Becca Meyers https://www.virtualxcellence.com 3m 749
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Image Source: Envato Elements
Although online businesses require lower capital investments to start than their brick-and-mortar counterparts due to the low startup cost, it still requires money and skills to launch from the ground up. Costs, such as servers, third-party software, lead generation, and professional web design, can quickly sum up to a few thousand dollars. Nevertheless, it’s possible to get involved in eCommerce without having to dilute your ownership by taking on investors at such an early stage. Here’s how to do that:
Know Your Options
There are now tons of eCommerce ideas that aspiring entrepreneurs can pursue. Knowing your options means you can decide on what best fits your interests and capital. Some popular online business ideas include blogging, freelance writing, eBook writing, affiliate marketing, and social media management. All of these business ideas require zero capital to start and the resources on how to start them can be found free online.
Determine the Bare Bones of Your Business
What are you trying to sell? For a professional coaching business, it might be a training course. For an online store, it might be toys or novelty gifts. When you’re starting out, disregard anything that isn’t directly connected to the product. Only spend money on building or sourcing whatever product you are selling. The professional website, fancy packaging, executive office, and everything else can come later. The important thing is to get your brand and your product out there.
Consider Low-Interest Loans
If you don’t want an outside investor taking any equity from your business, a loan is a common alternative. Loans, however, tend to be inherently riskier due to the interest payments attached to it. But it’s possible to find sources that will approve you for low to zero interest rate. Family and friends are a good place to start. Many will give you a no-interest loan with a flexible repayment structure.
Learn the Skills Yourself
Implement the Right Technology
The right technological solutions for eCommerce in Canada is one that is low-cost, can be integrated flawlessly, and can scale as your business grows. There are countless options on the market for CRM and CMS tools out there. Implementing these software programs lets you automate business processes, giving you a bird’s eye view of operations at all times, cutting costs down, and improving task completion times.
Convert Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
Nowadays, what customers say about you through word-of-mouth or the reviews they leave on Yelp and similar platforms can make or break your business. One dissatisfied customer and your brand can get hit hard. But that also means you can capitalize on good customer experience. Satisfied customers can bring in more business without you needing to spend a single dollar on advertising or lead generation. Invite your customer base to write a good review for your business on social media and third-party review sites. Offer incentives, such as discount coupons or freebies, for those who do write a review and/or share your business’ link to their circle of friends and family.
Look For Partnerships
Mutually beneficial partnerships with other businesses and entrepreneurs doesn’t cost you any equity on your business nor does it require you to secure a loan with interest. For instance, if your business sells trendy phone accessories, you can partner with a social media influencer. They review and low-key advertise your product and, in exchange, you send them a free sample.
Starting an online business doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, one of the appealing factors of eCommerce is that cost to entry is lower than brick-and-mortar stores. That being said, the domain still involves some degree of risk. Use the tips above to bootstrap your business idea without having to rely on outside investments.