How to Start a Business From Your Closet One Hour a Week
Jul 28, 2016
The nine-to-five scenario is, for many, a thing of the past, to which we say, HECK YES! As women on the road to becoming self-made, you should embrace the new paradigm of flexibility, and reflect on how to sell stuff online, because it liberates you to tackle multiple revenue-generating opportunities, on your time and your terms.
Each of us has a unique constellation of needs and circumstances. One woman, for example, might be a first-time mother, and have the desire to spend as much time as possible with her new baby at home. While another woman might be climbing the ranks at a corporate job, knowing that someday, she’ll be ready to do her own thing. The beauty of being able to run a business from your home is that both types of women (and everyone in between) are perfectly poised to set up shop and benefit.
You have no time, you say? We present you with a challenge: devote one measly hour per week to the task of starting a business from your closet, or bedroom, or kitchen, or anywhere else in your home. Carve out that hour the way you would for going to the gym. The point is to realize that thanks to the sharing economy, you can pretty much start to earn money from anywhere.
Take Tara Winter, for example, who started an eBay store in her twenties, which is now a full-fledged business that allowed her to buy a house and spend as much time with her baby as she pleases.
Consider the list below. Pick one item of it per week and zero in. By week 11, you should be well on your to way to running a new business.
From Clutter to Cash
How many of you have closetfuls of stuff just piling up with no rhyme or reason? Instead of sighing with desperation every time you catch a glimpse of the clutter you’ve amassed, try to look at it with new eyes. Step outside yourself and see every object as something someone else might want to have. A designer purse. A perfectly good coat that you no longer wear. Those knee-high boots that you love, but just not on yourself. We guarantee you will find all kinds of things in there that can become bonafide inventory.
Explore the Stores
There are innumerable “storefront” options to pick from. From eBay and Etsy, to Shopify, Big Commerce and Squarespace—you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Read user testimonials, play around on their various interfaces, and see for yourself which one makes the most sense for you.
Once you have figured out what you want to sell—be it old wares or new stuff you make—become an expert in your products. Be willing to go from “someone who loves old clothes” to a seasoned vintage couture expert. Become intent on elevating your expertise.
Love the Listing
One of the keys to selling anything online is knowing how to properly list it. Get clear, get creative and get your head around all the criteria, depending on which platform you decide to use. eBay, for example, is known for its seller tutorials, which teach you everything you need to know about listing products.
Take Fab Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure your product photos are nothing short of perfect. Take shots during the daytime for best use of natural light. If you have a budget for this, maybe even invest in a photographer, or better yet, ask your camera-savvy pal to come over for an afternoon.
Get a Sales Tax Number
A tax ID, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It’s kind of like a social security number for your business. Some states require business owners to obtain a tax ID, a requirement that you can work to your advantage.
Set up a Paypal Account
You’re taking action now on your small business for the sake of transactions, right? Which means you should set up a PayPal account. This way you can keep your track of your sales and expenses in one place, separate from your personal finances.
Work the Cred
Once your storefront is up and running, you’re ready to start marketing. Flex your customer service skills to receive great buyer testimonials. Write personal notes with shipments, pack things beautifully, and always be thinking about how else you can make yourself stand out as a seller.
If you’re really serious about how to how to sell stuff online, make sure you’re posting and sharing your listings on social media, and rally all your people to help get the word out about your new endeavor. Remember, it takes a village!