The “Before You Launch” Checklist

Starting an online business is an exciting venture, and it probably didn’t take you long to create a few categories, add some products and set your featured images. Your shop is looking good!

we-are-openThere are some important setup tasks that you don’t want to overlook before you start advertising your Merchant Shop. Most of these settings and are covered in Chapter 3 of the Merchant Shop User’s Manual, and can be found in the “My Merchant Shop->Settings” menu of your dashboard.

Probably the most important thing to you will be to make sure you get paid when your customers make a purchase. When your Merchant Shop is configured, the PayPal payment gateway is left in “sandbox” mode. This allows you to test your merchant shop checkout without actually processing the transactions.

If you will be accepting payments using your PayPal account, log into your dashboard, and go to “My Merchant Shop->Settings”. Once there, check the “Payment Gateways” tab, and click the “PayPal” link to verify your account settings are correct. Once you are satisfied that the settings are correct, don’t forget to take your shop out of “sandbox” mode. You should also review the settings for other payment options, such as cash on deliver, checks and Stripe.

While you’re in your Merchant Shop settings, be sure to check the other tabs, especially Tax, Shipping and Emails.

If you’re unsure about sales taxes, check out this article for some helpful advice. Once you know which customers you need to charge sales taxes for, you can save yourself some time by downloading your state’s rates from TaxRates.com. These can be quickly imported by logging into your dashboard, and choosing “Settings->Tax Rate Upload”, and following the on-screen instructions.

If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account, you should configure the “Follow Us” widget in your Merchant Shop sidebar. If you do not use any of these social media sites, you may still want to remove the “Follow Us” widget from your sidebar, as it links to the NuggetWeb accounts by default. You can change the widget in “Settings->Widgets” of your dashboard. Widgets are covered in chapter 7 of the Merchant Shop User’s Manual.

The “About” page on your Merchant Shop tells your visitors who your are, what your business is about and your preferred contact information. When you receive your Merchant Shop, this page has some instructions on what you may want to include on the page, and how you can edit it to reflect your unique business.

Now you can feel confident that you are ready for business, and start promoting your new business!

Did we miss something? Join in the conversation, and tell us in the comments below.

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