How to start an online business

pagelike_image3An online business feels like the holy grail if you’re a frazzled mum hoping to earn an income around a young family. You can work from home in whatever hours you can find in the day, in your pajamas if you want to, and your commute to work is the 30 seconds it takes you to get down the stairs!

There’s no doubt there’s a lot to learn, but I know when I was at home with very young children that I welcomed the chance to stretch my brain a little and so I was very eager to learn.

So what types of business am I talking about here? Well, you could open your own online store and sell pretty much anything at all.

The products in your store could be physical ones like socks and cookware or digital like e-books and e-courses. You don’t even need your own website as you can sell physical products at eBay, online IT courses on sites such as Udemy and Skillfeed and e-books on Kindle.

You might be surprised to find out that you don’t even need to store and ship your own stock if you don’t want to. You can promote other people’s products and get paid commission (affiliate marketing) or you can take payment for products and get them delivered direct from the wholesaler (dropshipping). You can also outsource your warehousing, packing and shipping to a fulfilment company. So you needn’t be limited by the size of your house.

It doesn’t cost much to start either. As a minimum you’ll need a website (if you’re not using Amazon or eBay alone), an email service provider to handle your email marketing and some stock to sell. If you’re likely to be handling sustomer service calls,  recommend a phone number just for your business  so that you can separate your home phone calls from your business ones. Luckily, the internet has also made this very cheap – I use Skype online number for my business phone.

If you’re selling information rather than physical products then the basic tools of the trade are a blog and an email mailing list. Your income would come from getting visitors to the blog and selling advertising, or from building a mailing list and promoting products to that list. Or both!

Since my children were born I’ve tried affiliate marketing, creating and selling e-books and e-courses, blogging, selling advertising and mentoring. There are so many different ways of running an online business that there’s almost certain to be one that suits you. The start up costs are very low and all you really need is a little cash and a lot of determination and focus, so why not give it a go?

Click here to get my free tutorial on starting your own online store plus a website set-up checklist.

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