They say you have to spend money to make money, but is that really true? In some cases, it will be, but if you want to start an online store and your budget is tight or non-existent, it is still possible. Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll be making money too. It sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Although you will still need to work hard, and marketing will be essential no matter what option you go for, it is certainly something that anyone can do. Read on to find out what some of the cheapest ways to run an online store are.
Forget The Website
When you think of the money you need to spend on your eCommerce business, what is the most expensive item you’ll need? The first thing that will often spring to mind is your website; if you want it to look good and attract visitors, if you want it to work smoothly and be impressive and user-friendly, you’ll need to spend a good deal of money on it. This money will go towards hiring an expert web designer and creator and ensuring you are using the most powerful eCommerce platform you can find.
What if we said you didn’t need a website? Despite the received wisdom that every business needs a website, online stores are a little different and can manage without, at least at first – eventually, once you’ve made enough money, you can have one built just for you. In the meantime, you can search out the best tools for Amazon sellers and use that vast platform, or you can utilize the reach that social media will give you.
Don’t Buy Stock
After the website, the next biggest outgoing is your stock; it might even be more expensive if you’re selling big-ticket items. There are significant problems with buying stock, and the cost is only one of them. Firstly, you’re buying things that you don’t know you’ll be able to sell or make any profit on. Next, you’ll need somewhere to store those items, potentially involving hiring a storage unit or a warehouse.
Yet there is another way. It’s a cost-effective way that doesn’t involve any storage, and if you’re buying stock, it means you’ve already sold it. It’s the process of drop shipping. Dropshipping is a system wherein you advertise products but don’t hold them in stock. When someone buys something, you pass the order onto the drop shipping company, paying for the item to be sent directly to the customer. Since the customer has already paid you, the difference between what they paid and you spent is your profit, and you get to keep it.
Use Social Media
Right at the start, we mentioned that marketing was important, and that’s true. If you want to encourage people to buy from your online store over and above anyone else’s, you’ll need to let them know about it, and you’ll need to show them why you’re the one they should choose – without this, failure could be on the cards.
Marketing can be expensive, and many companies spend millions just trying to reach their target markets. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, don’t worry; it doesn’t have to. By using social media and creating a viral post, you don’t have to pay anything to have your business seen by thousands. Even if you do choose to pay for a boosted presence, the cost will be minimal compared to traditional marketing methods.