If you want to get into the world of eCommerce but you’re on a shoestring budget, you may be wondering if it’s possible to start a cheap online business and actually generate profits and revenue. The fact of the matter is that you can start a profitable business online with relatively little money, but you need to know what you’re doing and what type of business you want to start. If you are new to the world of eCommerce development and you want to start an online business sooner rather than later, you need to ask yourself the following questions before pursuing any business opportunity.
How Much Money Do You Have to Invest?
While you may be on a budget, you do need to have at least some money to start an online business. Even if it’s just the registration of a domain name, you’ll need to have the funds available to cover your initial business expenses. When starting a cheap online business, the first thing you need to do is determine exactly how much money you have available to invest. If your budget is only $50 to $100, that’s fine. You just need to know where you stand so you can budget accordingly. You don’t want to have $100 available and invest it all in the design of your site only to find that you don’t have the funds necessary to market it.
Are You Interested in Selling Items Online?
If you have products that you want to sell online, you should consider setting up seller accounts at sites like eBay and Amazon. These sites do the advertising for you and bring in massive amounts of traffic. The downside is that a large number of sellers realize this and there is quite a bit of competition on these sites. That means that you may have to reduce your profit margin, but what you lose in the amount of profit you make per sale, you can make up for in the volume of sales you make. Once you bring in customers from these sites, you can add them to your mailing list and drive them to your actual website to create return customers and recurring revenue.
Do You Want to Provide Services?
If you don’t have products or items to sell, but prefer to offer services such as writing or Web design, you’ll want to look into sites like Guru and Elance. These sites require a minimal upfront investment and provide you with access to a large client base. You can jumpstart your business by generating clients from these sites. Once you have an established reputation and online presence, you can grow your business from there.
Again, the good thing about these sites is that you don’t have to pay for marketing. You merely have to place bids on projects and market your skills to potential clients.
Are You Interested in Operating a Blog?
A blog is a great way to start a cheap online business. When you create a blog, you want to position yourself as an expert in a niche market. Then, you can promote products and services within the pages of your blog and use affiliate links to generate a profit. The key in monetizing your blog is to make sure that you offer valuable content to your readers in addition to promoting products and services. For every 10 posts that you publish on your blog, at least eight of them should contain content that provides value to your readers. The other one to two posts can promote a product or service that you have an affiliate link for so you can generate revenue from your blog. Blogs cost very little money to create and you can begin to generate revenue within a few months if you manage your blog and affiliate relationships properly.
Are You Interested in Creating Info Products?
Informational products are big sellers online. Whether you create an eBook on how to fix a marriage or how to flip real estate, there are people all over the Internet who are looking for the knowledge that you have to offer. If you are an expert in a certain area, create an informational product that will help others who are interested in learning what you have to share. Then, use a program to promote your product. While you will have to share a percentage of your sales with the people who are promoting your product, the volume of your sales can be significantly higher when you have others promoting your product for you. While you will need to invest time and money creating and promoting an informational product, the return on your investment can be very lucrative.
If you want to generate a substantial income from the comfort of your home, the world of eCommerce may be exactly what you are looking for. From online stores to informational products, there are a number of ways to make money online. The best part is that you don’t need a lot of money to get started. You can easily start a cheap online business as long as you know exactly what you want to do and how to get started
Use Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a concept in which computing services can be run over and delivered by the internet, rather than by local hardware. These services can include virtually any ordinary computer capability you can imagine, although some (like data backup) are more common than others.
The “cloud” is a reference to a centralized location online where data and programs are stored, allowing you to access them from anywhere through your own computer. This can potentially offer a tremendous cost savings for a small business.
Back Up Data
It is vital that your data, including your sales records, inventory data and client information, be backed up regularly to ensure that it is not lost in the event of a system error. With a cloud computing backup system, your data is copied off-site and is updated as you make changes to it on your end. This protects you from drive failures, natural disasters and the like.
Create Functional Mobile Offices
Cloud computing allows you to access many of your essential programs on the go, instead of being tied down to an office network. This means your office can be taken with you wherever you go, since accessing and synchronizing data is so easy.
With cloud computing, you no longer need to use email, flash drives and the like to send files from one person to another. Instead, you can simply access these files through any computer from the cloud.
Store Files Efficiently
Larger files like video, audio and images which occupy large amounts of disc space can be stored in a centralized location instead of being stored locally. This reduces the amount of hard drive space and other system resources you need to purchase yourself.
Minimize the Need for Tech Support
Most businesses need to hire staff to perform such services as setting up software, installing updates, correcting system errors and the like. In the case of cloud computing, however, the cloud vendor takes care of the maintenance of all the services and applications.
Cloud computing makes it possible to consolidate various application needs like emailing, calendar scheduling, document creation, file storage, website creation, conference calling and so on These can all be provided through one agreement for far less than each would cost individually through more traditional means.
You continue to utilize the latest features of any application since those provided by cloud computing are generally updated automatically on a regular basis. This saves a lot of money and time compared to continually buying and installing updates for traditional programs.
Instead of purchasing a server, setting it up and installing all essential software to begin operating your business, you can launch your business and see it grow much more quickly and easily with cloud computing. The need to buy much of the software and hardware once considered essential for business operations is eliminated. The savings to your business can be measured not only in cash, but also in time and frustration, making it possible for you to compete on a much more level playing field with your larger competitors.