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Invent your own Small Business

You have a burning passion to have your own little biz, to sell shower curtains, but that could put some crucial extra funding in your pocket.

Excerpts below from an article: 

How (And Why) To Launch Your Own Product Line, No Startup Required    By Arianna O’Dell

This week, I’m working on my own line of dolphin beach towels. Last week, I designed some yoga mats. Next week, I’ll be working on unicorn beach towels. While bouncing from Hong Kong to Spain, I’ve been able to create, market, and sell my products all over the world using just my laptop and a Wi-Fi connection.

If this sounds appealing… you might be a good fit as a global nomad, entrepreneur.

Whatever the case, developing you own product line might be a smart move. Here’s how to get started on that before dinnertime tonight.

Related: Four Ways To Earn Extra Money While Keeping (Or Preparing To Quit) Your Day Job

Step 1: Pick A Print-On-Demand Service

In November, when I tried out print-on-demand platforms: Printful, Teelaunch, and Cimpress Open. With these services, I’ve been able to print and sell hundreds of mugs and yoga mats from Mexico to Oman.

Some see print-on-demand technology as more than a means to just earning a so-called “passive income.” Frank Denbow, founder of an apparel company called Startup Threads, argues that “brands of the future will be built by creative individuals who are empowered by technology. With these new services, creatives won’t have to deal with printing and fulfillment and can concentrate on the creative aspect of building their brand.”

That’s the case, anyhow, for Allison Otterbein, who’s used print-on-demand platforms to build her travel and lifestyle brand, Numinous, from the road.

To get started yourself, these are some of the services whose pricing models and product catalogs I’d suggest checking out first:

Choose a few products you’d like to create for whatever target audience you have in mind. Next comes design —brainstorm a few of the ideas you’d like to bring to life.

Related: Banking On Nostalgia—How Ban.do Figured Out What Millennial Women Want

Step 2: Find A Talented Designer

Find them using Upwork, Dribbble, and Behance. Without these expert freelancers, my store would still be just an idea in my head, like it was five years ago.

Hints: Find a great designer. Give shoppers a large product offering to choose from with no inventory required it is now possible.

Step 3: Create A Storefront

Ten years ago, building an e-commerce business was tedious and time-consuming. Today, there are many out-of-the-box solutions that can have you ready to sell in a matter of hours.

When I was starting out, I had a limited budget and not enough funds to build a full-fledged website. I used Etsy;  testing different ideas there.

One benefit of listing on Etsy to begin with is that you can easily download all listings into a CSV file to upload to Shopify or even Amazon. After looking into many options like Squarespace and BigCartel, I personally chose Shopify for its competitive pricing and customer support, though you might go with another platform depending on your needs.

Step 4: Stick With It

Launching a product line and turning it into a sustainable e-commerce business—even as a side project—takes time and continuous effort. Some expect to see instant results and get discouraged if sales don’t surge in their first few weeks.

If you start small, there’s little risk. An unsold shower curtain isn’t the end of the world, but if you do sell one—and then another, and another—a world of opportunities might start opening up to you.

About the author : Arianna O’Dell is the founder of Airlink Marketing, a digital agency that helps hotels, restaurants, and travel destinations attract and retain clientele. When she’s not working with clients or traveling, you’ll find her making fun gifts at Ideas By Arianna.   More

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