There has never been a better time to start a business. There are so many ways to reach potential customers.
Thanks to the internet, you can start a business in your spare time. It may take a while to build and you could end up as a one-man band, but you’ll still be a business owner.
One of the easiest ways to get started is with an e-commerce site. You may not end up being the next Nike, but you could make a name for yourself in a small niche.
In this article, we’ll go over a few ways that you can get started with a small budget and still be successful.
Start with a blog
There are so many ways to do market research for products before you commit to buying some.
The best way, that is almost free, is to start a blog around the topic that your product covers. It’s a long way around to do it, but you can see how much interest there is in your product. With a blog and solid social media campaign, you can also build a loyal following to whom you can sell to later.
If you have a year or so before you start sourcing and selling your products, you can use the blog to gauge interest. Learn the basics of SEO and then write optimized posts around the subject to bring in organic traffic.
Pick a platform
Besides the blog, you’ll need a website that is equipped to handle orders. There are a number of ready to go platforms including Shopify and Woocommerce that will handle all the logistics of placing orders and processing payments.
With a number of plugins available, you can do things like offer free shipping over a certain amount, recommend add on products to the shopping cart and send out automated emails to remind people they have items in their cart still.
Don’t get a warehouse
When you first start out, you’re likely going to be dealing with minimum orders that may or may not take up much space.
In this case, it makes sense to either work out of a garage if you have one or to use a service like Life Storage Brooklyn.
These types of self-storage units can be cheap and are sized to match your needs. Many SMB are choosing to use these units for their business.
Once you start seeing your business grow then you can just increase the size of the unit. When you totally outgrow it then that is the time to think about a warehouse.
Prepay your shipping costs
One of the best ways to save money with shipping is to prepay.
Paying upfront for shipping can help you avoid any increase in rates. Effectively you are locking in whatever the current rate is when you prepay. In fact, you can see savings of up to 20% in most cases. You’ll also save time since the labels are all ready to go.