What’s your hobby? Maybe you love to bake cupcakes. Or maybe you’re pretty good with arts & crafts. Maybe you can do these things so well, that friends and family have asked you to make some of those items for them.
And before long the word has spread that you can design these items like no one else. As time passes, the idea pops into your head that you should open your own business doing the very thing that you have always been so passionate about.
But after a bit of research, you discover that renting a storefront and setting up the utilities for it comes with an astronomical price. And does the sound of committing to a 2-year lease scare you? According to one state’s small business administration’s website, you should be prepared to support your new brick and mortar business for 5 years before it starts supporting you. Are you discouraged yet? Well, you don’t have to be. Consider taking your business online.
The cost of renting even a small storefront can range anywhere from $1000-$2000 a month. The cost of hosting a beautiful, fully interactive, eCommerce website usually runs between $29-$199 a month. With a storefront, your customer base usually includes individuals within a 50-60 mile radius. But with an eCommerce website, customers can come from around the world. Even if you add the expense of shipping your products out to customers, you still wouldn’t come anywhere close to the overhead expenses of a traditional brick and mortar.
With a storefront business, you have to count down the books every night and make a run to the bank. With an ecommerce website, the money’s already there. And many eCommerce website builders have accounting applications and customer database applications built right in. No need to hire an accountant or a secretary. In addition, your eCommerce website works for you 24 hours a day without charging you overtime. Who’s buying cupcakes at 3 am? You’d be surprised.
The really exciting part about this great idea of bringing your business online is website builders like Shopify.com, Volusion.com and BigCommerce.com. Before these eCommerce website builders existed, you would have to know a great deal about html code in order to build a business website. But not anymore. These website builders make it easy even for the most computer naïve person to build a beautiful eCommerce website. All you have to do is follow step by step easy instructions and in no time you’ll have an eCommerce website up and running, looking exactly the way you want it to and making money for you.
These website builders like Shopify.com offer a variety of services ranging from social media tools and shopping cart recovery to unlimited product storage and SEO (search engine optimization) features. You can build your pages to your own design using their galleries of artwork or uploading your own. In addition, your customers will be able to purchase your products with a built-in shopping cart check out feature using their credit cards or their PayPal account. The money goes directly into your PayPal or bank account. What could be better than that?
Once your business eCommerce website is all set up to make you money, all you have to do is get ready to start shipping.