The pandemic has turned a lot of businesses over on their heads; with certain industries taking the brunt of the global economic downturn, while other unassuming businesses rising to demand spikes globally. Pay cuts and layoffs have made the economy an intimidating place for new businesses to strive while struggling workers turn their attention to more cost-effective fields to make ends meet. If you’re curious to start your own business while adamant about saving cost - here are a few zero investment business ideas to try amidst the pandemic.
Low investment business ideas
Starting a Dropshipping Store
E-commerce hasn’t seen a surge quite like 2020 as the pandemic has forced many at home. With many retail outlets shut and lockdowns becoming routine in some parts of the world, the online platform was the immediate option for shoppers globally, while delivery services were working overtime. Dropshipping is a business model that resembles e-commerce, but the goal is to be a third-party distributor that coordinates with suppliers, locally or globally. When supplied to your e-store, customers can enjoy your catalogue of products with an altered price based on your targeted figure.
Without any investment, this becomes a solid way to serve as a platform for affordable goods and experiment the demand for certain products within your demographic. Committing to a small portion for a couple of months is a safe start and feeling your audiences from there would give you a better indication of which suppliers are better suited to your needs.
Committing to a niche range of products in a specific market has its pros and cons: One of the biggest pros would be reducing your competitors, establishing a better organized network of suppliers and a better understanding of your customers. The cons would be its toll on your company’s branding during the early phase, being overshadowed by newer trends and unprecedented costs as suppliers change prices.
Design and Sell Printed Merchandise
Kind of dropshipping, but headed towards a niche. Websites like Redbubble and Society 6 offer brandless products such as bags, mugs, t-shirts and much more to consumers - strictly online. But the twist is that these companies collaborate with artists from all over the world who want to showcase their art pieces on a commercial scale. The term is Print On Demand (POD) and designers who successfully sell their pieces online receive a cut from each sale, giving consumers the flexibility to be the selling party as well.
Designs do not necessarily have to equate to art; logos, doodles and even texts can make their mark as the next big thing on your platform, while you get to keep at 70% to 90% margin. If you choose to go down this path, getting suppliers of your brandless products becomes easier and harder at the same time. Easier because you can go for the absolute cheapest products in the market as its quality is superseded by the print on them.
It gets harder reading the market and knowing the print industry, as\ certain products will be in demand that you might have missed out on, or certain products that have already been procured may translate print poorly. To commit to this field also means incentivising artists to upload their work on your platform, rather than your competitors - which is where assessing your costs and risks delicately becomes incredibly important.
Sell For a Charitable Cause
This is where product sales can start to go offline if retail restrictions are not hindered in your area.
Regardless of what you sell, the marketing strategy is to highlight the cause of each purchase and how much of the money will go to a charitable organization. Collaborating with various charities is a good way to raise awareness for the specific field - where your company becomes a bridge for charities and the average consumer, while still getting to make a profit. Much like the design idea, a cut of each sale will go to your partner and making 100% of the sales is something to avoid expecting when getting into this area of business.
The most important strategy to get started on this business model is to find a charity that truly resonates with you. Whether it is the elderly, students who can’t afford an education or abuse victims, finding “your calling” is the key to making the entire business process seamless and even exciting.
Believing in a cause and spending some time with the charities before approaching the marketing and sales angle will give you more insight into ways the profit can actually help the organizations. Consumers love to be informed and giving a cost breakdown with testimonials added to the mix can make all the difference in the success of your business.
Sell Digital Services
The online world is vast; so vast that your options to start up a digital service are almost endless. A mix of software knowledge, understanding of the market trends and creativity are all needed to pull this off.
Although it may seem intimidating at first, the large pluses stem from not needing to coordinate with suppliers, distributors, manufacturing and shipping. Providing an online service doesn't have to be a radically new idea that revolutionises the commercial market; it can also be a massive improvement on a digital platform that already exists.
Whether it is photo editing, project management, fitness scheduling or even music editing - the key is to find the niche that best suits your talents and interests, then set up from there. A user-friendly interface can be considered as the meat and potatoes of your selling point to begin with.
Notice certain companies making stellar business models on desktops that poorly translate mobile? Your digital service can take advantage of this and provide consumers with hassle-free solutions. Innovation doesn’t come easy, but market statistics have never been more transparent, which allows you to identify gaps in certain\ industries that will let you make your mark seamlessly.
Source: United News of Bangladesh