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#1 of 5 Old 01-24-2007, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to have an online store and I'm not quite sure exactly what my product will be. I'm thinking natural/herbal products of some sort (very vague I know...still developing idea in mind). Anyway, I was wondering how many of the moms her got started. What their initial startup cost were? If they had there store full time or part time? And if the business was profitable for them?

I would really appreciate the input, I'm just starting to research into this.

Thanks so much. Also if you have any websites or books that you could recommend to me I would be so grateful.

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#2 of 5 Old 01-30-2007, 11:03 AM
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I started my business in 1998, but changed the products and renamed in 2005... I do personalized gifts, so my startup may have been higher (needed additional printers, heat presses, inventory, etc.)... cost me about $15000 to get up and running completely.

NOW - that wasn't my initial cost - it was actually very inexpensive to get going and offer a simple product line initally (announcements, etc.), but to grow my business and offer a better line, I had to invest the money.


SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#3 of 5 Old 03-18-2007, 01:19 PM
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Your initail startup costs are going to depend mostly on your inventory.

If you know PHP and HTML you can put together your store with only labor and maybe a few hundred if you choose to buy a shopping cart rather than use a free one. For a few hundred, too, you wouldn't have to know PHP ( or even HTML but I'd think it would be handy) and you could hire someone to do that for you.

Then there's shipping supplies, some kind of shipping system, storage supplies and any software you might need. And advertising. Aside from inventory you don't really have much initial outlay in money, but quite an investment in labor. Your ongoing costs are advertising, shipping supplies, hosting fees and inventory, plus storage if your product takes up more space then you currently have.

My business has just started to turn a profit after about 4 months. My product involves huge inventory costs... I'm about $11k in the hole now and expect to get down to almost $20k before turning around for good. If my sales go as I expect them to, with only my business to support me, I should be out of debt in 5 years. This is all based on projections that are educated guesses at best and assume very frugal living.

Is the store full or part time? Huh, I don't know. All I do is take care of ds and work (posting on mdc is "work" it's advertising ;-) ) so I guess it's somewhere in between.

I read "Entrepreneural Parents" or something like that, I got it from the library. It was inspiring, if not really "how-to" helpful. To learn html and php, try for some great free tutorials.

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#4 of 5 Old 03-19-2007, 12:10 AM
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Hi Kristal, I started my business "officially" last year. I'm pleased to say that I am no longer losing money, but I'm not exactly profitable yet either. Any profits I have now will pay booth fees this summer festival season.

I really worked hard in the beginning to keep my start up costs as low as possible. I started with seed money of about $200 (for ingredients). I bartered for what I could elsewhere. I had to hold out on other things until I could pay for them with business income. It has meant that I haven't been able to grow as fast as I would like, but I believe that it is what's best for our family. Be creative when weighing your options for financing.

Initially my store was a part-time (maybe 5 hours per week) endeavor as I was also a full-time student & mom. I was only listed on Hyena Cart then. Since I've graduated, my business has become much more of a priority. I opened my own site and expanded my offerings. I probably work about 14 - 20 hours per week. Though it's really based upon my family's schedule.

I can say that I've missed having things like a marketing dept, IT Dept, & shipping and recieving... back when I was just the accounting lady!! But being home with my dc & doing what I love are totally worth it. Good luck to you!

Librarian & mommy to my jog.gif(2002) & jammin.gif (2005) married to superhero.gifsince 1999
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#5 of 5 Old 03-27-2007, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by free2be View Post
...Anyway, I was wondering how many of the moms her got started. What their initial startup cost were? If they had there store full time or part time? And if the business was profitable for them?....

I started my home-based business though an established company that already had a good reputation and had a name built for itself; so I kinda "cheated" I guess. I work my business part-time most days and sometimes I put in a full day - depending on what I've got going on. I try not to work weekends, and if I do; it's a last resort to accomodate customers that I can't be in touch with during the week.

My startup costs were under $100. With that money; I purchased a business kit from the company (which had all I needed to get started; including their Statement of Policies so I wasn't violating their rules; and a bunch of things that helped guide me to gaining customers); put an ad in the local paper (about $40) and made up a flyer to put around town and had a bunch of photocopy prints made. That covered all my initial startup costs. The rest was incorporated into my daily life (ie: I didn't drive around putting out my flyers; I took them with me when I ran personal errands and put them up when I saw a place).

I earn a residual monthly income from my customer's purchases (we have products that people use every day). I enrolled my first customer by accident (I was at her Internet Cafe to make up the flyers I mentioned in the last paragraph) and she approached me, having been a customer in years past. I have received an income cheque from the company ever since her first purchase; and every month thereafter.

After my initial startup costs; I have spent very little (don't really have a figure, but definitely under $200) to build and maintain my business. I don't stock inventory, so I don't have to shell out money for products. I don't deliver products so I don't have car/gas fees relating to my business. I use the phone and the internet to promote my business, but I don't consider them expenses since I would have these things if I was not operating a home-business. Basically, my only "expenses" are advertissments and my time.

Some people prefer to start their own companies marketing their own products. While I have lots of product idea's; I didn't have the time or money to invest in something like that. I ran and maintained my business as a single mom; and amongst my personal expenses, I couldn't imagine having costs like "mom2bja" had! :

I have tons of crafty marketing idea's for low budgets; and you're welcome to PM me with questions or for idea's. Good luck in your endeavors!

(My reminder: This post does not violate the UA; and was approved by HeatherSanders)

WARNING: The comments and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the community in which I reside; or those of the internet parenting network.
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