Living The Online Retail Dream On A Shoestring Budget

In this day and age, opening a physical storefront can be quite financially challenging. The monthly rent, utility bills and skeleton employee salaries alone can cost between $20,000-$30,000. And that is not even taking the recurring expenses into account.

As such, in keeping with the times, opening an online retail business seems the more prudent and cost-effective approach. The good news is that there are lots of different ways you could go about starting an online retail business. 

Pairing Up With Amazon

Amazon, easily the world’s largest online retailer, may just be the answer to your dream of owning your own retail business.  Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) is essentially a program by Amazon that does most of the heavy lifting for you.

So, as long as you have the inventory sorted and prepared the list of items you want to sell, you simply hand it off to Amazon and it does the rest. In other words, those aspects of housing, packing, shipping and customer complaints are all areas Amazon would look after on your behalf. It is definitely a good starting point for any budget-conscious entrepreneurs out there.

Pairing Up With Etsy

If you are one of the more crafty types, then Etsy might be a good bet for you. It is free to set up shop and you are only charged a nominal fee once during listing an item on sale and once after the item is sold.

The great part with Etsy is that it many buyers from all over the world frequent it not just for one-of-a-kind creations but also for vintage crafts. So, if you have the eye for something that is unique then you could have a profitable business cycle going on Etsy in no time.

Online Boutique/ Store

Say you have few extra cash to spare, then you could partner with one of the many e-commerce platforms to sell your creations. Shopify is a good example especially since it offers a complete solution for online boutiques. The trick here is the same as above – have an inventory of sale items ready and open your online store to interested customers.

It is worth noting here that you will need to take a monthly membership with Shopify after which you shall receive all the help you need from the entity itself, be it in terms of customizing your storefront, marketing tools or processing payments. In fact, a lot of their in-house tips on selling online are a must read. 

Selling Art On The Internet – There Is An Art To It Too

The days of the struggling artist are long gone as the world wide web has opened a huge window of opportunity for artists to reach out to people.

In pre-internet times, writers, painters, and designers had to rely heavily on contacts, spend a lot of money on conducting exhibitions and advertising to get their work recognized.

However, now they can easily enjoy all the attention and even more from the comfort of their homes. That is the power of social media!

How To Start?

If you are an artist and have decided to start putting your art out into the world, firstly you need to get active on the social media circuit.

Create a business account on Instagram and Facebook and start posting every day. It can be a small drawing, or something old that you had done years back; the aim here is to gain a following. That can only happen by uploading creative content consistently. This is bound to keep your existing followers involved and help you gain more followers.

How To Keep At It?

When you work for yourself, there is a certain amount of leeway that you tend to take. This is the biggest problem you have to overcome.

You would have to chart out clear working hours, maintain a strict schedule, be organized and ensure to take time off. Your to-do list at the end of the day should be full of ticks!

As Pranita Kocharekar puts it, you have to work ‘from procrastination to productivity’.

How Will Your Art Start Earning?

Every illustrator has a different graph. Some can become popular overnight, with one of their doodles going viral, while for others it could take years. However, there are takers out there for every form of art.

Once you have gained a fan following, you can gradually introduce products into your social media. There are several websites you can collaborate with, or even make your own website on one of the shared platforms to get started.

Products like stationery, apparel, and home décor accessories are few things that a lot of popular artists sell well.