The dynamic development of the e-commerce market pushes entrepreneurs to set up their own e-business.
Nothing unusual. Initial costs seem to be relatively small, the easiness of starting with an e-store is also very tempting.
Remember, however, that running a store is tantamount to running a company that must fulfil its obligations towards the Tax Office and the Social Insurance Institution. See how much the online store and its subsequent maintenance cost.
Online store – price of independence. How much does it cost to open an online store?
The full cost of opening an online store consists of many factors. The main issue is the choice of how to run an e-store. What does it mean? Before starting our own online page, we have to decide whether we will use:
- SaaS platform – Service as a Support. In this option, we decide for monthly subscription fees. They do not have to be high; they start from several dozen zlotys per month. The advantage of this solution is the speed of starting with a ready-made store and the fact that we do not have to worry about anything. We get in a package: servers, hosting, support, ready template (more or less personalized).
- OS engine – open source solution. The so-called “Open source” seems tempting, after all it costs nothing. And here we can make a big mistake. If we cannot code, we do not know CSS or HTML, we have to decide to cooperate with an agency that will adapt the free (or paid) template to our expectations. In this option, everything needs to be configured – from the display of products, modules to the configuration of the basket or payment and logistic modules. However, it has one advantage, we can freely modify the code and configure the store.
If we decide for the SaaS solution, all costs are basically included in the subscription. However, with the “free” solution, there are several financial obligations ahead of us:
- Server – here, the amounts can fluctuate around PLN 100 a year with payment in advance,
- Developer. who introduces changes in the code – it is an individual amount and it can start from several dozen zlotys per hour,
- Integration with wholesalers, payment system, couriers – integration with wholesalers can generate quite a large cost, even several thousand zlotys. Payment and logistics systems are simpler to implement, and we can count a cost of approximately several dozen zlotys.
- Graphic – based on a free or paid template, the graphic adapts the store’s layout to individual requirements so that the store looks unique – even from 1000 PLN.
The costs of running an online store – get to know them all
Regardless of the choice of the engine of the online store, we will be facing constant costs resulting from running a business:
- Social Insurance Institution – currently for the first 6 months we have relief for start. We pay only premium for health insurance. In 2019 the premium is 342.32 PLN, and for another two years we pay the so-called small ZUS, which in 2019 is PLN 555.89.
- Bookkeeping – costs vary. But we can start with, for example, web accounting for approx. PLN 100 monthly.
- Warehouse – we do not have to decide on our own warehouse right away. It can be fatal. Let’s try at the beginning with the so-called drop-shipping (sending orders directly from the supplier) or cross-dock (we will repack products from different suppliers at our place). Then the costs are optimally low. With time, as the business gets going, it’s worth taking a look at the so-called fulfilment.
- Tax Office – depending on whether we decide on a tax scale, a flat tax or a lump sum, we have to pay tax to the tax office every month. The amount of tax depends on the income obtained in the settlement month.
Minimizing the costs of starting with an online store
First of all, pay attention to SaaS platforms. We’re paying a monthly subscription, but it can be very low and we get a ready-made tool to sell online.
Another thing that significantly reduces expenses is logistics costs. We already know that we can almost incur no costs if we decide for drop-shipping.
At the beginning of a career with online sales, we can also take advantage of the possibility of not registering the activity. In the event that our revenues do not exceed PLN 1125 (in 2019), we do not have to pay to Social Insurance Institution.
It all seems pretty simple. However, the reality of e-commerce is quite complicated, extensive and saturated. Let’s not run into hurray-optimism if we get the idea of setting up an online store. Initial costs are low, but to expand virtual wings you will have to make a little effort. In order to sell successfully not only patience, but investment in advertising and content are necessary.