How to Keep Costs Low When Launching an eCommerce Business
The comfort and convenience consumers experience when shopping online is helping the eCommerce grow at never before seen rates. And as eCommerce technology continues to get better, we can only expect this trend will continue. As a result, it’s the perfect time to get in on the game and try to make some money running an eCommerce store.
However, if you’re new to entrepreneurship, this can be a bit daunting, especially since most of us still operate with logic dominated by the “it takes money to make money” perspective. But with eCommerce, it really doesn’t need to be this way.
In fact, you can launch a business for little money, which will help keep margins high right from the beginning, making it much easier to grow and to enjoy all the benefits of running an eCommerce business.
Make Use of Dropshipping
An eCommerce business is essentially a store. And with a brick and mortar store, the two biggest expenses next to labor are usually inventory and space. But since you operate in a digital environment, you don’t need to worry about renting commercial space, and you probably aren’t going to have as many labor needs. However, you still need to worry about inventory, and trying to do this on your own can cause costs to skyrocket.
Not only do you need to buy the things you’re going to sell, which can be really scary when you first start, but then you need to find a place to put them and also worry about shipping them. But there’s a workaround, which is known as dropshipping.
Essentially, dropshipping means you allows someone else, usually a big entity, such as Amazon, to store your inventory and handle it for you. This way, when someone places an order with you, all you need to do is place an order with Amazon and they’ll do the rest. This is a process known as Fulfillment by Amazon, and you can find out more about it here. But in general, it’s a great program that can save eCommerce entrepreneurs a ton of money.
Run it From Home
Office space is one of the biggest expenses most companies face. However, if you’re running an eCommerce company, then chances are this expense will be unnecessary. Instead, run the business out of your house. And if you need some help, then get on UpWork or Fiverrand find a freelancer to do it.
However, just because you’re running your business from home doesn’t mean there aren’t any expenses. You will need to invest in office equipment and supplies, and you will need to make sure your internet connection can handle your workload.
But this expense doesn’t need to be massive. Consider using used or second-hand office furniture, and do a search of ISPs in your area to find out if you can get a better value then what you’re currently getting. All of this will help you enjoy the cost-savings of working from home while also keeping the expense of running a home office to a minimum.
Create Your Own Content
To run a successful eCommerce business, you’re going to need a strong content marketing strategy. Whether it’s social media or SEO, everything you do on the internet eventually comes down to the content you create. This is because people these days are surrounded with competing brand messages, and the only way to stand out is to offer people something they really need or want.
And if you’re new to the content game, then know that good content is both hard to come by and expensive. But this is only if you hire professionals to do it for you. Doing some of it on your own can save you some money, and it can also give you some insight into the content creation process, something that will be useful as the business expands and you have no choice but to hire people to help you.
Get Crazy About Data
Keeping costs low means maximizing efficiency. You need to increase the amount of certainty you have when investing your money, otherwise you will end up sinking a fortune into a trial and error strategy. And when it comes to optimizing for efficiency, data is going to be your best friend.
There are so many programs out there that can collect data about your website and also the content you produce and distribute throughout the web. Facebook will do it for you if you advertise on their platform, and Google Analytics can offer you a treasure trove of information which you can use to make your business better.
However, if you’re willing to make an investment, then consider getting something such as HubSpot. This is an integrated customer relations management (CRM) platform that will tell you everything you need to know about your sales processes and also the visitors to your site, making it easier for you to focus on what’s going to work, which will keep costs down and profits up.
Automate Where You Can
Lastly, there will come a time when you need some help running the business. But before you hire people on full-time, which can require an incredible expense, consider signing up for some automated services. For example, you can automate a lot of your accounting practices using something like QuickBooks, especially if your business is still relatively non-complex.
The benefits of doing this are twofold. First, it helps reduce the risk of human error in what is an absolutely critical business process. And second, it saves you money. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a win-win.
Get Your Business Going
As you can see, launching an eCommerce business does not need to be expensive. Of course, you’ll need to invest something, but if you use the strategies discussed here, then you can get an eCommerce business going that will help you boost your income and fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams.