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How to Start a Small Business in a Pandemic

"How did you start your business?" is a question I am often asked, followed by, "I've always dreamed of working from home." If this sounds like you, read on.

I can't think of a better time in the history of our nation than RIGHT NOW to start an online business. So many factors make it one of the most opportune times for sellers to go e-commerce. With the pandemic, we have seen many employers allow people to work from home, and what do you know - it works. Productivity is up, employees are happier, less time is spent commuting, and companies are enjoying lower costs overall. Working from home is the way of the future, and my guess is that many people who were asked to work from home temporarily will get to maintain their employment and will continue to work from home, at least part of the time.

Whether you are thinking of a new career or just a side gig, now is the time! The biggest dilemma for most people is finding a niche: What can I sell? What can I source? How is it done? How do I make money? How do I build a web site? How much money will I need? Where can I find helpful information? 

The best and first place to start is with an interest you have right now. What are your hobbies? What is something that you are good at? What sparked joy for you as a child? It sounds somewhat mundane, but usually there is a hidden treasure in the answer. 

Secondly, do some internet research - but be careful! Lots of companies are claiming fast income and big promises, that is if you want to part with some cash for their "consulting". But don't be discouraged, there are lots of good advisers out there too, such as MeetUp groups, podcasts, and YouTube channels that don't cost anything but a little time.

After you get some initial research done, you can start to look into products that interest you, and then try to find direct manufacturers. For instance, If you're interested in health and nutrition, maybe think about an idea for a supplement and research wholesale vitamin suppliers. Many have minimums on quantity or price (for instance 500 units/$1000), but many are also willing to work with a startup. (I know someone personally who got on the Elderberry bandwagon early on and is making a fortune.)

Another good place to explore is the trade show supplier marketplace and look for new trends. Trade shows feature vendors and manufacturers with new and existing products. To register, you must provide a resale or business license for entry, but that's a very small cost compared to the many items you can source. Some booths are cash and carry, so you can buy an item, take it home, and explore getting it listed for a profit. This again ties back to finding something that interests you!

Most people are looking to score fast and grow big, but be realistic. Most small businesses take time to grow. I like the advice of Crawl, Walk, Run. Go slow, make mistakes, learn from them, keep going, try new things. Some will work and some will not but your experience and knowledge will grow!

While we are on the subject, I've had the good fortune to work with many small startup businesses who sell toe rings! Maybe it's something for you to think about!  It requires little investment for start up, is loads of fun, and you make your own schedule. For more information, go to seller tips or register for a wholesale account here. A resale license number is required.

I will list here a variety of links to help you investigate your dream. Do it now!

Best in 2021,

Tracy

    • Go Daddy - Domain registering and easy website builder
    • Just One Dime - YouTube channel - Selling on Amazon
    • Shopify - Anyone can start a business
    • ASD Show - Trade Show in Vegas, 200 Vendors
    • School of Greatness - Podcast
    • Two Amazon Sellers and  a Microphone - Podcast
    • Arbonne - Wellness and Beauty / Independent Consultants Network Marketing (another idea!)

Please ask questions below and I will try my best to answer them!

 

 

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