Most people hesitate to start a business due to their fear of needing 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 an online business, working from the comfort of your own home, then the startup costs are minimal.
25 Businesses You Can Start Now with Little to No Money
- Online Transcription
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Manager
- Video and podcast editor
Read my epic post on starting a blog.
- Create and Sell Online Courses
4. Virtual Fitness Coach
- Weight loss
- Weight training
5. Sell Products
- Fullfillment by Amazon
- eBay Seller
- Etsy Seller
- Print on Demand
- Sell Printables
- Home Bakery
Choose a business model and start your business today.
Here are 5 ways to stay on budget while setting up your business:
1. Domain Name - NameCheap - $0.99/mo
Every business should have a website as part of their online presence so invest in a paid domain.
If you want to start a business you need your own domain name. There are tons of places to register a domain name, with GoDaddy being the most popular.
The downside of GoDaddy is their $17.99 renewal rate or more which seems to go up every year. If you want domain privacy (and you should), that’s another $14.99.
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.
Note: If you choose Bluehost as your hosting provider, they will cover the domain registration fees for you.
Instead, I register my domain names at NameCheap Their domain registration and renewals go for $8.56 and come with free domain privacy. Check and see if your domain is available.
Cost: A dot com domain registration at NameCheap is $8.56 per year or $0.71 per month.
This is where I register all of my domain names. After many clients unhappy with GoDaddy for years I always recommend NameCheap.
2. Web Hosting - Bluehost - $3.95/mo
Much like a brick and mortar store needs to pay rent, you need to pay for hosting for your business website. Domain registrars will always offer you a hosting package but those deals are not always the most cost effective. Do some research, ask online friends, and read online reviews. Contact the web hosting company and ask about their percentage of down time 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.
I recommend Bluehost for new blogs because they’re newbie-friendly and provide the best value.
Additionally, you get a free domain name with your hosting account if you use this link.
In order to get the best deal at $3.95 per month, you need to pre-pay your hosting for 3 years ($142.20 total or $47.40 per year). If you instead choose to pay for 1 year up-front, your monthly cost becomes $5.95 (or $71.40 per year).
Cost: Bluehost is $47.40 per year or $3.95 per month
When you join Bluehost, you get a free domain name, and WordPress comes installed so you can get your blog started from day 1.
3. Email List/Autoresponder - ConvertKit - $29.00/mo
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/freebie in exchange for their email; it’s a nice incentive and showcases your expertise. 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.
Providing value to your email list is an ideal way to build a relationship with your readers. Once you’ve established that relationship you can then recommend products (or sell your own).
Without that crucial link of email marketing, you’re going to be missing a really important step in the formula.
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 in paramount.
For email marketing, I use and recommend ConvertKit. They will store the emails you collect and send automated emails on schedule to your list. They also have pre-made landing pages so you can start growing your list from the start.
Cost: ConvertKit is free up to 1,000 subscribers and $29 to unlock automations.
When you use my link to sign up to ConvertKit, you get to create unlimited forms, landing pages, and send emails to up to 1,000 subscribers for free.
4. Branding and Graphic Design
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.
I create actual brand boards for my clients.
Canva is a drag-and-drop graphic design tool that makes it simple to create graphics for your business. I use Canva to create logos, social media images, pins for Pinterest, ebook covers, and ads.
When you upgrade to Canva Pro, you get access to premium stock images. This eliminates the need to have a separate stock image site membership.
Cost: Canva has a free plan, although I use the Pro version for $119.99 per year or $10 per month
Branding Board for Book'em Journals
While I use mainly Adobe products like Photoshop, I find myself creating more and more design elements in Canva instead.
Allocate money for supplies and equipment upgrades. If you’re an online business, your equipment upgrades should be the majority of your budget for the first year at least. It’s vitally important to have working equipment and reliable internet if you want to gain the trust of your customer and clients. If you can’t afford the best of the best equipment, upgrade one step above what you currently have one step at a time. There’s nothing cheap about computers and electronic equipment but if you pay for quality brands, they should last a long time and you won’t have to think about that expense for a few years.
GET YOUR COPY OF THE TAX TOOLKIT
Use the tax toolkit to keep track of your business taxes also includes a handy checklist.
6. Money Mindset Reset and Money Master Workbook - $27
The best investment you can ever make is in yourself.
While all the tools I’ve mentioned in this post are great, it does you no good if you don't have the right mindset. Use the Money Mindset Reset guide and journal to change your mindset and overcome your limiting beliefs. Also use the Money Machine Money Master included to learn the ABC's of budgeting and how to track your income and expenses.
Cost: Money Mindset Reset costs $27 or $2.25/mo
How much does it cost to start an online business in 2021?
Cost to start a business
This is the bare minimum to launch your online business:
- Domain name: $0.71 per month with NameCheap
- Blog hosting: $3.95 per month with Bluehost
- Blogging platform: Free with WordPress
Total: $4.66 per month
Start Marketing Right Away
Total: $4.66 + $39 = $43.66 per month
In a nutshell, starting an online business is certainly possible to do on a budget. However, don’t waste time marketing your your business; work hard so you can earn back that startup money quickly.