Has the entrepreneurial bug bit you yet? Being an online business owner is a dream for many. For myself, I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was a child. I wanted to be a fashion designer, a model, a CEO of some company, and the list goes on and on.
A hurdle for many are the startup costs. Starting a business can be costly and with 80% of businesses failing in the first 18 months (according to Forbes.com), those pricey startup costs may not be recouped.
So, how do you get around it?
I’ve found 8 ways that you can start your online business with no money upfront! How cool is that? Here we go:
1.) Start your online store in a free marketplace
Join a free platform like Storenvy for example, of any other platform that will allow you to sell your physical or digital goods for free. There are even platforms that let you list for free and take a percentage of your sale. That’s even better. You pay fees when you get paid. Can’t beat that!
2.) Use social media
No need for expensive advertising or marketing for a brand new business. Harness the power of social media for huge exposure with no cost. Open social media accounts for your new business. Then, promote, be active, and engage your audience. Sit back and watch your following grow. Use your personal social network accounts to promote your business as well. Send a blast to your Facebook friends or post a message on your personal Twitter account.
Collaborate with peers in your industry, join engagement pods and threads and participate. You’ll be surprised how your reach will grow!
3.) Take advantage of trials
I hear so many people talking down on trials but the truth is, they are pretty awesome. Try out a new software, ad, tool for free!
Here are a handful of awesome free trials you can take advantage of (just remember to cancel before they charge you if you don’t want to continue with the service):
- Google Adwords: I’ve gone through so many Adwords trials I can’t even count! You can get one by joining Shopify with a new store (trial). Check out Fiverr too for some Adwords vouchers.
- Ninja Outreach: This tool is great for influencer outreach. You can use it in a hundred other ways too, to get traffic and more. Check out their awesome blog for more ideas.
- Shopify: Create your own store for free for 14 days with Shopify’s trial. By the way, if you open an online shop, Shopify is the ish! No joke. No comparison against any other store platform (believe me, I’ve tried them).
- Growtraffic: How does an extra 10,000 visitors sound? For free! Mention Growtraffic on your blog and fill out their form to let them know then BAM..10,000 visitors sent to you over a course of a few weeks.
- Alexa: Select their Pro option and trial away. You’ll get tons of valuable insights about your competition. Backlinks, traffic numbers, keywords, and so much more.
- SEMRush: Another valuable insights tool. Great for assessing your competition, estimating top keywords and more.
If you’re operating a physical goods store selling apparel, footwear, homegoods, decor, etc., then dropshipping might be for you. You only purchase products when you have an order to fulfill.
For example, you run a socks store selling a variety of fashion socks. A customer places an order for 3 pairs for socks. You then, visit the dropshipper’s site or contact them, order the customer’s socks and the dropshipper direct ships the order on your behalf, to the customer. Easy! A great way to save money on inventory since inventory tends to be the largest expense for retailers.
Wanna sell designer planners, your own fashion line, stylish t-shirts (or anything else)? Raise funds through crowdsourcing. You can generate a LOT of money in a short time period using sites like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.
Some helpful articles to get your started:
- A Startup Tries to Make Money from Crowdsourced Predictions
- 11 Tips for Crowdfunding
- 15 Hacks to Raise the Most Money for your Indigogo Campaign
Preselling is pretty cool because you get to assess your audience’s interest for the product or service. You can set up a waitlist or poll and start your presale campaign from there. Preselling is simliar to dropshipping in that you will collect orders and use funds to purchase inventory. Make sense?
This is done a lot in Instagram flash sales. Online boutiques on Instagram will run presale flash sales where they introduce the product, along with features, pricing, shipping details, etc. Then, once sales are made, they will purchase inventory from the wholesaler.
Get into the handmade market! Use materials around your home or get donations and start selling products in online marketplaces, to family and friends, etc.
- Free Course: Your Handmade Business Foundation to Success and More Sales
- The 5 Knows of Having a Handmade Business
- 10 Things You Must Do to Have a Successful Online Craft Business
8.) Target these businesses
Check out these businesses that you can easily start for free:
- Making money online: This isn’t a business category perse, but you can make a living earning money online. Some examples: surveys, panels, and focus groups. Check out this interview from a woman who earns thousands and makes her full time living from survey taking. Top paying surveys: Vindale, Survey Savvy, and 2020Panel
- Babysitting or child care: You can start a child care business from home. My hubby’s friend’s wife does this and gets $400 a head! She watches 3 or 4 kiddos regularly.
- Blogging: Monetize your blog! Starting a self-hosted blog is my preference but it will cost you a little bit. Under a hundred bucks and you have a self-hosted blog prepped and ready to start earning. For a completely free option, check out non-self hosted blog platforms and then monetize it! You might like: The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog
There you have it! 8 ways to start a business for free!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I don’t use myself or truly love! (Learn more here)
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