You should take several steps to launch an e-commerce venture. First, you should find a niche. Next, you should choose a province to headquarter your business. After that, you should check the provincial and federal laws your company needs to observe.
The fourth step is to build a business website and find a hosting provider. Finally, you should develop a marketing strategy to spread the word about your business.
Five Easy Steps to Start an Online Business
You can take the above steps in a different order, skip some of them, or add new ones as needed. Before you start off, make sure you have a business plan in place.
1. Find a niche
Currently, the three trendiest online business opportunities in Canada are dropshipping, launching an online art shop, and freelancing.
Dropshipping is a business practice where one sells products manufactured, warehoused, and supplied by third parties.
Given Canada’s vast territory and harsh climate, dropshipping is a lifeline for many isolated communities.
You can, of course, choose another niche as per your expertise and investment preferences.
2. Pick up a province
You do not have to be a Canadian citizen or resident to launch an online business in the country. However, it would really help if you opened an office in one of its provinces.
If you decide to run your business from abroad, you’ll have to hire a legal firm to act as your representative before the local authorities, which can be costly.
The Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia are the provinces with the most favorable business climate.
3. Canadian e-commerce laws
On a federal level, your online business must comply with Canada’s anti-spam and cyber safety legislation and the regulations of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.
It’s possible to hire a local legal consultant to keep your online business in good standing with the provincial e-commerce regulators.
4. Websites and hosting
Canada’s top web hosting providers are HostPapa, WebHosting Canada, Greengeeks, and WPX. The last one is very suitable for WordPress sites.
This Canadian company has specialized in VPS hosting. Right now, their Business Plan is at the price of the Basic and costs just $2.95 per month.
You can register as many websites as you need and use unmetered bandwidth and unlimited SSD storage.
If your online business needs more server resources, you can upgrade to HostPapa’s Pro Plan for $11.95/mo.
Web Hosting Canada
If your online business requires a WP website, Web Hosting Canada is the best provider for it. The company’s plans include free email marketing tools. They offer three domain options:
· .CA for CAD 9.99
· .COM for CAD 11.99
· .XYZ for CAD 2.99
Web Hosting Canada offers VPS hosting, dedicated server hosting, and managed WP hosting. The last option is the cheapest – just CAD 3.99/mo.
You have to pay CAD 4.16/mo for an SSL certificate (definition) and CAD 7.95/mo for a site protection package.
WPX has specialized in providing super-fast managed WordPress hosting. Here are their plans:
· Business $20.83/mo
· Pro $41.58/mo
· Elite $83.25/mo
In addition, you’ll have to pay $13.99 for a .com domain. WPX’s monthly fees are relatively high, but the company justifies them with amazing page-loading speed and native CDN.
With every plan, you get the following free features:
· Unlimited SSL certificates
· Automatic backups
· PHP 7.x & PHP 8.0
· Unlimited Databases
Greengeeks is one of the most popular hosting providers in the world. The company specializes in eco-friendly hosting services and offers three plans:
· Lite $2.95/mo
· Pro $5.95/mo
· Premium $11.95/mo
All plans come with a free domain, SSL certificate, and CDN. You can also choose to have your site hosted on Greengeeks’ Canadian data center.
How much does it cost to build a website in Canada?
If you know some coding, you can use the WordPress.com editor to set up a website for free from a ready template. However, custom-built business websites have more significant growth potential.
For a simple, brochure-like site, local designers will charge around $1,000 to build. The setup cost of a small e-commerce store can reach $5,000, and of a big one – up to $50,000.
The easiest way to promote your online business in Canada is by setting up social media accounts for it and joining local Facebook groups, says BusinessNewsDaily.
You can offer a local guest blogger to post on your company’s site so as endorse your brand and strengthen its online image. In exchange, they will allow you to advertise your business on their site.
Last Updated: August 12, 2022