Store is up and running! But how much does it really cost to launch a business online?

Location of writing: Villa backyard, Hossegor, France. Managed to score a spot in a big house with about 10 people from surf camps from around southern France and Spain. Big week of surfing and backyard beers, cramming in as much work in between as possible.

Travel plans: Will be driving from here to Portugal tomorrow in a small car with 4 guys, 2 guitars, 6 surfboards, and 6 months of luggage from everyone – cosy!

Hosegor.jpg
Backyard Villa – would have happily stayed here another week and kept the surf-work-beer lifestyle going. Surf wasn’t perfect, but again – can’t complain!

Don’t wait for it to be perfect, because it never will be!

Sooo, the Charlie Spike store is live and running – roughly 60 days into the 90 day challenge!

Yowza!

Go on through and check it out, and please, if you’ve liked anything I’ve blogged about thus far, show me some love and support and buy something!

Don’t be fooled, it has not been easy. I could list off a bunch of headache causing tasks which I have sustained over the past 7 days which have yet to be discussed in a blog specifically – maybe the next blog title could be “I’ll order the Thumping Headache with a side of Anxiety and Stress please”?

There are multiple things on this website which I am not happy with at all, from designs and branding to functionality and speed in certain parts.

However, it is very important to realise you are never going to be entirely happy with it.

Don’t keep holding back that launch. Get the store up, get some feedback, watch your data, and change as you go.

Of course, don’t launch a site that makes visitors never want to return, but don’t wait for a masterpiece either. It will never be perfect, so just start, and keep that ball rolling.

Show Me the Money!

So here is that moment that most people look forward to – the almighty LAUNCH. Often, here, people will expect a whole pile of sales (and $$$) starting from minute one.

Unfortunately, the reality is far from that.

The old theory of ‘build it and they will come’ just does not exist in the world of ecommerce. You need to make people to visit your store – unlike with a brick and mortar store, they won’t simply be driving past and choose to pop in. You need to reach out, make them like you, and then softly but swiftly pull them in the door and convince them to stick around.

Now, the ‘attracting people to your online store’ topic is a huge one which I will be covering over a number of blogs over the coming weeks, discussing methods from creative promotions (guess what, this blog you’re reading, is actually one of these), to social media marketing and Google advertising.

For today, however, the aim is that I wanted to show you that it is possible to launch a business without needing any large investment whatsoever – the risk has never been smaller.

So, without further ado, here is the exact amount of money I have spent to get the store up, running, and able to generate revenue (and hopefully profit) to this day:

Total Start Up Costs

(All in $AUD)

Expense Cost Notes
Shopify Plan -2  months subscription to date $38 × 2 = $76 This cost is ongoing – it is the cost of having your website up and running, and everything set up in the most user friendly way possible.

 

In building my website, I chose all the free applications, themes, add-ons etc. They all work perfectly well, and if you wish to upgrade to any fancy paid applications, just wait until some sales come through and give it a go then.

Visit past blogs to learn more about Shopify – it is well worth the cost, and just a few sales, and you have your money back.

Business Name Registration $35 Quick and easy, and annual fee – simple.
Domain Purchase $0 As mentioned in the blog on my business name choice, I already owned this domain – otherwise, it would have cost around $7 for one year.
Email Server Subscription $7 × 2 = $14 This can be avoided – You can sign up to free servers for this – I will do this soon, it was a small expense so I have moved this ‘to do’ task to the back of the list for now.
Support from graphic designers and photo editors on Freelancer websites $33 This was probably not necessary – I could have pestered friends to help me with this, or even done it myself, but I was self admittedly lazy and wanted a quick fix on a couple of photos and image sizes.

You can get anything you want done online quickly if you are willing to splash out just a few bucks for it. Try www.freelancer.com if you need help with pretty much anything at all, from photo editing, to logo creation, to product descriptions. There will be some genius, somewhere, willing to do it for pretty much nothing.

Product Samples $202 (Made up of samples of over 10 products and various suppliers). Now, clearly, this is my biggest expense.

As discussed in my blog on Choosing Your Suppler, this was not actually completely  necessary. I could have simply read the reviews, looked at the photos and made a decision to launch the products for sale on my store without having anyone touch, see and assess them personally – most Dropshippers do this.

I chose, however, to buy the products, see what people thought, and also get some higher quality photos to display for them as well. In some cases of the samples it was worthwhile – One item arrived with the package containing the item, but also a bunch of postcards with pink kittens on them –WTF – will not be listing that item for sale.

If you want to get the store up quicker, and cheaper, then cut this cost! You would be amazed how many stores are selling products they have never actually seen themselves.

 

So, that’s it, a grand total of $340 Australian Dollars to launch a brand new business.

As mentioned, of that amount, roughly $200-$240 of it was not completely necessary – thus, it is clearly possible to launch a new store, capable of generating profit, with under $150 Australian Dollars, or 100 Euros. Buy the cheap beer for a month and it’s already possible.

Sure, you will now need to decide how to invest some money to get people to actually visit the website (other than your friends and family), but the point is you now have a business, which is 100% your own, and is sitting there, waiting, and ready to go!

Have you liked anything you have read on the PackaBusiness blog so far?

Show me some love!

If you have enjoyed anything I have provided on the blog so far, or found any of it useful for your day-to-day endeavours, I would really, really appreciate some support to get the store momentum going.

I would be extremely appreciative if you buy a little something for yourself, or even as a gift, and then leave a friendly review! If the product is not up to scratch, please send me a message and tell me!

Every single bit of support at this stage helps, and it can actually be a crucial make-or-break for the businesses momentum moving forward from launch to sustainable business. Any simple share on social media can open up huge doors to how a business may, or may not, succeed.

What to expect from now?

So, the business is launched. There should be nothing more to talk about, blogs over, right?

Absolutely not.

From this point on, I’ll be discussing everything from various forms of online marketing, to customer retention strategies, and also some more general topics like, for example, ‘The Dark Sides of Being An Entrepreneur’.

Loving every bit of support I have received so far, and I’m glad so many of you have found this useful in your own endeavours, whether for a business or anything else.

Whoopah, it’s beer O’clock!

Adios  

 

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