In order to succeed in online sales you have to spend money. While you can try to find free items to resell on sites such as Freecycle and Craigslist, it’s difficult and very time consuming. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around the need to purchase inventory in order to sell online. But, there are some guidelines that you can follow to save yourself money and still build a successful business.
Start by selling items that you have in your possession already. This lets you build up some cash to buy more inventory without creating debt. It can also motivate you because you won’t be able to keep any of your profits until your business grows. You’ll have a great reason to keep expenses low and stay focused.
Don’t quit your day job. By working during the day, you can pay your living expenses while building a replacement income on the side. This allows you to put all your initial profits back into your business. Be fair to your current employer though - don’t situate yourself as their competition and always make sure that your job performance isn’t affected.
While you may need cash to put into building your business, it’s always a good idea not to borrow from your friends and family. They may be happy to help, but getting money involved in your relationship can cause problems quickly.
If you are interested in a loan, the SBA’s Microloan Program can be a great option. The loan is administered through lenders in your local area. You will likely be required to put up collateral, and you will also need to make a personal guarantee. Most loans are for around $10,500; however, there are loans available for up to $35,000. If you are interested in finding a participating organization in your area, check out the Small Business Association’s website.
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