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How to Run an Online Business on a Budget

CC image credit to Peter Waller
CC image credit to Peter Waller

For the entrepreneurs of the world, the internet offers an unparalleled opportunity to create a business on a budget. If you’ve cultivated an idea but you lack the finances to get it off the ground, then online retail offers the chance that you need, with minimal start-up costs, instant access to a huge audience of potential purchasers, and inbuilt marketing opportunities.

Here are just a few tips for launching an online business on a budget…

Tip One: Shop Around for Your Internet Provider

One of the most important pieces of advice when you’re first launching an online venture is to treat it as a business from the start. What this means is that you should begin by analysing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your plan from every different angle. A good place to start is to consider how much you’re paying for your internet connection, as this is now one of your business costs. There are plenty of deals around, so take the time to shop around and find a provider that’s reliable, economical, and meets your needs. Try to find a provider local to you, that way you’ll be getting a better service and therefore better value for money. In San Francisco for example, you might find that the sonic internet price is better value for money than a big corporate provider because they have more experience when it comes to serving that specific locality. If you choose carefully, you’ll be paying for something your business can always rely on.

Tip Two: Work from Home

CC image credit to Louisa Walsh
CC image credit to Louisa Walsh

A good way to minimise your start-up costs is to conduct your business from home, as this means that you won’t be paying out for office or storage space, or covering any of the other overheads associated with renting or buying property. It’s important to put things into perspective and realise that all you really need for your online business in its infancy is an internet connection and a computer, both of which you can install at home. If you need storage space for items, then consider using a shed or conservatory for this purpose. If there really isn’t anywhere to keep things, look at self-storage as a low-cost, economical solution.

Tip Three: Create a Website and Facebook Page

eBay and Amazon can provide brilliant opportunities for securing sales, giving you instant access to a huge marketplace. However, they do charge fees and commission for using their services, so it’s worth looking at free alternatives to use alongside them. A website, however basic, is an ideal place to start, along with a Facebook page. It’s a good idea to link to these through your eBay and Amazon accounts, so that repeat customers can buy from you directly without anyone else eating into your profits.

Tip Four: Educate Yourself on SEO

Paid advertisements are one way to bring in customers, but luckily for those working on a budget, lots of other options are available. It’s a really good idea to spend some time learning about basic search engine optimisation (SEO). This can be used to make you rank more highly in internet searches, which will improve your exposure and help you to expand your customer base.

Tip Five: Choose an Economical Delivery Service

For online businesses, it’s essential that you choose a reliable delivery service to get your items from you to your customers. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for the most expensive or well-known courier service. There are lots of delivery providers to choose from, and a quick search of the internet should be enough to give you a rough idea of their reputation. If you take the time to shop around, you’ll find someone who’s not only reliable, but also economical.

Follow our tips today and your online business will be pulling in a profit in no time.