Pop Culture Geek | Content Strategist | Marketing Manager
As a struggling teen, I was able to get by with a few sales on eBay. As a Marketing Manager, I have been able to scale businesses using online strategies with no start-up capital. If you are on a budget, use these 5 suggestions below to begin your journey and start an online business without a website.
1. Funnels using Mailchimp or Click-Funnels
To start an online business you only need two things; contacts and traffic.The easiest way to build traffic is to have a contact list. The easiest way to build a contact list is with a funnel.
A funnel can be something as simple as a coming soon page with an email address (we did that here) or a funnel can be a free item such as an eBook (we did that here too).
A funnel is simply a call to action to get your users to subscribe.
Mailchimp and Click-Funnels are the easiest ways to setup these funnels with their drop and drag landing page builders. Best of all Mailchimp is free for your first 1,000 subscribers. So nothing is holding you back from getting started with a funnel.
2. An Amazon Store
If you are selling physical goods there is nothing better than Amazon. I’ve tried eBay too but the organic traffic to the Amazon website is significantly higher with all the rollouts that the company is continuing to do. In the early days of online stores, I was making around $87 a day - which may not seem like a lot but $2,600 at 18 was higher than I was earning on some Graphic Design gigs I was getting at 25.
Best of all, I paid for no advertising or marketing. Eventually, my traffic died and my trend went away. At 18, I wasn’t smart enough to know to change up my product or do promo. Make sure you do your research to keep your Amazon business going strong.
3. A Service Marketplace - like Fiverr or Upwork
This is an amazing option for creatives and service providers. However, don’t undercut your prices to try to remain competitive and don’t think it will just happen organically.
From personal experience, setting gig prices at $5 left me overworked and underpaid. Likewise, out of the 7 orders ($35 in earning) that I had on Fiverr - all within a year - not a single order came to me organically through the platform.
Though you may have better results, especially if you focus on Gig ranking (similar to SEO). At the time I also not experienced enough to handle the potential of this platform, I would recommend treating this business like any other. You MUST advertise and market yourself! But, all this is done without the headache of managing a website on Fiverr or Upwork.
4. A Product Marketplace - LetGo, Offer Up, or Facebook
No one takes advantage of these platforms in the business world - other than a few local couponers and furniture stores in my area. I, myself, have been able to offload a few hundred dollars of overstock merchandise during slow periods. For the most part these listings are free and come with the ability of same day or next day transactions.
If you are selling a new product, consider opting for a product marketplace over a website or Shopify account. As I’ve mentioned before, marketing yourself is crucial to your success. These platforms also come with the ability to advertise and boost.
5. eCommerce platform - BigCommerce or Shopify
This one is kind of a website and requires a little more maintenance. However with this option, templates, shells, and themes are provided to you. Your only job is to fill out the various forms of product information and add your photography.
There is no coding required, payment portals like Paypal, Apple Pay, email confirmations, shipping, and tracking have already been integrated into the system. Best of all, subscriptions start at $29 per month.
Final thoughts? Do your research, see what is trending, and what developments are to come before deciding which option is the right one for you. This goes for products too! If you are ready to jump into your product or service selection be sure to read “How to Choose the Right Products to Sell Online”.
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