on third party websites. Blogging. • Social media presence • Commenting on forums • Writing articles You can pay a SEO company to this for you for a monthly fee or you can plod through yourself! 7. Marketing This will require more time and effort than you think. You have to consistently market your business. This is what we’ve done: • Google Adwords • AdSense • Social Media • Email marketing • Print leaflets • Magazine advertising • Memberships of the Chamber of Commerce and local networks • Attending networking events • Prizes/Competitions • Corporate sponsorship • Attendance at fairs/markets • Word of mouth referrals The list is endless but you’ve got to do it. 8. Processing Orders & Postage Now you’ve done all the behind the scenes work and your website is up and running, look forward to some sales! When orders come through, you will need to process them from bookkeeping, generating sales receipts, packaging your product safely (to withstand bashing around) and then dispatching it to your customer, JASMINE'S PLACE 48