Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Low Cost Ways to Start an Online Business

Everyone has heard the dreaded words - economic downturn…recession. The prices of goods are escalating at a rapid pace. Much more rapid than our checks can absorb. People all over are losing their houses and/or jobs. These are trying times for everyone. No one is safe, no job is stable. With all of the gloom and doom on the news each day, it’s enough to make you feel hopeless. But, have faith….take action.

What can we do to supplement our incomes? Maybe you as a mother have stayed home to raise the children and now you find you really need some extra income. If you’ve been laid off and have plenty of time on your hands, and no job opportunities available. Take action! With the internet available we have many options. Have you dreamed of having a boutique, a craft store or do you love to do a certain craft? There are people in the world who have money to spend. They are looking for products each and every day. Okay, so you don’t know where to start. First, think of an idea that would sell – maybe you sew; make baskets, handcrafted soap, candles, or jewelry. Perhaps, you are a writer of children’s books or short stories. Research the area you are interested in. Pick something you are good at, that you enjoy doing – find a niche and dig in. Select a catchy name and get ready to promote yourself.

Join some social forums. There are many forums available such as: ning forums, myspace, facebook, yahoo groups, wahm groups and many others. Search for social forums on the internet and you will find many. There are forums for a wide array of subjects. All the forums I’ve dealt with have had very friendly, helpful people with a wealth of valuable information. You will make many friends and acquaintances that will be willing to exchange links and you will probably find some customers along the way. Be active on the forums – post blogs, make friends, join groups and get into discussions. There are many sample box companies around. If you have an item that you want to get out to consumers, you may want to consider this option. Most of them are free except for the cost of your samples or products. Check around, they may offer different options to their e-tailers and you will want to pick the one best suited to you and your business.

You’ve decided what to sell, you’ve joined some forums and now you’ve realized that you don’t really have the funds to start a website. There are some DIY website builders around, but if you don’t know what you’re doing maybe you should consider opening a store. There are many places on the internet that offer free stores – you only pay when you sell an item (www.madeitmyself.com) , some stores have a low cost listing fee and you pay another small fee when you sell an item (www.etsy.com), you pay a low cost annual fee, no listing fees, a small fee when you sell at item at www.fuzzb.com, or you can opt to list on an auction site. Many auction sites offer stores for a monthly fee, plus a listing fee and a fee when you see your item. If you aren’t selling, you can run up listing fees fairly quickly with auction sites. All of these are good ways to start out. There are other stores around that I’ve not mentioned as I’ve not dealt with them.

Before long you will be selling your products and you’ll have the funds to build a website. Or who knows, with all the information available on the internet you may learn to build your own site. The sky is the limit – go ahead give it a try!

1 comment:

Sherrlyn Borkgren Photography said...

It's so great to see grassroots stores! Also thanks for spreading the love about the free wedding day photography!