Ecommerce Guide
Electronic Commerce 101 - Your guide to getting started in E-Commerce
 

Fulfillment Services

There are fulfillment centers, that for a fee will intake and store your merchandise from your vendors, keep inventory, pack and ship your orders and accept returns and exchanges for you. The bigger operations may have multiple locations spread throughout the country, and can ship from the warehouse that is closest to where the order is going. Some also provide call centers to answer incoming calls for your company and take orders.

Accounting

Keeping track of incoming and outgoing money is important and one of the areas most often overlooked by a new business. In the beginning when things may be slow it's tempting to think you can keep track of your expenses in your head or on a piece of paper with receipts in a folder. By the time you realize that plan isn't going to work, you're behind in keeping track and now stuck trying to fix your methods on the go. .

Do it right from the beginning. If you have an accountant that will be doing the taxes for your business, ask him what numbers he will need to do your taxes, and make sure your accounting procedures keep track of those numbers. Some shopping cart software comes with accounting software built in. If yours does not, get yourself a small business accounting program like Quickbooks or Peachtree, or create a detailed spreadsheet. Set up your expenses and income, and create detailed categories. Make sure your accounting procedures that you set up in the beginning will continue to work when you are getting 50+ orders a day and multiple deliveries from different vendors.

Keeping good track of your numbers is also a way to monitor how your business is doing. It can tell you where your biggest expenses are going, how you can cut expenses if necessary, and whether things you are doing are positively or negatively effecting your business.
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