Starting an online business takes a little cash and a lot of know-how. Opening the digital doors to your own online business sometimes requires more passion and dedication than a brick and mortar store because there’s no building to contain it all the chaos. That’s right, a new business can be a little disorganized. So you’ve got to make every penny count toward the things you can control.
Read for four budget-friendly tips for starting your own online business. The goal is to go from Joe Schmo to CEO faster than your high-speed Internet connection can take you.
Skimp on Startup Equipment
The good thing about an online business is the traditionally low overhead costs on startup equipment. Everything important is tucked away behind the scenes so your customers won’t know what kind of computer you’re using. In the beginning, stick with the bare basics. This means that your $300 laptop with last year’s operating system will have to do.
Don’t skimp on the essentials. Remember that high-speed Internet? Yep, your online business needs it. Save the splurge for the surge and not the latest in high-tech gadgetry.
Browse for Bargain Web Hosting
Since you’re an online business, your web host is akin to a storefront’s landlord. You want to make sure they’re nice, and they won’t charge too much. Browse for bargain web hosting to get the best experience for your money. My BlueHost Coupon offers deals on professional web hosting with support.
In addition to web hosting, consider what other services the company offers. Email accounts, domain name, and setup are essential extras.
Learn to Wear Multiple Hats
Employees who can wear multiple hats to complete daily challenges are the cornerstones of startups. In the beginning, there will be many positions that your new company needs, but you can’t afford to hire. Here’s what they are and how to fill them in the meantime:
- Web Designer – a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website editor will be your best friend. It’s the cheapest way to design a website without much training. There are many free WYSIWYG editors available.
- Tech Support Assistant – re: Google. You’ll need to get comfortable solving your own problems, which means you should take advantage of the countless resources on the web that walk you through step-by-step fixes to common tech problems.
- Customer Service Specialist – just because you’re behind a screen, doesn’t mean you won’t need to be a people person. Brush up on those retail and restaurant skills before you start sifting through that inbox full of complaints. Ignoring them altogether is the worst thing you can do.
- Accountant – decide how you’ll accept payments. It’s best to settle on a software or service that does most of the work for you. Just don’t rely on the service totally as tech can fail. Be sure to track all your funds manually, and do create backups.
- Marketing Manager – a business is nothing if nobody knows about it. Start reading up on promoting via social media, as well as how to create SEO site content.
Google Webmaster Tools also offers great information about getting your business online – from concept to cash.
Crowd Source More Support
Crowd-sourced support can go two ways: it can help you save money by finding like-minded workers who are willing to build your dream on a small budget, or it can help you make money by finding investors. Since you already know you’ll need to wear multiple hats for a while, focus on crowd-sourced support via sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter for financial backing.
These sites have little risk, and lots of reward for dedicated entrepreneurs. The best part for new business owners: you rarely have to give up a portion of your company to get funds. You can make deals with early investors in the form of free products, acknowledgments, or whatever you wish.
If you’re always connected via your smartphone, it can feel like you’re working at all times. Remember to power down every once in a while, and you’ll be less likely to experience new business burnout – and more likely to succeed.
Do you have an online business? What were your biggest startup issues, and how did you overcome them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.