I recently read a colleague’s blog post about creating an on-line business and there were several comments about the expense of getting started, and how on-line might be unaffordable.
If you are currently living paycheque to paycheque, affording only the bare essentials, with credit card debt, then I would say that starting a business may not be the best use of your funds at this time.
One of my favourite authors is David Bach. You can find his books in my Resource area – I would recommend any of them. He has great ideas about getting rid of your debt and finding money where you thought you had none. If you cannot even afford a book, then you should be down-loading my free workbook: Retirement? 8 Vital Insights.
Point 8, Page 12 links you to two budget worksheets. David Bach’s premise, and you’ll find this out if you are honest on the worksheets, is that we often spend bits of money here and there that we don’t “count”. Coffee shop coffees, magazines, wine, cigarettes, prepared meals… they all add up and they are all luxuries. Yes, luxuries. You can dispense with all of them if you need to.
What does “need to” mean? Well, if you are having a hard time paying off credit card debt, then you “need to” dispense with the frivolous expenditures for a while.
If you have your heart set on getting a business up and running so that you can make long-range plans for life on your terms – but can’t see a way forward because of lack of capital – then, again, you “need to” dispense with the frivolities. The good news here is that an on-line business takes significantly less start-up cash than a brick and mortar.
So let’s look at some of those real numbers.
Before you do anything else, figure out what you want to do in your business. You can get started with Natasha Nassar Hazlett’s Irresistible Brand Blueprint. Cost: US$37
When you are ready, go to GoDaddy and find the web-site name of choice. Perhaps it will be your name, perhaps it will be a phrase that tells people exactly what you are doing. Cost: <US$20
You need a company to host your website. I use Hostgator. My cost: <$17/month. This one is on-going and you need to know that.
Now that you have your domain, you need to learn how to make it reflect you. Even I was able to create a great site with Lorraine McNulty’s EZ Peasy WP. Included in this price (at time of writing) is a free theme, or you can find lots of free themes at WordPress. Cost: Cdn$67
Needless to say, there are still a ton of things you need to know. The very best training that I know of is Daily Marketing Coach. While up-grades can start to cost you money, the basic membership gives you on-going access to some seriously high-quality training for all the important aspects of earning money on-line. Cost: US$49.95/month (Currently your first month is $9.97)
I hope this information and these numbers are a pleasant surprise for you. (Needless to say, the prices named above are current only at the time of writing this blog post.) Not quite as financially daunting as you thought, right? There is so much good training out there for every aspect of having an on-line business that you do not need to contract out to high-priced professionals. Not to mention that if you join my team I am here to help coach you and direct you. Just a reminder: if you purchase anything via the links above, I will earn a very small amount of money, but that’s what business is all about and I will explain about affiliate sales in a future post.
Over the last two years I have spent some serious cash on my business. Some of it has been wasted on products that were not worth the time it took to download them. I want to prevent you from making the same mistakes. I, personally, have invested in some high quality training – worth every penny – but I can share that information with you when you have more money to spend on your business.
Now how do you feel about starting an on-line business?
These are great recommendations to making blogging easier. I love Hostgator!
Marty, too many people struggle with start-up. There are a lot of great tools out there, the trick is finding the ones that work for you. This is my short-list!
Okay I’m not sure wine is a frivolous expense but I agree with everything else.
It’s much cheaper than you think to get started in an online business. You have included some great resources that would definitely help people get started.
Hey Agnes from your list I’m using Godaddy and Hostgator and I am very happy with the support that they have.
Great points you have made here Agnes and I agree it does not have to be expensive. It is essential to have a website but that is low cost and then start free and then invest. That is what I had to do.
Merle, it is always safer financially to grow your business within your fiscal means! Some people are lucky enough to have start-up capital, but even that can be eaten up if they are not prudent.
Getting online is easy and inexpensive.
The key is not getting caught up “chasing bright shiny objects” or looking for the all famous “easy button”.
I teach my clients to only buy things they are going to use within the next 30 days and if it costs more than $97 – wait 24 hours before pushing that buy button. (if you are really new, I would decrease that parameter to $47)
It really helps a lot more than you might imagine.
The 24 hour rule is a great idea in real life as well, Linette! Thanks for adding that!
Very good ideas for someone just starting out Agnes. It shows just how little you really need to spend to get going, even though most of us have spent a great deal more by chasing those “shiny objects”.
Hopefully we have now learnt from our mistakes and I think Dr Linette’s idea is really good. Give yourself 24 hours before making a buying decision!
Some say that you have to spend money to make money Agnes. Unfortunately it is true up to a point, but you can avoid wasting it if you are careful.
Definitely think the waiting 24 hrs is a great piece of advice.
Hi Agnes, Excellent post and some great points for anyone who tends to start their own business online, Starting online is inexpensive and I also agree that we as people tend to spend money on luxuries that we can do without. Great post and Thanks for sharing 😉
Great article and as a online business person I think most folks could prob afford to start but to learn they will either have to PUT THE TIME IN learning or they can pay a coach or someone who can speed the process up a bit.
But for success in anything it takes TIME, CONSISTENCY and EFFORT.
Thanks for the reminders,
When some people buy a house, Evey, they are prepared to work hard to bring it up to the standard they wish. It’s called “sweat equity” – the same can be done when developing a business! Time, Consistency and Effort are Key!
I agree, an online business can be an affordable way to get started. Unfortunately, many people associate online business as an easy way to make money quickly, but what online business may not take in revenue it sure takes in time.
Adding quality content and marketing are so important, and they do take time.
These is a wonderful layout Agnes. I delayed starting a website because I thought there would be too many costs involved. I laughed at myself when I realized I was wrong. I took the time to learn WordPress, CSS, and other little tidbits myself, which saved money from hiring someone. I use GoDaddy for web hosting, and haven’t had any complaints about them. I’ve heard from some people that they’re too expensive, but I just paid about $70 for a year of hosting. As my website and business grows, I’ll see if I still love them. My advice to a newbie is learn what you can before paying someone. You might surprise yourself. I also understand that you can’t do everything yourself, so you will eventually have to pay someone, but I like the 24 hour rule.
Soooo mant people who really want to start their own online business psyche themselves out because they assume it will be costly, and consequently never even start. It’s important to know up front what the costs are, but more importantly, the cost of doing nothing! Nice post AK!