E-commerce has allowed companies that never would have existed 20 years ago to blossom. It’s the new way for budding entrepreneurs to start a business up without having to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital. In fact, depending on your field, it’s possible to start your own e-commerce business with as little as $100.
Want to know some of the fastest ways to set up shop? Here are some of the best platforms and techniques people have used to become their own one-person store…
1. Set up your own online store inside a major marketplace like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon.
Mega marketplaces like Amazon have totally changed the way people do business. As long as you have a product people are searching for, you’ll find buyers. All you have to do is list the products, wait for an order, then ship it out.
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With these kinds of marketplaces, you typically will have to have the products on hand. The only exceptions are if you choose to do a "Fulfilled by Amazon" arrangement or a dropship arrangement.
Online marketplaces aren’t flawless, however, sometimes fees can be prohibitively high and platforms often will put buyers first, but truthfully, it’s one of the easiest ways to sell. That being said, it’s common to deal with burnout due to bad customer issues here.
2. Set up your own online storefront with Shopify.
Not happy with the idea of being an eBay seller professionally? You aren’t alone. These platforms really favor buyers, and reading just a few horror stories would make anyone think twice before they start an e-commerce business through them.
A better way to do business, if you’re willing to build up traffic through ads, is through Shopify. They allow you to DIY your own storefront and get your own domain. The downside is that you’ll be responsible for driving traffic to your site, which presents its own challenges.
3. Start an online magazine or blog.
When most people think about trying to start an e-commerce business, they tend to assume that means selling a product in a store. That’s not true. Blogs and online magazines are e-commerce businesses too!
If you have a way with words, a way with advertising, and know how to optimize your website for search engines, chances are you can make a lot of cash with your blog. However, it’s harder than ever to monetize—so if you choose this route, have a game plan in mind.
4. Sell ebooks and other content-based products online.
Remember back in the 2000s, when everyone was trying to make money through affiliate sales with Clickbank books? The truth is that there are still plenty of people who make a living by creating content and selling it repeatedly.
The perk of this kind of e-commerce business is that you only have to create content once. The pitfall is that it’s not always easy to make money this way, and you may have to hire marketers to get the word out about your product before you see any success.
5. Use a platform like Upwork to start up your own online consulting firm.
If you’re a veteran when it comes to your field and know your market like the back of your hand, why not put those skills to good use? Major businesses will pay top dollar for consultants with real-world experience that provide results.
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If you have the knowledge and talent, your consulting firm can easily score as much as $100,000 in the first year. Not too bad, eh?