Is It Possible To Start An Online Business Without Money?
Many aspiring entrepreneurs believe, “It takes money to make money.” However, that’s not entirely true.
If you want to start a business, you need a product or service to sell. More often than not, you’ll need capital in order to get your startup business off the ground.
Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, you don’t need a lot of money or experience to start an online business. A number of online businesses can be started in one day, without costing any money.
If you want to be your own boss, but are limited financially, your best bet is to use free online tools that require no prior marketing experience or technical expertise.
Furthermore, you do not have to endure dodgy sales pitches and “business opportunities” – which usually require you to pay the membership fees upfront anyway.
In case you’re looking to work from home full-time or if you’re looking to generate additional income from a part-time business, owning and managing your own online business gives you that flexibility. No matter how you slice it, there are hundreds of business ideas, but many would-be entrepreneurs don’t know where to begin.
E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of buying or selling products electronically over the internet or through online services. It is based on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic fund transfers, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. While that may sound overwhelming it really isn’t that difficult to get started.
If you want to get into eCommerce, you’re never too late. In retail shopping, not only are times changing, they’ve changed radically. Ecommerce is booming – it’s a done deal.
There are an estimated 20 million+ eCommerce stores, and the industry is forecast to generate $4.5 trillion in sales by 2021. According to WPForms:
- It’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce by 2040,
- 93.5% of global internet users have purchased products online,
- 46% of American small businesses still don’t have a website,
- The eCommerce industry is growing 23% year-over-year, and
- Globally, 57% of online shoppers buy from overseas retailers.
As such, if you’re thinking of starting your own eCommerce business, and we highly recommend that you do, chances are that you’ll fall into one of two categories: Affiliate Marketing or Dropshipping and Print-On-Demand which is a specific variation of Dropshipping. You should know about each of these, not only for their individual benefits but also for their challenges. This will be discussed below.
Deciding on your business model is just the first step in the process of getting your eCommerce store up and running.
Tips for Starting Your First Online Business:
- Make use of free, organic marketing. Create a social media schedule and post content regularly to sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. This is not only free marketing but also helps you to stand out and bring your brand closer to your target audience.
- You should try to avoid upfront expenses. Small amounts here and there add up quickly. Paying bills before seeing a return can be discouraging. Grow your business through free marketing software, organic marketing strategies, and free design templates in the beginning.
- You have to put in the time and effort. You will always have to make an investment in some aspect of starting a business and if not money then in time and work. When money is tight, you have to invest your time and energy. Any company that wants to succeed must work hard, but those without the resources to hire a team face even greater challenges. You cannot simply cut and paste a business together.
- Tell your friends and family. Tell everyone you know about your new business venture. You should use your social media bio to post links or content that your network is likely to share.
- Learn how to be more resourceful. When you’ve never done something like this before, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t encounter any difficulties. Yet, the internet is largely made up of free information and resources that can be found with just a few clicks. You need to shift your mindset from “I don’t know how to do this” to “I can research how to do this.”
A business can be started online without money or experience, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t resources available.
Finding the right platform on which to run your business is a crucial part of starting a profitable business. It is usually achieved by creating multiple accounts and connecting the various platforms with third-party integration software. Here is where it becomes complicated and difficult to set up.
With a Groove.CM account, you can easily create a website, build an email list, or start an eCommerce store – all in one place. Simply select a pre-made template and use the drag-and-drop builder to create everything you need within minutes.
So, it’s only natural that we would recommend running your online business with our favorite all-in-one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that is specifically designed for digital and eCommerce marketers. You can, however, choose other companies offering similar services to promote your business, the following concepts would still stand.
How To Start a Business With Little To No Money or Experience:
Learn how to become an affiliate marketer
Create a Print-On-Demand or Dropshipping Ecommerce Store
1. Affiliate Marketing
No customers? No products? No money? No problem! Affiliate marketing might be for you.
The only expenses you would incur are marketing and advertising expenses to drive traffic and generate sales. However, this can also be done organically in the beginning. Your content marketing efforts should target a particular niche to help your online business succeed.
As an affiliate marketer, you can start your own online business without having your own product. By selling someone else’s product, you make money. Essentially earning a commission for selling.
You don’t have to maintain inventory or ship products, and you don’t have to handle customer service queries. It’s a hands-off, passive income source after the initial setup because the merchant handles everything after you get the customer to click on the product link.
A unique link tracks back to your affiliate partner account if you sell a product on your website, for example. When a potential customer clicks on your links and makes a purchase, you receive a commission. The amount of commission varies depending on the affiliate partner. There are several affiliate sites that are popular, including ClickBank, Amazon, and JVZoo.
To get started with affiliate marketing, you do not need any money or experience.
Obviously, that isn’t a guarantee. Often affiliate programs require you to purchase the product first and then promote it – or even apply – and then it’s a paid product that you’re selling, which can be difficult for first-time affiliates.
Although it is entirely possible to investigate various affiliate marketing programs (and do your due diligence before promoting anything), the simplest and safest way to get started is by becoming a Groove JV affiliate.
Promoting Groove does not require you to sell anything. All you need to do is give away free accounts. Later, when the customer upgrades, you’ll make the commission.
PROS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING:
(With Groove Partner Program) Low risk: no financial investment required
Hands-off business model
Easy to start
It can be scaled easily
Potential for high income
Market complementary products
CONS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING:
A lack of traffic means no revenue
Taking on the role of a third party
There is no control over the competition
Joining the Groove Partner Program
Anyone can create a Groove.CM account for free and begin to earn generous commissions as a Groove affiliate. There is no application process, and you don’t have to upgrade to access the program.
Technically, you don’t even need Groove.cm software to sell Groove or any other affiliate products. But why would you build your business on anything else when this is the best digital marketing CRM system available? Leads can be converted into paying customers using all the features in the app (and more!) You’d promote it more effectively by using it yourself! This applies to promoting any affiliate products. The more familiar you are with a product the easier it is to talk about it and to market it.
Groove.cm wants you to succeed in their Groove Partner Program. In terms of promoting affiliate websites, Groove.cm has a team of Internet Marketing experts who know all about best practices and marketing strategies that have already been tried and tested.
Read our recent Groove.cm app and platform review here.
And it’s all freely available in the GrooveDigital Academy.
Groove and most affiliate programs such as JVZoo and Clickbank have some media, email scrapes, and even possibly Video Sales Letters to help you. Unlike JVZoo and Clickbank Groove has a lot more extensive training and has designed a collection of pre-made, highly converting promotional tools for Groove customers.
Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or have an existing network, our program is unlike any other – their program is fast, easy, and effective.
I would start with promoting Groove.cm but later on, you can then start promoting other people’s products too. You can even start making your own products once you’ve made enough profit to reinvest in another business.
Groove Partner Program Commission
You will receive instant access to affiliate links as soon as you sign up for your free Groove.cm account.
When you promote Groove products, you earn 20% commission on Tier 1 and 5% on Tier 2 – using your free Groove account. If you upgrade your membership, you will earn 40% commission on Tier 1 and 10% on Tier 2.
Tier 1 conversions occur when you refer a lead to Groove (via your affiliate link) and they convert. Tier 2 affiliate commissions apply if that user then refers others through their affiliate link, which entails a commission on those conversions too.
20% commission* on Tier 1 – for LIFE
5% commission* on Tier 2 – so you can build a downline and get paid for their efforts
*Upgraded members get 40% on Tier 1 and 10% on Tier 2.
The good news is that no one can ever take your lead from you. It is yours for life. It’s hard-coded to you and locked in! This is called “first tag wins.”
It doesn’t matter where or when they upgrade in the future – you own it and are guaranteed a commission.
Plus, Groove Affiliates get paid every week once a minimum of two sales has occurred.
For more detailed information, go to www.groovejv.com
How to Build an Affiliate Page with GroovePages
No matter if you want to become a Groove affiliate or an affiliate for another product, you must create your first affiliate sales funnel landing page. You don’t need to have any coding, design, or programming skills, though. For selling other affiliate products all you need is your affiliate link and in Groove you set up a simple redirect and have a page built in minutes.
GroovePages tutorials take you through a series of videos that show you how to create your affiliate page. In minutes, you can create a professional-looking site by following this step-by-step training inside the GrooveDigital Academy.
Furthermore, you can quickly find detailed walkthroughs and builds on the GrooveDigital YouTube channel.
2. Print-On-Demand and Dropshipping
These are eCommerce business models with one of the lowest barriers to entry.
Ecommerce entrepreneurs typically need a large amount of capital to purchase and manage large quantities of inventory before they can sell products online. A Print-On-Demand store allows even the smallest business owners to start an online business – with no upfront financial investment. The POD supplier handles all the payment processing and inventory. Profits from print-on-demand publishing are on a per-sale basis, and commissions or royalties vary depending on the method by which the item is sold but you are free to set your own prices and control your commissions. With dropshipping there is a cost that many beginners don’t understand, when a customer buys a product you need to order and pay for it from the supplier…before your payment provider releases the money to you which can take up to 3 weeks if you are a new store. If you sell $10,000 worth of goods out of the gate, guess what? You need to pay $10000 out of your own money. Most drop shippers don’t face this problem though and many people struggle to even get a sale starting out.
While you can start a dropshipping business with just a little money, if you really want to do it for a real income and not just as a hobby I do recommend having a cash reserve for when people do start buying. How much? Well, that depends on multiple factors but a good rule of thumb in my opinion is if you are paying for advertising is to have a 10:1 cash reserve. If you spend $100 on advertising have at least $1000 in reserve. This is variable and a lot depends on if you are selling high-ticket or low-ticket products. Still, you can start the business with just a little money, especially if you have a credit card that you can charge products on.
These ‘models’ eliminate the financial burden and risk of sitting with a warehouse full of stock that you might not sell, and the hassle of arranging delivery logistics. Essentially they are both just digital marketing businesses, with different fulfillment and payment order flow. In the case of a Print-On-Demand store, Individuals create campaigns in order to sell custom products and have companies like Teespring or Slingly do the fulfillment. Campaign creators are expected to design and market the product themselves. A drop shipping business fulfillment model, unlike a physical brick and mortar store, uses a third-party supplier (which could even be the manufacturer) to complete the order and deliver the product. Payment is between you and the customer and also you and the supplier in two separate transactions.
While many people when they think of drop shipping think of cheap low priced items often sourced from China on AliExpress, in actuality drop shipping is common with expensive products AKA high ticket items.
Pro-Tip: Consider High Ticket Drop Shipping over selling cheap Chinese junk that you purchase on AliExpress. High ticket items generally have better quality, hence lower returns and more satisfied customers. It is just as easy to sell one $3000 item as it is to sell three hundred $10 items, perhaps it may even be easier. It is estimated that between 80-97% of new dropshipping stores fail each year, in part due to lack of funding and not understanding the business and the level of competition.
This means that after a customer makes a purchase, the dropshipping store purchases the item from a third-party fulfillment provider and ships it directly to the customer. With Print-On-Demand businesses, much like affiliate marketing, you only have to focus on the marketing and advertising efforts to find customers as the POD supplier, be it a company like Teespring or Slingly handles all the processing and just sends your sales profit to your bank account..
However, as your company represents the product and overall customer experience, it is crucial that you work with dropshippers and Print-on-Demand suppliers with proven track records.
PROS OF PRINT-ON-DEMAND AND DROPSHIPPING:
Limited to no risk
Business can be run from home
It requires little to no startup capital
There is no inventory or storage
Build your own online branded store with eCommerce software
CONS OF PRINT-ON-DEMAND AND DROPSHIPPING:
Due to competition, low profit margins
Issues with out-of-stock inventory
Dropshipping requires you to find a supplier and do your own product and supplier due diligence
Brands are vulnerable to mistakes made by third parties
Print-On-Demand requires some creativity in developing designs
Dropshipping requires a minimum of three weeks of working capital in order to be able to fulfill orders.
Create Your Own Print-On-Demand or Dropshipping Store with GrooveKart
When you open a free Groove.cm account they will let you have up to 3 GrooveKart stores, with the paid plan you can have unlimited stores. You can manage all of your eCommerce business operations with GrooveKart, a free eCommerce platform. (An alternative would be Shopify, $948 p/y)
They make it easy for anybody to get started with GrooveKart. You pay more for less on other platforms, plus you pay for third-party apps that GrooveKart includes for free. There are no hidden fees!
Moreover, the user-friendly interface makes it easy to customize your online store with hundreds of templates and a simple drag-and-drop builder – which means you don’t need to know how to code or hire a web designer.
They also have easy integration with Print-On-Demand suppliers like Printful, Teespring and Slingly built in. If you would like a Done-For-You Print on demand store created for you click here to be taken to eCombusiness.builders that will build the store for you with products, designs, and your logo done for you. You can add more products later as you scale up.
For dropshipping GrooveKart has a built-in integration to AliExpress, an online retailer that allows small businesses to sell products around the world with minimal investment. Additionally, it supports dropshipping from other suppliers, which lets businesses accept and fill orders without holding any inventory.
Free Groove.cm full-featured access
Free website hosting
Free custom domains
Free integrations and built-in apps
Free drag-and-drop builder
Free high-converting templates
Free payment processing integrations
When you are on a paid plan, the number of stores you can build is unlimited, but a time limit is set. This occurs once every seven days for paid members. If you are a free member, you will have to wait for 30 days to build an additional store.
Log in to Groove.CM on your Chrome browser
Select the GrooveKart app
Add New Store
Create a subdomain and check the availability
Wait a few minutes for your store to be built
Learn more about how to set up your newly created store by taking the 3-Day GrooveKart Accelerator Challenge or search the GrooveDigital YouTube Channel.
Join the Groove Community
Would you like a bit of support and inspiration on your entrepreneurial journey?
Join the official Groove.CM Facebook group for news, live training, and community discussions.
How to Contact GrooveKart Support
Go to www.groovesupport.net and select from the following options:
Search the self-help articles in the knowledge base,
Select the live chat option in the bottom-right corner, or
Create a ticket in the top-right corner.
My favorite features’ Groove.CM offers
It has an entirely free plan
Most funnel builders offer a free trial for their users, but GrooveFunnels one-upped the entire industry with this one. They’re offering a free plan, which is a great starting point for beginners!
While I can’t guarantee how long this will be available, it’s worth signing up for now because the free account won’t expire. This gives you the ability to test GrooveFunnels out for yourself before investing in their premium plan!
It’s a true all-in-one marketing platform
A lot of different marketing platforms out there don’t have everything included. Whether it’s an email marketing service, landing page builder, payment collector, or anything else! It’s rare to find software that has it all, but GrooveFunnels does.
Like I said earlier, not every feature is currently released but they’ll be putting it out before the official launch! I’ll be watching closely during the launch to see if they keep their promises.
They have a lucrative affiliate program
Groove.cm is a goldmine if you’re interested in promoting them as an affiliate. We have had hundreds of people sign up through our links. Their premium users receive higher commissions, but they still allow free members to promote it!!! After you start making sales you’ll see the value in upgrading to a paid plan just for the higher commission. With a paid plan just 3 sales pay for your plan.