Start an Online Business Today

2019 has begun and many of you are contemplating or are still contemplating your goals for this year. Some have already made firm commitments for what they want to achieve this year, others will look back on the goals of 2018 and rate them. Achieved, Partially Achieved or Nightmare. :-).  For those thinking of starting an online business here is some information that you may find useful.

Ideas for an Online Business

Is your idea a good one? researching an idea can be daunting. 

The usual online business model is one which is adding value to an existing brick and mortar store. You may be selling pet products, and want to expand the range without increasing the outlays, you could add products that could be dropshipped. So finding a reputable supplier with wholesale pricing should be your first consideration. 

You work from home making candles, (or any number of other things), and want more diversity to increase sales. So your looking to start a website. A quick search on google gives you so many choices, all with compelling reasons to buy their product, that you feel overwhelmed and put the idea in the too hard basket. 

Worse, you have left your contact details on some webpages and now your receiving texts and emails giving you quotes to build you a website. Now you are back looking at the offers, seeing what the value is for the dollar amounts quoted. The idea has come to life again.  (Did it ever go away?).

You look at the packages,  the design colours, the format, the after sales service, everything, So all good !, you pay $1800 to have this thing done.  After paying you think about,  How likely is it to generate sales? How much expense and time is needed to promote the items on your website. Back to the will I or won’t I mode of thinking, and you go back to see if there is a cooling off period to get your money back. 

The Most Important Step in Starting your own Website

Is to remember it is your business. It has to be something that you have complete control over, and the things you cannot control need to have a system that resolves any issues in a reasonable time frame. 

You need to be thinking forward. if you have paid for a website you still have to put work into it. It is out there and only your friends know you. To begin with the webmaster who builds your site will want information about you to add an about you page, as well as a list of your products and photos, ( clear photos are very important), prices and shipping costs, setting up payment gateways, etc.

The problem is. After 6 months ( or when the help period finishes), your on your own. You can of course pay for a local webmaster to update it for every now and then. It appeals to some people, and webmasters can make pretty good money. 

There are other options of course. For arts and craft products, sites such as etsy, artfire and others, will let you list products, all with much the same conditions, you pay a hosting fee each month, cost depending on how many products you list and then pay a percentage from each sale. But they are of limited access, no way to promote anything, blog or review. 

Do I Start My Own Website

Soap making. Who would’a thought someone making soap at home, now has a small factory employing 8 people and offering 170 different lines of Soap.!  Many of his sales now coming through his website. Others starting from the ground up have done quite well just starting with a small initial step.

This question has probably been on your mind for some time. So what is stopping you? Time, expense, product limitations? There are many success stories where people have begun with one product and now employ others to make the item(s). 

So you need to start somewhere. The best idea would be to try something first before you buy it. There are many offers of try free, usually they only last a month before you have to pay. Most times that is not enough. 

One that offers you two free websites for as long as you like is Wealthy Affiliate. It is the best I have found and I use it. I am not saying it will be good for you, only you can know that. However they do offer a hell of a lot for free, compared to the best of the rest. I will do a review on that one soon.

The Potential

There are a few ways to approach this.  You have a product from which you earn a little income. You want to have a website to increase sales.  That won’t happen overnight, so unless your business is established there is really no reason for you to start outlaying money for something that may not be of a benefit to you.

You are much better off building up your Soap (?), making business, getting more knowledge and having a good supply of stock to sell at markets etc. then, setting up a blog site and writing about your soap making business.

If you are unsure how to do that, then maybe you should take up the offer from Wealthy Affiliates for the free websites and free training and see how to set up a quality website for yourself.  You can take all the time you need to get to know how to present yourself on an online platform. There you will have enough time to make an informed decision. 

You will also be the company of like minded people so exchanging views, tips and tricks will increase you knowledge of websites.  If nothing else you will gain invaluable experience, at the cost of some time. 

There is a link at the top of the page for a free website. 

Finally

Whatever your choice, all the best for 2019. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from being your best self. 

Michael. 

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