Latest posts by Merry Conner
Take Your Small Business Idea Online On A Budget
How to start a small business online while on a budget can be somewhat overwhelming, and yes, even a daunting task. Have you thought about doing this, or have you done any research on the best ways you can achieve small business success? When it comes to any business, whether that is how to start a small business online or offline you should know your budget before committing. What can you manage without stress monthly for 6 months to one year? Yes, this can be a process that is not always as Fast As you have been told!
It is pretty easy to get excited when you have an idea about how to start a small business online and forget about the ‘behind the curtain’ stuff that is so important. Yes, I do mean a budget. I know, not a lot of fun and it can really cramp your creative spirit but in the end, it will possibly be the one thing that helps you succeed. Because it does, in fact, take some time to see the fruits of your labor, the budget is key. Just be sure it is what you can manage comfortably.
We are told every day and in every way that to start a home business on a budget is not required to be successful. Heck, the marketing is so glamorous who wouldn’t want to have that and never mind the bloody budget! Just go for it! Get it Done! No time like now to get started…….yes, you have heard or read those words. I can’t be the only one, can I?
What kinds of Small Business’ on a Budget are there?
That is a good question. Usually or perhaps it is because of our programming, we think the only ways to start a small business online while on a budget are limited to M.L.M., Direct Sales, or Affiliate Marketing. There is one more that actually is huge and should, in my opinion, be highly considered. That is Drop Shipping.
Have you heard of Dropshipping? Let me see if I can give you a good explanation of what exactly it is. As a drop shipper, you sell items directly on your website and when a customer orders a product you transfer the order and customers shipment details to your partner manufacturer or another drop shipping vendor who then fulfills and ships the goods directly to your customer. This allows you to actually be selling products you do not own.
This method is brilliant when it comes to the question of how to start a small business online and you are on a budget!! You can list and sell as few as one product or as many products as you wish with no initial outlay of money.
I have seen some wonderful examples of real sites, with real people that are using this method and making sales that are far more lucrative than just getting those commissions. You have to admit, this is something to look at. When done correctly, drop shipping avoids the risk of you spending thousands of dollars purchasing stock while seriously increasing profit!
Let’s just re-cap the kinds of small online business opportunities are available to you.
1. M.L.M (a rep selling products for a company. Usually requires a purchase and offline sales)
2. Direct Sales ( a rep for a company again but usually done on a party plan)
3. Affiliate Marketing ( you earning a commission from Amazon or others that offer affiliate sales)
4. Drop Shipping ( your own online e-store selling products direct to customer. No product to buy)
How To Start A Small Business Online
If or when you are on a budget, shoestring or with a bit of leeway, it is imperative that you know upfront what your costs overall will be. Questions to ask yourself or the method you are choosing are:
- what are my monthly costs to use this platform
- are my websites and access to vendors free or is there a monthly fee
- breaking down the costs over several platforms and comparing is essential.
- what are the costs associated with training? Short term or long term?
Those are just a few that popped into my head but you must have a figure you can work with, either monthly or yearly or a one time fee. Here’s the thing. No matter which way you go, how you start a small online business, IS knowing your bottom line for your budget or it will make you or break you.
You will have to think about advertising at some point in your travels. If you can use social media and write some good content in a blog area on your website you can indeed save those advertising costs in the beginning. Facebook is one of the easier and least costly places to start if you are paying for your ads. Another awesome place you can use and it is free is Google+.
Choices, SoYou Can BeginThe Process of an Online Biz
I have to be perfectly honest with you, I am just not that into doing M.L.M or Direct Sales as a home business. No, there is nothing wrong and they are certainly not what most call a ‘pyramid scam’. If there is a legitimate product or service of value it is not a scam.
Think about this: You work as a stock person working the night shift at Walmart. Your job is to re-stock the shelves, have your lunch and coffee and go home. Your supervisor, on the other hand, has a lot of responsibility that requires more than just showing up.
Your pay scale is different, and when was the last time the stock person made the same dollars as the supervisor?
What about the janitor at the local school? When was the last time the janitor was paid the same as the Principle?
Draw that out in the shape of a pyramid and what do you have? Right! Someone had to come up with the business plan, the products and the money to do it all and they sit at the helm. It only makes sense.
Sorry, 🙂 Back to where you choose how you can start a small online business and learn as you grow.
My number 1 shout out is Wealthy Affiliate.
Here is a platform that is all about teaching you how to set up a business, affiliate, drop shipper or any others. There is a free period ( NO CC required to look) where you have access to everything. After a short time period, you will be offered an opportunity to become a premium member where you will continue to have the full access plus so much more knowledge. This is something you will need to continue and to be successful online. Patience will be the key.
If you are serious about a starting a business on a budget and being successful then I encourage the upgrade. If and only if you have knowledge of building a website would I suggest staying at the free level.
Moving on, let’s look at the Drop shipping platforms that are available. Everyone that I have been introduced to offers training and guidance. No, not 100% free. But then, when is something ever 100% free all the time? The people who are doing all the work need to put food on the table too, right?
I have found 4 that I have no problem suggesting you have a look at. I am not affiliated with any at this time. I just sincerely want you to have the advantages of saving time and money.
1. SALEHOO: Not my favorite for ease of use but one of the most reasonable in a one time fee. SaleHoo acts as your safety net to find the most honest vendors for drop shipping or wholesaling products.
2. Oberlo and Shopify: I combined the two platforms as they work in conjunction with each other. Both are highly respected and offer some amazing training and everything you need to set up your website and be running in 2 weeks. A free trial with Shopify is 14 days and Oberlo you can remain as a free member or upgrade.
OBERLO is where you will have access to a huge list of suppliers that are legit. You will also have guidance in shipping costs, an app for easy access to your products. Negative using Oberlo is you must also use Shopify.
Not a bad thing for sure but costs will be involved. Here is where you will calculate your budget and time wisely. Using these platforms you have built in e-commerce solutions and themes and apps that all save time and are included in your fees.
3. World Wide Brands International: Is A Directory of Certified Wholesalers and Drop shipper lists. ONLY Certified Drop shippers and Bulk Wholesalers. No Middlemen and NO Fake Suppliers. Guaranteed! An American based company whose Directory contains Wholesaler Suppliers used by Big Retail Chains like Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and more.
What I did notice that really stood out is how wholesalers seem to take center stage at W.B.I. Not that that is a problem, but if you want to drop ship products it is a bit different from shipping and pricing. So much depends on where you are selling your products and where your storefront is hosted. If you are using a WordPress site with Woo commerce this is where you would set up either W.B.I. or SaleHoo.
The difference I saw was not the costs as they pretty much work out to the same between Oberlo & Shopify and W.B.I. but with the ease of finding your way around. I like things to be simple and as a visual learner, it really helps in the process for me.
If you would like to see or learn more about setting up your own home business, Once again, Here is where you can not only learn all there is to learn about affiliate marketing, e-commerce, WordPress, dropshipping or any other small business online and remember you can try it free.
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Now, go be a doll…………Keyboard is yours