Starting Your Small Business Series - Part 3
How to use drop shipping to start a small business for under £150
Starting a new business is actually easier than you’d think. We’re at risk of over simplifying things here, but at a very basic level here are the things you’ll need to do to get started:
- Choose a brand name, domain name, host and a dedicated email address.
- Choose a supplier or drop shipper.
- Choose an ecommerce platform, like Shopify or Bigcommerce.
- Choose a website theme or template.
- Create or source your product designs.
- Decide on a marketing budget and launch!
Choosing an Ecommerce platform
Now you have your brand name and domain you can start building your ecommerce website. There are plenty of ways to go about this from coding it yourself to paying a developer to create one for you and everything in between. Since it’s likely that neither of these are an option let’s stick with something from the in-between category: using an ecommerce website platform to create a site yourself.
There are quite a few decent ones to choose from, but the two on top of almost every list on the Internet are Shopify and Bigcommerce. They’re comparable in almost every way, as this article from Website Builder Expert will tell you, and in the end it comes down to which you think can build your site the way you want it in a way that suits you.
There are two main differences: themes and cost. We’ll touch on themes a little more next week, but it should be noted that whilst Bigcommerce are improving their available themes, WBE found them to be outdated as opposed to the modern themes available from Shopify. As for the cost, this shouldn’t be a deciding factor; don’t go for the cheapest simply because it’s the cheapest – you need to think about the long term. Does the more expensive platform offer exactly what you need to be successful in your particular niche? If so, you’d be wise to spend a little more, especially if it means greater returns in the future.
For our Crearte example we’d go with Shopify - simply because we want a really modern look to our site, plus we have experience working with this platform and love the simplicity of its content management system.
That being said, both of these platforms offer a free two-week trial period so take advantage. Set up your ideal store on both Shopify and Bigcommerce and see how you get on – you’ll find one suits you and your brand more than the other, and this is the one you should go with.
Bigcommerce costs from $29.95 per month, and Shopify costs from $14. We didn’t make our choice based on cost but we’ve ended up with the cheaper option. Going off the current conversion rate, this brings our total cost so far to just £25!