To start an online business can seem like a big scary proposition. There are so many things that need to be taken care of: registering your business, finding office space, buying equipment, hiring employees, and so on.
The costs can also be prohibitively high if you don’t have access to capital or grants. Fortunately though, there are ways to start an e-business for free. It won’t exactly be free in the sense that it won’t cost you anything up front.
However, the payback will come in the form of no rent, utilities, insurance premiums or any other hidden expenses that usually come hand in hand with starting a business from home. Read on to find out how you can get started on this journey without spending too much money upfront.
What you’ll need to get started
Okay, so you’ve got this crazy idea to start an online business, how do you get started? You need a few things before you can launch your business, but luckily, they don’t cost much.
– A computer
Every online business needs a computer. You don’t need something super fancy. If you’re just starting out, a simple laptop should do just fine.
– Internet connection
You need a connection that’s fast enough to allow you to upload files, communicate with team members, and upload your products to market.
– A domain name
This is the name that people will use to find your business. You can get them pretty cheaply at sites like GoDaddy.
– A website
You need somewhere to host your domain name. Hosting websites can be expensive, but there are some worthy free hosting sites out there.
– A business email address
You’ll need an account that your customers can use to contact you. Gmail is a good option because people can send you emails from any computer.
Finding the right idea
Ideally, you’ve run across a product that you’re super passionate about. You know, the one that you talk about in your sleep. If you have that level of passion, there’s a good chance that you’ll succeed. But even if you don’t have a hugely successful business, at least you’ll be doing something that you love.
That’s the most important part of starting a business, isn’t it? But how do you find this product? First of all, you want to look for something that you’re passionate about.
If you don’t like your product, you’re never going to be successful. Finding the best product to sell online is all about research. You need to find something that people want, that’s in demand, and that you can sell. Once you’ve figured out what product to sell, it’s time to start marketing it.
Finding the right platform
Online businesses come in all shapes and sizes. There are e-commerce sites (like Amazon), blogs, and lead generation sites. What you choose to do will depend on your skill set and the type of business model that you want to pursue.
What’s important is that you choose a platform that allows you to monetize your product or service. There are many types of online businesses you can start online. Each one has its own pros and cons.
– Online store
E-Commerce sites like Amazon are some of the most successful online businesses. They’re also some of the hardest to start.
– Affiliate marketing
With affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products. You earn a commission when people buy those products through your site.
With drop shipping, you don’t keep any inventory. Customers order products from other businesses and you ship the product directly to them.
– Becoming an online freelancer
With this option, you earn money by offering your services to people. – Starting a blog – With a blog, you create content and earn money from advertising.
Finding the right tools for no money
If you’re going the no money route, you’ll want to focus on tools that can help you create content and grow your audience. Tools like apps that help you create content, apps that help you grow your audience, and apps that help you create email lists.
Luckily, there are plenty of free tools available online. Here are a few of the most popular ones.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there. And it’s free. All you have to do is register your domain name and you can start blogging right away.
BuzzSumo helps you find out what content is being shared the most online. If you’re creating content, this can be invaluable. – Buffer – With Buffer, you can schedule your social media posts to be released at regular intervals throughout the day.
If you’re managing a few different social media accounts at the same time, you need Hootsuite.
Leadpages makes it super easy to create landing pages for your business.
If you’re looking to build an email list, Mailchimp is the best option.
If you want to start an e-commerce site, Shopify is one of the easiest options.
When you’re just starting out, the last thing you want is to be weighed down by debt and hefty upfront investments. Luckily, you can start an online business for free. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and some time to learn the ropes.
Once you’ve got those basics covered, it’s time to find your perfect product and decide which platform will allow you to monetize it. With the right tools, you can get your business up and running in no time.