What Do I Need to Start an Online Boutique Business?

I suggest the companies below because they are companies that are tried and true and they are ones that I, personally, use.

Purchase a Domain Name

First, you will need to get a domain name. I recommend getting one at www.godaddy.com. When you purchase one, keep in mind that you do not need their hosting. This is because their hosting is not compatible with the shopping carts that our designs integrate with, but they have great pricing for domain names. You will get your hosting elsewhere and that step will be detailed below.

.US Domain Sale! Just $3.49 from GoDaddy.com! - 12

Obtain Web Hosting that meets the needs of your business

Next, you will need web hosting. I recommend using Host Gator Hosting if you are using Optioncart or CKgold as your shopping cart. Use coupon “bettysfriends” to get your first month for as little as a penny!

If you need some SERIOUS hosting for a massive shopping cart, like Magento, you need Magento Hosting that is optimized their servers in order to effectively run this behemoth efficiently! In this case, I recommend Monster Web Hosting. Their ecommerce package, with SSL included, and customer service is, in a word, fantastic! You will find no one better. They are personable, they are quick and efficient, and reliable. I recently referred Amber McCracken, owner of Poppyclementine.com, to them and here is what she has said about them,

“I just wanted to thank you for the referral to monsterweb.net…you’re right, they are AMAZING!!!! Yippeee!! Seriously, thanks.:)”

Get a Business Merchant Account

You will need to get a Business or Premier Paypal account, to start taking credit card payments online.

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Find an Online Printer

Need an online printer for your new print designs? While we can design for printers all over the world, Vistaprint.com, is the most affordable online printer we have found. If you haven’t checked them out lately, you really should. They have expanded their product line quite a bit. Also, sign up for their newsletter for great coupons. Sometimes, you will even get free printing offers.

100 Mommy Contact Cards for $1.99

Don’t have great photos yet? Fake it!

Photos are SO important. I really can’t stress this enough. But, hiring a professional photographer when you are just starting out in business may not be an option for you. So, stock photos are a really great option and super affordable these days. They can really make your site look professional. I recommend Istockphoto.com. They have great stock photography and their prices are really good, starting at $1! Their customer service is great, too. And, you can use code STOCKLAYOUTS for 20% off your first purchase of $25 or more, too. If you have already purchased there, there is another code AVERYWEB5 for 20% off 50 Pay-as-you-go credits or more.

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