Last year, web sales passed the $300 billion mark and sales are expected to continue to surge, making up 11% of all retail sales.
If you have spent some time in the Internet Marketing space, you may have jumped to the conclusion that the only viable websites are those that sell digital products. But many of the really big online sales rarely focus on digital products. In fact, many popular retailers use an eCommerce platform to complement their brick-and-mortar stores, making additional millions. What’s more, many e-tailers with no physical premises often arrange for manufacturing companies to dropship physical products directly to their customer’s addresses.
However, if you want to create an online business that sells physical goods rather than retail ones, then you should either become an affiliate marketer or get funding to open up your own online business.
When setting up your online website, the first thing you should do is get enough money to build and run your enterprise. You will need money to build your website and hire outsourcers to help you put all the moving parts of a web-store together. You will also need capital to purchase supplies from manufacturers who will then dropship your products to your customers.
How do you get the financing you need to build your online business?
Here are 10 ideas on how to get your business off the ground:
Idea #1: Invoice Factoring:
Try invoice factoring if you are in a line of business where customers expect a 30 day credit on their purchase. Rather than the formality of going through the process of getting a bank loan, you can outsource factoring invoices so that you don’t have to wait for your customers to pay you.
Idea #2: Presell Your Products
Presell your products before you launch your business. If you have an innovative line of products that are in high demand, customers may buy it before you’ve even set up your website. If you think this is a little far-fetched, here is a real life story from Entrepreneur: “Priska Diaz naively thought it would be easy to use Kickstarter to raise $75,000 to produce her invention, a baby bottle called Bare that offers air-free milk. But her project failed to receive funds in three months. Three years later she was ready to try again. This time she created a website showing the concept with pictures of bottle prototypes. The concept earned her an extensive social-media following as potential customers awaited the product's development.”
Idea #3: Online Lending:
Contact an online lending service and fill out their application. It can take an hour to complete and if your application is approved you will have the money in a few days.
Idea #4: Borrow from Family or Friends:
If you’re from an entrepreneurial family or have friends who have created a successful business, you might be able to get someone to partner with you. Alternatively, they might just give you the money you need at low interest or no interest at all.
Idea #5: Simplify your Lifestyle
If you can get a well-paying job while simplifying your lifestyle, you can use the surplus to bankroll yourself. It may take awhile for you to save up enough money to launch your business, but, in the meanwhile, you can work out all the details.
Idea #6: Liquidate your Assets
Look around you and see what you can sell. You may have a car you hardly drive or a stash of collector’s items that you could profitable auction off on eBay. You could also sell any stocks or other investment assets. In other words, you may be able to fund your enterprise by liquidating some of your existing high-value assets.
Idea #7: Approach Angel Investors
Study how to create an excellent business plan. Although you may not have any numbers to prove that you have a viable business idea, you can always use the figures other similar businesses have created as an example of what is possible. Then, compile a list of angel visitors and approach each one.
Idea #8: Become a Landlord
Rent out a room in your house. If you own a home with an extra bedroom, you could rent it out and use the rent money to fund your idea.
Idea #9: Consider a Crowdfunding Campaign
Look into crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter. Understand how they work and review some successful case studies to find out how to persuade a large number of people to make a small contribution. In exchange for this contribution, you have to offer some kind of reward, which might include offering a share of your business.
Idea #10: Apply for Business Grants
You will need to do quite a bit of research to find sponsors and also learn how to approach them. Your best chance of getting a business grant is higher if you have a business with an innovative line of products that has the potential for mass commercialization.
A Business that Never Sleeps
Online businesses have some remarkable advantage over a brick-and-mortar business. Startup costs are considerably less, many business processes can be automated, and you’re always open for business. If you have a good idea for a business, with a bit of persistence, you should be able to get the funding you need to launch it.