On Starting an Online Business with Minimum Investment

The world is full of people who were told time and time again that their dream was impossible. They chose not to listen.

There is a saying that every successful enterprise needs three people: a dreamer, a businessman and a son-of-a-bitch. The dreamer would use his boldness and creativity to come up with ideas (read: goals) that do not seem doable; the business person would turn them into plans and strategy, and the third guy would apply his expertise and perseverance to making all of that stuff come true.

If you believe that you have a little drop of each of the three in your character, you should give it a try: start a business of your own. The 21-st century is a perfect time to do this.

I made my first steps in doing business remotely around the year 2000; I was a poor teacher with a family to take care of, and I lived in a country that had just shaken off the burden of the USSR’s ideology and lifestyle, where even the word ‘business’ had somewhat different meaning from the one we are accustomed to now.

No need to say, I had absolutely no money to invest into it: I did not even have a bank account! But I was lucky to have a few friends — the people I could trust, who were very reliable and, like me, had no money — so we decided to invest our energy, time and talents into ‘starting up something (this was how we used to call our business then) that would work with minimum investment’.

A year later, our Something was working in full swing, providing services to dozens of people, growing fast, expanding and generating some income — a modest income, but sufficient for us to live on and continue developing the services. On the day of its first anniversary, we gave our Something a name.

Now, when I look back, I realize that it was successful because we started it wisely:

  • we did a good work of planning it at the very beginning;
  • as we had no money, we had to invest our time and effort: we shared responsibilities between us, so each of us knew what expertise and how much effort they had to contribute into the business;
  • we agreed to spend all income generated during the first 6 months from the day of the first sale into the development of the business (and it worked!)
  • we continued keeping initial pace of the business even after we started generating some income.

Today, if I had to start it all over, I would probably do most of the things the same way. I would only add a few things in order to shorten the setting up phase:

  • I would buy my first website with a simple shopping basket (in my case, we had to build the website, add the shopping module and do all the SEO part by ourselves);
  • I would start a wiser marketing policy (there are many ways to market a business for free before you start investing into marketing);
  • I would start developing useful connections a lot sooner than I did, so by the time my website is up and running, I would have a list of potential clients to come to with my services.

When you start a business online, the only thing you need to invest into is the website — or even a web page — that would have some space to announce about your business and a tool that would allow your visitors to make payments for your goods or services from this web page directly into your bank account. This is a way easier to setup than having to prepare a whole office or a store for accepting customers. This is why I believe that the 21-st century is a perfect time for doing business. If you have some money to invest, you may go to a web-studio and request to have your website (web page) developed. Then, if you really want your business to work, you will be learning a lot every day. So, running the site and developing the online business will be the same thing as doing it in real time but with minimum initial investment.

In my following post, I will share about the things which you need to know before you request the development of a website which is supposed to become your online store or office. Here, I just wanted to say that it is possible. Even if you have very modest funds to start with.

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