This is a guest post by David Anderson.
Holidays are money-making bonanzas for online businesses.
Americans spent $6 billion on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations in 2012, according to an article on Mashable.com.
And retailers, including small business retailers, are predicting a robust Christmas season.
Manta’s Small Business Retailer Holiday Outlook survey predicts that this year’s holiday season will be especially good for online businesses. Online orders are expected to top 2011 holiday orders by 10 percent, compared to a 4.1 percent increase for brick and mortar small business retailers.
If you want to take advantage of the expected bonanza, consider these two make money online tips for keeping you and your customers happy.
1. Don’t Overstock
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday rush, particularly if you get a lot of pre-Thanksgiving orders.
But, just because you enjoyed great early sales, don’t rush to increase your inventory.
It’s better to sell out of something — or a lot of things — than to get stuck with merchandise that you’ve paid for but can’t sell.
This is especially true of holiday items — you won’t sell leftover reindeer golf club cozies until next November, if ever. But even non-seasonal items can be difficult to sell in January, and you’ll have to offer them at greatly reduced prices.
Always keep stock as low as possible.
It’s better to sell out in early December than to be stuck with unsold merchandise in February or March.
2. Start a Business That Doesn’t Require Inventory
A simple solution to overstocking merchandise it to sell items that requires no stock at all.
Promote — or create from scratch — an online business that provides information people can download or otherwise obtain without any shipping, handling or inventory costs to you.
Let’s say you make excellent — world class — fruitcake.
Maybe your family has convinced you to start a fruitcake business and you think this would make a great online holiday money-maker.
Even if your family is right (and they’re not just trying to find polite ways to get rid of the fruitcake you bake for them) the costs of buying ingredients, storage containers and shipping supplies could cost several thousands of dollars before you sold your first fruitcake.
What if you sold your fruitcake recipe — and an hour of your time to talk a novice baker through the instructions — instead?
You could start your business with a free website and start making an instant profit.
Or you could set up your webcam and charge a fee for holiday cooking classes.
Consider other types of information you could sell online: webinars for small business owners, white papers on ways to create wealth online or an ebook about how you started your online business.
Don’t spend thousands and thousands of dollars before you make your first sale.
Start earning money online right away and, when your cash flow improves, reinvest in the business.
Use your profits to buy yarn to knit golf club cozies or raisins for your fruitcakes.
But, until you start making money online, spend as little as necessary.
Meet the man behind the name at David Anderson Online. While David was making his first successes online, he realized that many businesses and entrepreneurs were failing to make the same progress that he was.David has been mentoring and sharing his enterprise level experience with others that have the same passion to succeed for over 30 years.