4 ways to start an online business inexpensively

Most people have probably dreamed of starting their own business at one point or another. After all, who wants to stay in the 9-to-5 grind, working for someone else for the rest of their lives? Of course the problem then becomes exactly how to start such an online business storefront. There are all types of doubts, questions, and even excuses. But probably the most objections everyone considers is how to start something like this inexpensively. Fortunately, in this day and age there are tons of amazing resources that can make this dream a reality for a lot less money than you might think.


how to start an online business inexpensively


Buy a Storefront:

Believe it or not, there are online companies that will literally set you up with your own shop or storefront for very little money. In fact, you could start using such an option for as little as $15 per month. You should find a solution that offers a good choice of templates, since that will pretty much determine what your store will look like. It would be great if you had some type of customization options as well, being able to add your own logo, change colors, etc..

This method is also one of the fastest ways to get started with an online business, especially if you already know what types of products you will be selling. Normally, these types of solutions will allow you to display only a limited number of products, but it is still a great way to get started very inexpensively and quickly. Just add in your product information and you are off to the races.


Obtain a Domain and Hosting:

One of the things that you should probably always do before choosing an online solution for your business is to purchase a domain, Whenever you are starting an online shop having your own domain ensures that you own the name. This is key, because if something happens in the future and you need to move your business to a different host or solution provider, your customers will still be able to find you. The domain name is equivalent to your internet address; this is really how customers will find you online.

In some cases, the cheapest solution for your new online storefront might be to self-host. In other words, you take your domain and find an online host, which will store your site on their servers. You will need to add your own images, files, products, etc.. but it is a great way to get everything going without forking over a lot of cash. The domain should only run about $15 per year and hosting can be as low as $3 or $4 a month when purchased for a full year in advance. Plug-ins and services like WordPress can even make the technical parts of setting everything up a breeze.


Consider your Business Model:

Another great benefit of spending very little money for starting an online shop is that it allows you to test your business model without a huge amount of risk. Instead of needing to rent a warehouse or retail location, buy tons of merchandise, and invest thousands of dollars, just build a small website and do a bit of marketing. You should have a good idea if the business is viable fairly quickly. From that point, you can either ramp up or try something else.

Thinking about your business model as an important way to save money and start out inexpensively. For example, rather than buying tons of inventory without knowing if the items will sell, start by finding a supplier willing to ship the items directly to your customers. This arrangement is called dropshipping and it ensures that you only spend money after a customer has paid you for a product. Then, and only then, do you go ahead to your supplier and place the order. This type of business model is probably the least expensive to start.


Consider Payment Processing Options:

There are a lot of different options available to an online store owner for collecting payments. This could be something as simple as PayPal, which allows you to place payment buttons and links on your site. The customer simply clicks on the button and is redirected to a secure location where they enter the payment details. Your money is then deposited into you online account (from there, you can transfer it directly to your bank account).

There are a number of other options for collecting payments. Some are rather similar to the method described above. Or, you may even choose to get your own merchant account. In either case, just keep your eyes on the actual fees charged. The nice thing about using most of the non-merchant account options is that you are charged once a sale is made.

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