Starting a Business Online, Part 1

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Abstract
Before deciding on whether or not to engage in e-Commerce, a business must look at several factors in order to determine if they are ready and able to do everything needed in order to make it successful. Companies should initially perform a SWOT analysis in order to determine if selling products online would be beneficial to the overall company. They also need to make sure they understand they will be dealing with customers all over the world and are willing to take on the work involved to know all of the legalities involved. Taking a business online opens up a world of opportunities but also presents new challenges and difficulties. A company has to be able to spend the time and money in order to do the necessary research so that they are not subject to any legal problems or the victim of any online crimes. If a company can manage to properly run an e-Commerce website, they will have a much greater advantage over those who start selling products online before knowing all the different aspects which are involved.

Starting a Business Online, Part 1
SWOT Analysis
There are several advantages and disadvantages of taking a small, local clothing store on the Jersey Shore boardwalk online. The advantages can be identified by strengths and opportunities while the disadvantages can be described as weaknesses and threats. Two strengths of expanding a business online are the ability to sell products 24 hours a day every day of the year and the low cost of expansion (Mokj). With an actual store, a business is limited to selling products only the hours they are able to keep the store open. When a store is not able to be open, there is the possibility that a customer might move on and spend their money elsewhere. However, if the customer knows they can make purchases online, they might go home and purchase the product rather than just go to another store and possibly spend any money they have at their disposal leaving nothing to come back later. A second strength of selling online is the low cost. There will be costs involved with setting up and maintaining a website that can process purchases, but these costs will be much lower than what it would be to set up and run just one more physical location.

When a company decides to take their business online, opportunities are created that do not exist when business is conducted solely in person. One opportunity is the ability to sell to anyone in the world (Mokj). Only having a storefront on the Jersey Shore boardwalk limits sales only to people who live in the area or visiting. It is highly unlikely that someone who does not live in the area or is visiting for other reasons will make a specific trip to the Jersey Shore only to purchase items from a local clothing store. Another opportunity of taking a local clothing store online would be the possibility of having the clothing line seen by another business that might like to invest and/or help expand the business even further. A local clothing store will not be seen by as many individuals and companies as one selling on the Internet. If another company sees the products being sold on the Internet as a threat, they might want to try and buy the business, invest in it for further expansion, or want to carry the products in their stores. All of these possibilities could help turn a local clothing into something much, much more. Of course when a company wants to venture into online sales, there will be weaknesses develop as well. One weakness is that customers will not be able to actually see and try on the clothes before purchasing. Once the customer receives the item, they might not like it once they actually have it in hand or it may not fit. This will lead to a customer returning clothing which will involve costs to the business. Another weakness of selling online is that there are no sales people to help the store. Sometimes sales people can be the difference of someone purchasing...
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