5 Ways To Start Your Business On A Budget
One of the primary reasons people hesitate to start a business is their fear of needing many thousands of dollars in startup money.
If you’re starting a brick-and-mortar business that requires a physical location and/or inventory, yes, those startup costs can be very expensive.
However, if you’re starting a service business online, working from the comfort of your own home, then the startup costs are minimal.
Here are five ways to stay on budget while setting up your business:
1. Purchase A Domain
Every business should have a website as part of their online presence so invest in a paid domain. Don’t settle for platforms that offer free domains; those will look similar to www.mynewbiz.wordpress.com and screams unprofessional and cheap. Invest the $15 dollars to purchase the www.mynewbiz.com instead.
Purchase Your Domain:
2. Shop Around For Web Hosting
Domain registrars will always offer you a hosting package, but those deals are not always the most cost-effective.
Do some research, ask online associates, and read online reviews. I’ve seen web hosting packages for as low as $10 per month, but you also want to inquire about their percentage of downtime and how quickly it takes to get a customer service response.
If you have an emergency with your site, you don’t want to wait days for an answer.
If using WordPress to build your site, use WordPress Hosting:
- BUDGET: GoDaddy: One of the most popular hosting providers, with plans starting at $8.99/month (choose WordPress Hosting)
- BEST: WP Engine: A premium WordPress hosting provider, with plans starting at $35/month.
3. Invest In An Autoresponder
An autoresponder is an email service that gathers email addresses from people who fill in the opt-in box on your site.
Create a giveaway in exchange for their email; it’s a nice incentive and showcases your talents and knowledge.
Some platforms are free up until you reach a certain number of list subscribers.
Others are free based on how many emails you send each month.
Do your research carefully because free platforms usually have more rules and regulations to follow.
My advice is to choose a platform that matches your budget but also have a plan to use this tool.
Growing your list should be a continuous cycle so you can stay in touch with prospects and clients.
You just never know when a prospect will make a purchase and move to client status, so staying in touch is paramount.
Here is a list of four of the more popular autoresponder services.
Each of these will allow you to build your list and then email them both broadcasts and autoresponder emails.
All four companies at this time offer free trials so that you can try them out.
- Aweber – Good reporting, large template database, and excellent customer support.
- MailChimp – Easy to use, great pricing for smaller lists, not a lot of customer support.
- GetResponse – Great data, good split testing options, and integrated landing page designs.
- Constant Contact – Great customer service, good mobile design at this point, but a bit pricier than the other ones
- And of course, we love Karta and suggest it for our clients because it truly is an all-in-one marketing platform and does more than autoresponder emails, but full marketing campaigns, landing pages, sales pages, checkouts, help desk, and more.
4. Create A Brand Board
You’ll want a brand board for easy reference when it comes to crafting your website and creating any graphics you need for your site, products, or social media.
Use Pinterest to pin the colors, fonts, photos, and textures that resonate with you and provide the business image you want. Use these elements in your graphics as well as on all your social media profiles.
5. Allocate The Most Money For Equipment Upgrades
If you’re an online service provider, your equipment upgrades should be the majority of your budget.
It’s vitally important to have working equipment and reliable internet if you want to gain the trust of your clients.
If you can’t afford the best of the best equipment, upgrade one step above what you currently have.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing cheap about computers and electronic equipment, but if you pay for quality brands, then hopefully, they’ll last a long time, and you won’t have to think about that expense for a few years.
In a nutshell, starting a client-based service business is certainly possible to do on a budget.
However, don’t waste time finding those first clients; work hard so you can earn back that startup money quickly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs grow their business with Smart Marketing. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, international speaker + trainer, and the CEO + Creative Director at Lake Shark Media. She also teaches entrepreneurs how to get smart with digital marketing at toriemathis.com
I help solopreneurs & biz owners (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money without a big budget, a lot of time, or losing your sanity. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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