5 Ways Small Businesses Can Setup An Online Store On A Tight Budget
Thinking of starting a small business but worried about finances?
We live a totally different world today, gone are the years where you'll need to have Angel or venture capital funding for you to start a business. As information consumption keeps evolving, the opportunity to start a small business can easily become a reality if you take the right steps and stay dedicated to your mission and goals.
Today, selling products through traditional brick and mortar stores are slowly depleting, due to most purchases that start with an online search. If you shop at Walmart.com, Amazon.com or ebay.com, you will see why traditional storefronts are becoming more and more obsolete as the years go by.
With these online retailers, you’ll discover that you can shop at the comfort of your home and have your items delivered to you the same day or the next day. So how can you start your own online business and win the hearts of potential customers without any startup funds?
To help you get ideas, here are 5 ways small businesses can save money with a new online store:
Planning Your Small Business Startup Cost
When starting out, you’ll need to start planning your startup cost for the new business. This can sometimes be underestimated by thousands but you should not be scared to make the first steps. Setting up your online shop using already established platforms like Shopify, will be far less expensive than a physical store location but will require planning, extensive research, design, and a well long term structured professional website with SEO components for organic growth. Always know patience is key when building a sustainable brand. It will take some time, make sure your design is up to date and relatable to your style and content.
A well structured and designed eCommerce website can take a few days to get set up and running. The goal is to design a site where potential customers can quickly connect emotionally and find conversions like shopping carts, checkout, and secure payment options.
Understand Your Store Website Needs
To get it right, a fully optimized functioning online store usually requires the assistance of professional designers and developers to design, implement, and fully test a new online business site before it goes live to the public.
Your startup should incorporate only things that are necessary to get started in order to control load times. This will help you down the line, as your expenses will be less and you can focus your budget on growing your business through different digital channels.
As you know, non-online businesses have regular cost of maintenance, so do eCommerce websites but very low in comparison to brick n mortar. Starting out you'll also want to make sure you are hiring the right people to scale your business. Good customer service comes first, so you'll need to figure out your business model and get this in line fast.
A successful online business relies heavily on excellent customer service. Unless you are prepared to handle all customer service personally, hiring someone to answer emails, phone inquiries, and post to social network sites is a start-up cost for a business you should take into account in your early planning days, months and years.
Excellent customer service is important in building relationships with customers that will bring them back and have them recommending your business to friends and family! Better to overestimate start-up costs and have a well-designed, functional site with customer service ready to answer questions from day one than to wait for customer complaints or non-working features to start creating problems down the line for your business.
Save Money With Caution
While an eCommerce site offers businesses with low start-up costs compared to traditional options, you should avoid the temptation to give in to some cost-cutting strategies. Do not have a well-meaning friend, relative or web design intern/ student build your site free. The stress and frustration involved in setting up a business site can place enough stress on friends and family members to ruin relationships.
Design interns and students may not have the experience to handle all design challenges and may not be on hand later should you need to try to resolve problems with your business site.
You need a web designer or web design company you can count on for ongoing technical support as you get started. Once you have your site ready to launch, keep it simple, and start small. Do not order a ton of inventory you may or may not be selling right away. A benefit to online marketing is you have access to real-time data that you can use to determine how much inventory you need to have on hand.
Your eCommerce store doesn’t Have to be costly
With all the platforms out there, you can save time and money in small business start-up costs by using a company that offers web design templates such as Shopify eCommerce. Using Shopify services provides you with an easy to use online store builder features and templates, professional designs that you can customize with your brand and logos, secure shopping cart features avoiding costly shopping cart design mistakes many start-up businesses make and comes with excellent technical support anytime you need it.
In addition to the cost of setting up your online business, your business start-up costs will include marketing costs (Getting the word out to potential customers). Rather than traditional advertising in newspapers or print, consider pay per click ad options on sites that attract the target audience you want as customers, some great platforms include Google Ads.
Low start-up Cost, more immediate profits
Most online businesses with low start-up costs have the potential to see a return on investment much sooner than traditional retail stores if the store is set up and runs properly with online advertising, great customer service, and products at competitive prices.
However, you’ll have to consider other overhead costs of running a business, like any retail store, your low-cost start-up business must also include factors such as the cost of sales, the cost of technology such as computers, software, and other support. There will still be professional fees for lawyers, accounting, and insurance as well as administrative costs to consider.
Realize that a new eCommerce site can be a low-cost way to start up a new business but you must be sure to consider and address all the same concerns a tradition retail business involves in all operations. While your new business is not likely to be an overnight success, it can be a highly successful venture as long as you take time to research options and plan your startup budget effectively to yield short term results.
At Backlinkfy, our number one is to ensure you go through a smooth process building your own Online store and securing your online business. We help you get there by offering guides, tips, and tutorials on how to succeed, including insight on the available frameworks, tools, and software to ensure you reach your objectives when you get started. That’s why we have created the Backlinkfy Marketing Guides. With these guides, you can find topics on Digital marketing, web design, link building, entrepreneurship, social marketing and much more!
Walmart, eBay, and Amazon are unique companies in very many ways. eBay acts as an advertising platform for your products by independent sellers, Amazon has inventory in their warehouses across the United States and Canada from different vendors, while Walmart is a platform for various sellers to have their products listed and sold. Three things are common if you are selling via any of these platforms:
To gain customers, you’ll have to trust the platform and wait or run ads to increase your product visibility.
Your brand visibility is competitive as there are similar products on these platforms.
Most of your customer service inquiries go through these platforms.
For these 3 reasons, you are probably thinking about starting an online shop to create your own customer base. Selling products you control and getting as many customers as you want without the competitiveness within these platforms.
Selecting The Right eCommerce Platform
This is one of the most important aspects of starting an online business. Setting up your website without using an efficient eCommerce platform will be very costly and time-consuming because you will have to hire a developer, and pay them serious cash to set up a safe and well-structured website and online shopping database that can be unsafe.
Another disadvantage of developing your own platform is that when you want to scale, it will be a process of spending money, time and resources to test the expansion of your platform making it very difficult in the long run to curb expenses and see any profits or return on investment.
Platforms like Shopify, Big Commerce, and Magento can make this setup and design process work very easy for you. There are hundreds of other eCommerce platforms but based on our customers and testing, we believe these are the best out there.
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