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Hi Tliah

Definitely start with a business plan – you don’t mention what kind of online fashion… are you dropshipping, designing, importing? Depending on your product and delivery system you will need to consider things differently.

See what other online stores are doing and offering, are you able to be competitive and still make money. You probably won’t be able to compete with the big guys on range or price so look for spots where you can offer a different solution or experience.

You also need to consider your branding etc… a business name is tricky to come up with these days, is it taken as a trading name, any trademark issues, can you get all the domains you might need in the future (if you are thinking of trading outside of AU, get the .com straight away as well) Then there is the social media to consider, are the usernames, vanity urls etc… available? and if not is there a way you can tweak your name, or will potential customers get confused?

For an online e-commerce platform, I am biased towards WordPress and Woocommerce. You don’t have to pay ongoing subscriptions and if your are techy / design minded you can do a lot yourself, or if not, there are lots of people who can build you a great website (self plug here :) ) It is also pretty easy to maintain and update products etc.. yourself. Plus the inbuilt SEO and plugins help your pages to be search engine friendly.

Once you have an idea on how you are going to put your business together, researched niche markets etc… you need to work on a marketing plan.
Where can you be seen, offline and online?
How much are you prepared to spend on website and initial marketing?
Where is your market and where are they sharing – what social networks will be most worth your time building relationships on?
What content will help sell your clothes, attract your customers and engage people?

This is all really broad strokes stuff here as there are so many other aspects, legal, accounting, tax…

It is a big task, but really rewarding as you pull together your own business. Remember, it probably won’t take off overnight and if you don’t have a lot to spend on marketing upfront it will take time and hard work to start to rank and build a social referral system. But if you have the time and passion; enjoy the ride, set small manageable tasks and goals and take that first step (it’s usually the hardest).

Best of Luck