Having a business is a dream for a lot of people these days. Even though it is much easier to start a business nowadays than years before, it still takes a lot of effort, zest, and usually finances as well. However, with the rise of the internet, there are options for how to start a business with zero inventory, just with an idea and digital tools. Let’s dive in!
Determine what kind of business you want
There are a lot of business types and a lot of niches. Firstly, you need to decide what kind of business you want. Aside from forming an LLC, working as a self-employed, or choosing any other legal business model, you need to decide how will you earn money. Nowadays you can choose how you earn money from these options – selling a product (digital or physical), selling a service, or selling attention (aka earning money from ads).
The business that you can start just with your skill and without any inventory because you just don’t need it are selling a service, selling a digital product, or selling attention.
However, if your dream is to sell physical products, in most cases you will need an inventory. Except one. There is a business type where you can still sell physical products, but you don’t need to keep an inventory. Intrigued yet? Let’s explore more!
Print on demand business – is it the right one for you?
If you choose a print on demand business model, you don’t need to have a physical inventory in your own warehouse. All you need to do is to find a suitable print on demand partner that will take care of all the physical aspects of the business.
What is print on demand?
When you custom print something on anything it is print on demand. Print on demand businesses usually sell clothing items, for example, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.
How does it work?
You create a custom design you like (it can be anything!), create a mock-up of how it will look, create a website and start an e-commerce shop. When you get an order, either it goes straight to your print on demand supplier or you manually pass that order to the print on demand company. Either way, the print on demand supplier will print the item and send it out for you.
It is a great business model for those who like to create designs and for those who like to do digital marketing. These are the two things you need – wonderful, eye-catching designs that people will want to purchase and digital marketing skills to get people to find your page and purchase from it.
However, if you have always dreamed of sending out your own orders, giving every package extra care, and adding a handwritten note print on demand business might not be for you.
Digital products business – zero inventory, the opposite income
A digital product can be an e-book or a course on something you know. All you need to do is to create a material once and then sell it over and over again. It is a pretty perfect business model as you don’t have to create something new for every customer as it is with physical products. You just send the same file to everyone who purchases it.
A little bit different type of business is having a blog or a Youtube channel. In this case, you give a lot of information for free (for example, blog posts, videos, etc.) but you have sponsors, ad revenue, and affiliate links.
Usually though, if you have a blog or a Youtube channel you will create different types of revenue streams, for example, a print on demand merch, an e-book, or a course. But you start out by giving information for free and having third parties pay you.
It is amazing what nowadays you can do on the internet. From selling or re-selling anything to finding information on just about everything. The internet has opened options for a lot of different business types. There are now lots of businesses that operate just online, they are fully digital. They sell digital products, they give out digital information and they even have a digital office. And they have zero physical inventory.
Print on demand business does bridge the two worlds together. On one hand, you have a fully digital shop without any inventory, but on the other hand, you have a partner that will create this physical product for you. If you are not quite ready to dive into a fully digital business, print on demand might just be for you. Best of both worlds.