How to start an online business from home

Starting an online business from home can be very lucrative. It can start as a side project to supplement your monthly income or before you know it, you could be quitting your job and working full-time on your website.

According to the ONS/Office of National Statistics, 13.9% of those employed in 2014 were working from home, which is a record number. So the premise of running an online business from home is very possible.

shutterstock_166606760Deciding what to sell

Ideally, you want your online business to be something which can allow you to get a lot of traction without putting in too many hours, especially if you are creating the website as a side hobby.

So trying to bring a new concept to market which is not tried and tested and requires a lot of promotion and education to the customer is unlikely to gain the traction and profitably you are looking for.

The best online businesses to start from home are those where there are low barriers to entry. This means that setting up is easy and doesn’t require big machinery, storage facilities, heavy regulation or years of expertise e.g selling food products, retail

Finding a product or service in an unsaturated market is also a good idea. Trying to sell something where there is a demand but not many people selling it should be a good opportunity.

Examples of good online businesses to set up from home include selling custom made jewellery or t-shirts. Lifestyle websites are very popular such as reviewing health products or local restaurants.

See if you can pick up on a current trend and capitalize on the level of interest such as restaurants that offer gluten free dishes, personalized phone covers or Christmas jumpers.

Some of the best websites created on low budgets are those that offer recommendations, advice or comparisons for products with high conversion rates such as insurance and loans.

In fact, one of Buddy’s best affiliates has set up a guarantor loan comparison website from his home which he does in his spare time.

shutterstock_246833101The costs of setting up a new website

For websites that you are setting up from home, there is no need to have heavy servers or rack space in your living room. After all, you’re not trying to create the next Google!

You can start by purchasing a domain name on GoDaddy or 123 Reg for around £10 per year. Ideally, you want to pick a name that is very similar to the product you are offering, so it is clearer for the customer.

Using something like Wix or WordPress, you can create a website very cheaply and be able to customize it to your specification.

Wix offers a very basic looking site but WordPress allows you to make something that is highly customized and you can build on it for the future.

Your hosting should only cost a few pounds a month and this will make sure lots of visitors can come to the site without it crashing. If your site gets really popular, you will simply have to increase the amount you spend on hosting.

  • Domain name – £10 per year
  • Custom email address – £10 per year
  • WordPress – £13 per year to connect your domain to a wordpress account
  • Hosting – £10 per year, based on a basic quote from Catalyst2

shutterstock_122664079Advertising your website

In the early stages, you need to attract new customers.

Some of the easiest and free ways are to post on your own social media pages such as facebook, twitter and instagram. This will expose your business to your list of contacts and the more they engage with it, the more it will seen by their friends and followers.

If you have a consumer product, using facebook advertising is a very low-cost and effective method to target specific interests and locations. Adding videos and images to your adverts, it can cost less than 10p per click.

For bigger budgets, you can use Google Adwords to target the keywords that show up on the top and right hand side of Google’s search results. The more competitive your industry, the more expensive the clicks are.

Adwords have specials for new customers so try looking for vouchers online to get £25 free credit towards your advertising spend

Recommended budget in your first month:

  • £1,000 on facebook advertising (£30 per day)
  • £1,000 on Google Adwords (£30 per day)

,Starting an online business from home can be very lucrative. It can start as a side project to supplement your monthly income or before you know it, you could be quitting your job and working full-tim

This article by Jon Emge was syndicated by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

For more information, click here.

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