How to Launch an eCommerce Business on a Budget

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By: | December 28, 2017 | Tags: , ,

HOW TO Launch an ecommerce business

Do you have an online store?

Are you thinking of opening one?

This post is a follow-up to my popular post Thinking of Opening an Online Store? Read This First.

The comments on that post made me realize many people run an online store.

However, what if running an eCommerce business is something you’d like to do but you just don’t have the budget?

Today’s guest author is here to answer that question.

How to Launch an eCommerce Business on a Budget

by Angelina Janos

Launching a business is not an easy thing to do – especially if you are working on a tight budget. But a tight budget can actually help you stay focused and spend your money on things that actually matter. So, if you are looking to get into eCommerce business, here are some tips to help you do it without spending a lot of money.

Registering your business

The first thing to do is to sort out the registration. Most of this won’t cost a thing, although business registration expenses can depend on your country. However, you need to make sure to take care of this part – not registering can end up costing you a lot more in the long term.

The most important parts to cover at this point include:

  • Creating a business name and registering it.
  • Buying a domain name and a website.
  • Applying for a business license and a permit.

In order to create your website, you can find plenty of small business software options from OZCodes. The savings site has offers on web hosts, image editing software and so on – these can help you launch a website cheaply.

Pick a product to sell

You will need to think what you eCommerce business will sell. The good news is that this won’t cost a thing, as ideas are usually free. You should check out popular shopping platforms and see what products are selling and perhaps what are those items that are missing – and thus provide you with an opportunity. Shopify is a great platform for understanding what kind of products sell and which don’t.

Opt for drop shipping products

Don’t go and buy a big stock of products. Instead, you want to opt for dropshipping. This cost-effective method means running your business on a platform and only paying for the products once a customer buys from you. This means you won’t end up paying for items no one isn’t even buying. There are different options to go with but Oberlo is one platform worth considering.

Use dropshipping to test, which items sell and which don’t. It’s a cost-effective way of seeing if you could add new products to your repertoire or stick to selling just a single item, for example.

Be smart with your marketing strategies

Marketing is an important part of a successful eCommerce business. The good news is that it isn’t as expensive in the modern world. You already have a website in which you can add content to entertain and inform your customers. You should also list your eCommerce business on business listing sites to help make it easier for customers to find you.

The other strategy involves using social media to your advantage. You want to regularly post content and engage people on social media. Learn to use hashtags to your advantage and you will notice people visiting your site more. Choose the content based on your products – you can just post photos, make How To-videos or share information through a blog post.

Use paid advertising only after you’ve established a good content marketing routine and a proper social media strategy. Both are relatively cost efficient and you can automate much of your social media activity with software like Social Oomph and PostPlanner. Online ads can help you promote the content – Facebook Ads and Google AdWords campaigns are worth opting for.

Calculate your margins

If you don’t want your eCommerce business to cost a fortune, you need to be smart at making money. You can launch lean and reinvest the money to grow your business if you just know how to make the sale. It’s essential to understand the cost of keeping your site open. Calculate the operational cost carefully in order to use the right price tag on your products. If you don’t get your margins right, you are going to start losing money.

So, make sure you understand how much a single product costs you (buying, shipping, marketing, selling and so on). You then need to figure out the sweet spot – the price that provides you with the right amount of profit but which isn’t too much for the customer to pay. The profit you make should be as much as possible – don’t forget you can occasionally push the sale up with discounts and offers.

The bottom line

You can easily start an eCommerce business with a budget as small as $50-$500. Your biggest expenses will be creating the website and paying for its upkeep. Almost everything else can be paid for after the sale. Now, in terms of these costs, it isn’t even often a monetary cost. In many cases, it’s about the labor cost. The more you are willing to sort out yourself (from marketing to accounting), the cheaper launching your business will be.

So, if you are willing to learn and work hard from the start, you can launch an eCommerce business on a budget. As your business grows, you can start utilizing outside help more. Running a successful online store isn’t impossible and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. You just need a plan and plenty of determination.

Readers, please share so people interested in monetizing by running an eCommerce business learn these tips.

I look forward to your answers in the comments section: Do you have an eCommerce business? Would you be interested in starting one?

    • catherine | at 3:39 pm

      Getting Virtual employees can help to manage costs. I have an online portal which is managed by Habiliss. They take care of all needs start from e-mail management, customer service, social media, SEO, website management etc.. I found it easy just to watch how things going on. I will have a weekly call with VAs to discuss achievements and plans.

  1. Reji Stephenson | at 1:54 pm

    Hi Janice,

    Glad to be here again.You explained the steps well for starting an online e-commerce business. I totally agree with you that anyone can start an e-commerce business with an initial cost of as less as $50. Also, Drop shipping is a very good option for a successful e-commerce business. I published a very useful guide explaining the process of starting running Drop shipping business. Here is the link

    https://digitaldimensions4u.com/how-to-strart-a-drop-shipping-business-online/

    Hoping to read more contents soon from this blog.

    Thanks once again for the great share.

    Reji Stephenson

  2. Ryan Biddulph | at 2:54 pm

    Hi Angelina,

    Excellent advice here.

    Folks fail to realize you can build an ecommerce business on a budget. You just need to up your game in other departments.

    Example; I have paid a chunk of change over the years on my blog as it has scaled but honestly, I focus mainly on free marketing methods as I enjoy using each to help folks and to form bonds with top bloggers.

    A few hours ago I searched “blogging” on Google. Blogging From Paradise appeared on Page 3. Not bad for a guy who cannot give a hoot about SEO largely. Even if it is a search result tailored for me, since I visit the site frequently, I still think it’s pretty cool. Nice business builder, moving up in search on Google for the most competitive keyword there is in my niche.

    This method was largely free – to reach page 3 on Google for a “blogging” search – because it costs nothing to guest post on top blogs in the blogging tips niche and to comment genuinely on top blogs in the blogging tips niche. It does however take years of persistent writing practice to become a skilled enough blogger to land guest posts on top blogs, regularly, and it also takes the same writing practice to churn out a 3-6 paragraph long, authentic comment, on top blogs from my niche, persistently.

    Doesn’t cost ya a dime. It does cost you years of practice, all of which I lovingly embraced because I have so much fun blogging and helping folks build successful blogs.

    The idea is to become really skilled in your ecommerce niche, helping people for free through effective marketing methods. Open those premium content channels of course. Prosper accordingly.

    As for spending money, some things are non-negotiables. Gotta spend some coin on premium hosting, at a minimum, for your blog and business and brand. Beyond that though, with minimal investments you can build a thriving online business over months, then years, by sticking to basic fundamentals, by helping people generously, and by operating from a pretty dang detached space. All are challenging duties at times but if you ride out these uncomfortable moments, the years of freedom you experience with a profitable cyber business in your pocket is well worth it. In addition to all the lives you change and help through your ecommerce business.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…What Are the Fundamentals of Building a Successful Blog? (Video)My Profile

  3. Anchanto | at 2:21 am

    eCommerce is the fastest growing business and you can earn more if do it smartly but in small budget is difficult. According to me small merchants should first start to sell on the local online marketplace rather than opening an online store. Because it can save so many extra expenses and give opportunity to build your reputation in the market with good quality products.

    • Janice Wald | at 8:13 pm

      How interesting Anchanto. I never heard that. What is the difference between an online store and an open online marketplace? I’m sorry I don’t know. A guest author wrote this article for my site. Where did you find the post, may I ask? Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  4. thomas | at 5:27 am

    “Hi Angelina, the steps detailed out here are pretty helpful. One more way by which an eCommerce site can be launched is by simply buying one. It saves the trouble of starting everything from scratch and comes with a readymade reputation upon which to build with. Sites like Tobuz.com are pretty helpful in finding out eCommerce businesses which are on sale. You can even enlist your requirement there.

  5. Voila | at 5:39 am

    We are also an eCommerce company running an online store and also provide digital marketing services to all our clients, help them in listing and cataloging their products on all e-commerce portals.

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