How to start an online business in Canada

by Contributor

Starting a Canadian based online business can be challenging and will require additional considerations that USA based companies may not face. This article will provide step by step criteria needed to become successful with your new online Canadian business.

Identify a product or service that is suitable for selling online. You will need to choose a product or service that you know well enough to develop an authority website on the subject matter. Access to unique products or specialized information is ideal for starting an online business.

Research similar products or services which exist in the marketplace already. Find the products or services that are already available which could be considered comparable to your idea. For example Canadian companies may choose to find USA based businesses who are already existing to compare prices, services and products to. Many USA based companies do not sell into Canada, and many that do are not able to be competitive on price, delivery time and Canadian content. You could then replicate the existing business model catering to the niche market of selling in Canada.

Identify your target customers. Write a profile of the person or group of people which are going to be your most profitable and regular customer. This will help to clearly define who you are selling to and how to attract these people to your website.

Identify specific search strings that your ideal customer will use. Use market data to research what people are searching for who are looking for products and services similar to yours. Google has a keyword tool which is ideal for researching this information.

Purchase your domain name. Having identified your target customers and then having identified the most common search phrases these customers will use to find your products or services, you can now proceed to buy a domain name. The domain name must match the exact search phrase that you are targeting, or as close to an exact match as possible to maximize the importance of the domain name itself in achieving a high rank in the search engines.

Build a visually compelling and easy to navigate website. Design a website that is clean, clear and easy to understand. Do not clutter your website with images or advertising. have a clear and decisive goal that you aim to reach when visitors reach your website.

Write compelling search engine and target phrase relevant website copy. Having a lot of website content can help to get noticed by the search engines. Be sure to structure the content in an organized and easy to read fashion and use target search strings and phrases as often as possible.

Research shopping cart solutions that fit your business model. Shopping carts are a software that helps to facilitate the shopping experience of your customers. It allows them to select products and put them on "hold" to purchase once they have finished shopping. Most shopping cart programs are intended for USA based companies and USA based payment processors so it is critical that you choose a solution that will work with your business.

Research internet merchant accounts and payment processing options for your business. Internet payment processing is a complicated subject to be sure. Most importantly as a Canadian business you must choose a payment processor that will approve your application, have agreeable terms and rates, as well as integrate technically to your shopping cart software. The importance of your website, your payment processing and your shopping cart being designed to work together can not be understated.

Research and develop a sustainable method of product or service delivery to your customers. Whether a wholesale shipping account or a software program that allows clients to access information upon payment you will need to develop a method to provide your customers with the product or service that you are selling. Try to build an advanced system that will reduce the amount of human intervention as much as possible as this will help to keep your time commitment to the website as low as possible.

Test and launch website. Once everything has been built and you are ready to go live you must first run test transactions to ensure that the process works seamlessly.

Promote your new website. Write articles, purchase advertising and tell your friends. Website promotion is a long term and continual process to ensure that your website is able to be found by potential customers.

Utilize website and traffic analytics to monitor the user activity on your website. through analytics you can monitor user experiences on your website and potentially try new and different website copy, sale pricing and service adjustments. this will help to ensure that you are maximising all of the traffic that you are receiving on your website.


  • close be sure to research the entire subject of starting an online business before actually starting. This will help to ensure that your business is successful.

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