Because September and October are historically times when many people open their first business, this week is dedicated to topics surrounding starting your own business. While this is not an end-all-be-all list of steps you must take, they’ll help you get a solid head start on your new business venture. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

Accepting Payment

If you're starting an online store the most important thing you will need to secure before your store goes live is a way to get paid! This may seem obvious but it is something many first-time online store owners overlook. Once this step is completed, you can add products, make the store live and start selling right away!

Some online store owners start off by signing up for a PayPal account and only offering PayPal, but the majority of online store owners sign up for something called a merchant account. A merchant account is how online stores accept credit cards. While solely using PayPal is an option, conversion rates tend to be higher when using a merchant account.

A merchant account requires a payment gateway and payment processor. The payment gateway encrypts customer data to send it securely from the online store to the payment processor. The payment processor then moves the money from the buyer's account to the seller's account.

Most online merchant account providers only provide the credit card processing and then you have to find your own compatible gateway to encrypt the data being sent. One of the biggest benefits of using the Volusion merchant account is the efficiency of having your gateway and processor with one company.

Just know that no matter which merchant account provider you choose, a valid SSL certificate will need to be installed on your site before you run any transactions or you will find yourself non-compliant with credit card industry regulations- which can result in steep fines and even your online store being shut down.

-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist

Related articles:
Starting a Business Part 1: Types Of Business
Starting a Business Part 2: Policies You Should Think About
Starting a Business Part 3: Choosing The Right Products To Sell
Starting a Business Part 4: Selecting A Dropshipper
Starting a Business Part 5: Logo Design
Starting a Business Part 6: How To Get Paid
Starting a Business Part 7: Marketing your Business