Have you heard of Justin Wong? He is the guy who made $ 12,000 less than a month after launching his online store: So Aesthetic. At one point in time, he was fully involved in supporting his studies. But it was not enough. He tried a lot of money-making options until he hit the jackpot with his website for ecommerce.
He started his own e-commerce store with a small investment. You might think this is just one case. But what if I told you that you too could set up an online store with zero investment? Does that arouse your curiosity?
Don’t worry; it’s not funny to get you to read this. Instead, I will share some proven tips for setting up an online store with zero capital investment. I have seen many of my friends and acquaintances use it successfully to start a side-hustle. And some of them even continued to quit their jobs to focus more on their successful online business.
So let’s jump straight to these four options that you can try to start an online store with zero investment:
Dropshipping is a model used by many successful online businesses where you do not own the products yourself. Instead, you buy them from a third-party seller and ship them directly to the customer.
Benefits? You do not need to manage storage for any products (inventory), eliminating the cost of acquiring, maintaining and even shipping these products.
Returning to the guy, we talked about earlier, Justin, he started his business by dropshipping. So you can go for dropshipping companies like Baapstore, Trade India, or Justdial to get started with your online store.
2. Use a Ready-to-Use Platform
When it comes to setting up an online store, there are two ways you can do it. First, setup your own e-commerce website. Certainly not an option if you want to start a business with a modest investment. Another option that I recommend to host your store is a ready-to-use Online Store Platform.
Platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, BIZ365 or Etsy allow you to setup an online store using their built-in designs and templates. So you don’t have to worry about buying a domain and hiring a website designer to create an attractive online store.
These sites allow you to customize your store according to your needs and manage your payments and shipping quickly. You do not even need to know the name of a computer program to set up an online store using them. And these sites also have available themes that you can use for your “About Us” or “Terms and Conditions”.
All you have to do is create an account on any of these platforms and set up your online store. There is usually a minimal fee that you need to pay. However, it is not overly expensive, and some of these sites like BIZ365 even offer a free program that can help you set up your online store first and then when you are ready to grow your business, shift to their affordable yearly plan.
3. Use Micro-Influencers on Instagram
I’m sure you should have an Instagram account in your name. Well, whether it works or not is an entirely different question. Even if you don’t work on Instagram, you can use micro-influencers to promote your products. You can also work with them without paying for their posts.
Set up a plan to suit your micro-influencers — nothing more detailed and no need for any more complex tools or methods. Just send them a message with a discount or coupon code. And let them know that you will pay them a certain percentage as an affiliate fee for all future sales of your successful online business.
Influencer recommendations can directly bring in business and sales. There are many studies to prove that, and I have seen many real examples. And most young influencers believe that Instagram is the most effective way to engage their followers.
You can use tools like Iconosquare or BuzzSumo to identify small promoters that can work. Then send them your message with a discount code. This strategy helped Justin make $ 12,000 in his e-commerce store in the first month.
The best part is that these platforms offer free trials so you can get started without investing.
4. Pick Products in Demand
To make your online store a real successful online business, sell products that people want to buy. Some simple ways to find out what products are needed:
- Look for the best-selling items on Amazon or eBay.
- Check Google Trends and see how those products are going.
Make sure these products are in stock on your dropshipping databases and are FREE. Also, be sure to choose the least expensive products, which will give your customers a reason to buy. Finally, make sure you choose suppliers with good ratings when products are available.
I’m not saying these tips will help you become the next Amazon. But that was never your intention, was it? This is simply an easy, inexpensive (actually no-cost) way to up a side-hustle — something for the ball to roll. And the steps I mentioned above will help you setup an online store quickly.
Are there any other ways you can think of to start an online store by investing more? Let me know in the comments below.
Also published on Medium.com