How to start online business: As millennials continue to age and advance in their careers, many are realizing that their traditional 9-to-5 desk job won’t be their forever gig. In fact, almost 60% of millennials want to start their own business, according to Monster. So if you’re one of those who feels the same way, you’re not alone!
The internet has made it easier than ever for anyone to launch a new business from home — even with a limited budget. These days, aspiring entrepreneurs can start an online business on the cheap and from the comfort of their own home. However, many people have doubts about whether they can still make it work. After all, starting your own business requires time, dedication and money.
Most new entrepreneurs don’t have thousands of dollars lying around to invest in a brand-new company; however there are plenty of ways you can fund your own online business without breaking the bank:
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6 Ways to Start Your Own Online Business Without Breaking the Bank
How to start online business: Thinking of starting your own business and selling your homemade crafts or other products online? You’re not the only one. More people than ever before are turning to the virtual marketplace as a means of monetizing their skills, interests, passions – even their weird nerdy hobbies. While starting an e-business doesn’t have to break the bank, doing it right can take some upfront investment. Fortunately, with a little savvy and planning ahead, you can get going on a new business venture with minimum cash outlay. Here are six ways to start an online business without breaking the bank:
Run a cost-analysis math test before you leap.
Before you start spending money on any aspect of your e-business, be it on a website or website development, inventory, and shipping, marketing, or any other operating costs, run a cost-analysis math test. In other words, run the numbers and see if your business idea is even likely to be profitable, let alone generate a profit big enough to cover your initial expenses. Essentially, you want to make sure the numbers add up to a profit – not a loss. To do this, you need to know how much money you’ll need to get going and how much you can realistically expect to make. What will each of the above business expenses be? What is the cost of your product or service? How many will you need to sell to break even? How much do you need to sell to make a profit? How much do you need to charge per product or service to account for all of the above? Crunch the numbers and, before you leap, make sure you have a realistic shot at profitability.
Don’t skimp on tools and website design.
As with any business, good tools and technology will make your life easier from the get-go. Not only will they help your new online business succeed, but they’ll also enable you to do so on a shoe-string budget. When you’re shopping for website design, always go for quality over price. If you go with a cheap website, you may find yourself needing to replace it in a year or less. That will likely cost you more in the long run.
Finding a good content-management system (CMS) that’s easy to use, functional, flexible, and administrable is essential to keeping your e-business on track. A good CMS will allow you to manage your content, manage your website, and scale as your business grows. Look for features like a flexible layout, easy-to-use navigation, and robust search engine optimization (SEO) capability, which will help you rank higher in search results.
How to start online business
You should also look for security features to protect your site against hackers and malware. You can also save on technology costs by using software-as-a-service (SAAS) solutions instead of going to the cloud. For example, use a cloud-based accounting software instead of installing a software on your computer. SAAS is usually cheaper than buying software and usually has the same features. You can also save on web hosting costs by going with a hosting service that offers discounts for startups. You can also use virtual private servers (VPS) or a content delivery network (CDN). Also, make sure to use plugins that will help you manage your website efficiently.
Use free advertising to build your audience before you launch.
Before you launch your new website, look for ways to build an audience for your new e-business. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay for advertising to do this. There are many free ways to reach out to new audiences. Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to start a conversation around your new product or service. Start a blog and actively engage with your new audience by writing about your interests and passions, what drives your business, and ways they can get involved. You can also sign up for a free website from Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or Facebook to host your content and drive traffic to your website once it’s live. Another way to reach out to new audiences for free is by participating in online marketplaces like Etsy, Ebay, and Zazzle. These platforms host a wide variety of products and provide a ready-made audience that you can interact with and build your brand with.
Jump on the ad-free train with a paid membership site.
If you’re worried about your advertising being too “spammy” or you don’t want to go through the effort of building an audience from scratch, consider launching a paid membership website. Paid membership websites are ad-free, and visitors pay for the privilege of visiting. A paid membership website gives you a steady stream of passive income. You can also use it as a lead-generation tool to recruit potential customers for your e-commerce business. There are many membership website services out there, like Wix and Squarespace, that come with built-in payment processing and hosting services, which will save you from going to the trouble of setting up your own payment and hosting services. With paid membership websites, you get most of the benefits of running e-commerce websites, like the ability to sell products and services and make money from your passions. However, unlike e-commerce websites, you don’t have to deal with shipping, inventory management, and customer service.
Earn free products and services by collaborating with brands.
Brands are always looking for ways to reach new audiences. If you want to save on costs while still reaching new audiences, consider collaborating with brands. Get in touch with brands you like and admire and see if you can partner with them on content creation or even giveaways. You might be able to get free products or services for hosting an event or for writing a sponsored blog post about their product or service. You can also partner with brands to create sponsored content. Create content around the brands you partner with and get them to sponsor the content by paying you or giving you free products or services in exchange for the promotion. You can also exchange content creation for free services from brands you partner with. For example, if you know someone who runs an online store and is in need of blog posts, you can offer to create posts for them in exchange for free products or services. The opportunities for collaboration are endless, so start networking and connecting with brands you admire and love to see what opportunities are out there for you.
How to start online business: Starting a new business is no easy task, especially when you’re doing it online. With the ever-increasing competition in the digital marketplace, it’s important to make sure you have the best tools and technology available to help you succeed. Don’t skimp on tools and website design when you’re getting started. Use free advertising to build your audience before you launch, and jump on the ad-free train with a paid membership site. Collaborate with brands to earn free products and services, and create content to promote the brands you partner with. By making wise investments in technology and partnerships, you can start your e-commerce business without breaking the bank.