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How To Start An Online Store With No Money

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Hey EntrepreneuHers!

So you decided that you are going to open your very own boutique! Congratulations! Just deciding to open up a business is a huge step, so be proud of yourself and the amazing things you are about to accomplish.

Now, let’s jump right into it!

1. Decide what you want to sell and come up with a name.

2. Develop your brand and logo

3. Choose your hosting platform and research or YouTube the easiest ones to use since you are going to build the site yourself.

4. Come up with a marketing strategy.

5. Design virtual thank you cards in case the platform you use doesn’t have automated emails.

6. Plan a launch

7. Launch

Decide what you want to sell and find the best dropshipping company.

For those of you who want to private label and/or have in-home inventory this blog is not for you. If you are working with a serious budget of zero dollars you will need to find a dropshipping company that allows you to pay for items as you need them. For example, you need to order a shirt so you place the order, pay them, then they ship it to the customer and you pocket the remaining funds.

Come up with a name.

I think you should come up with the name after you decide what you want to sell, some clients I’ve worked with before came up with their name first and purchased their domain and picked brand colors and got their logo done and then hated the name and logo colors after they picked products for their boutiques because the name and colors didn’t go well with the products they sold. For some other companies I recommend picking the name first, but for clothing and accessories sometimes the brand flows better after you know what you will be selling. Check out the blog "4 Tips For Naming Your Business"

Come up with your brand/business plan and logo.

Now that you know what the name will be and what you’re selling, make a branding board, business plan, and design your logo. Your branding board should have the colors you want for your business as well as your fonts, and I like to add if possible pictures of the desired style of the business you're going for. Now create your logo, use Canva and keep it simple, your logo can always be changed later. Finally, create your business plan. For help with this read our blog “How to Make the Perfect Business Plan”

Choose your hosting platform.

We are huge WIX fanatics around here, but for beginners, we recommend using big cartel or Weebly with Square. Both platforms are reasonable for beginners and both come with free store plans. Big Cartel gives you the option to publish your store for free as long as it's under a certain amount of products.

Come up with a marketing strategy

So remember your budget is not a factor for marketing so you will need to utilize social media, or your email list, or get nitty-gritty and pass out flyers and relate the upcoming opening through word of mouth.

Design virtual thank you cards in case the platform you use doesn’t have an automated email system. Sending a quick “thank you for your order” can leave a great impression on your customers.

Plan your launch. Make sure you are preparing people of the exact date you plan to open. If you just publish your store with no one expecting it to happen you won't drive much traffic to the store. So be strategic and plan accordingly. Don't give yourself an unrealistic launch date just so you can hurry and finish. Take your time so that glitches, if any, are minor after you launch.

Launch! Thank the publish button on your website and work hard for the business that you created with little to no budget!

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