People are under the misconception that it costs a lot of money to start a business. This depends on your definition of ‘a lot of money’ and your business idea. If you’re starting off online, it’s way easier to start a business. In this post, I’m going to explain how to launch your online business for under 200 dollars.
How to launch your online business for under 200 dollars:
You need something to sell
The first thing you need is something to sell. Not just anything, but something that people actually want. This can be either a service or a product. When I say product, I mean digital product. Physical products will cost money to produce, so I won’t include them in this post.
The easiest thing to sell is a service. All you need is yourself and a place to market your service. Your service should be dependent on skill and talent. Think about what you’re good at, what you can help people with, and if there is an actual need for it. If there is a need for your service, then you can start researching your audience and what they want. No demand for your service amounts to a failed business because no one wants to buy what they don’t need.
Some service Ideas:
- Personal Trainer
- Web Designer
- Web Developer
- Business Coach
- Coach (other)
- Social Media Marketer
- Virtual Assistant
- Graphic Designer
- Video editor
If you don’t have a service to sell, you can go the digital product route or you can do both. Think of products that people would love to buy. Start researching what people are having problems with and create something to solve it.
Digital Product ideas:
- Wall art
- Product designs (printful.com)
- How-to guides
- Lesson plans
Honorable mentions, that might or might not cost you extra $.
- Video content
- Podcast subscription
You can record video and audio on your phone. Everyone has a cell phone, so I count that as zero cost.
The cost of you creating your service and digital product should be around $0.
What’s in a name?
Now it’s time to find the perfect business name. You want a name that’s relevant to your business or that you’ll be able to grow in the future. You can choose your actual name or another name. Just think of the pros and cons of each.
I chose Natasha Lane Design Co. because it has specific meaning for me (check out my about page for more details) and I knew I might want to expand my business. Also, Paigon is a hard name to pronounce.
Mark your territory
Now it’s time to make your name a .com, .co, .xyz and so on. If you can get .com, awesome. If that’s taken and you have to get a .co or anything not .com, then you’ll just have to focus on growing your brand and marketing so that you’ll become memorable to your audience. There are plenty of places to buy your domain name. In fact, most hosting sites come with free domains.
If you want to see if your business domain is available, go to Domainr. Below are some domain suggestions.
- Arvixe (referral link)
- I use Arvixe to buy all my domains. All the domains that I have purchased were $10/year.
*Note that some of these hosting companies have a discount for the first year or so.
The total cost of a domain and hosting for a year would be around $130.
Build your headquarters
Now it’s time to build your website. I started off coding my own website, but that became too much later on. Read more about it here. If you don’t know anything about creating a website, WordPress has you covered and it’s free.
Just go to WordPress.org and download WordPress. Then just pick a theme, no experience needed.
5 Tips for non-designers on creating your WordPress site:
1. Keep it simple.
- Don’t pick a theme with a lot going on. Too many bells and whistles create a big headache and clutter.
2. Pick a theme that is going to create the brand you’re going for.
- Don’t know what type of brand you want, sign up for the free 5 Day Email course Brand Your Own Biz.
- Knowing what type of feel you want to create will narrow down your WordPress theme search.
3. Limit your fonts and colors.
- If you haven’t chosen those yet, sign up for the free 5 Day Email course Brand Your Own Biz.
4. Keep it clean.
- Make sure your website isn’t cluttered.
- A clean look will have a lot of whitespace. Whitespace is the bare space that’s not used on your page.
- Don’t overdo it on:
-Have up to 5 menu choices.
-Try to have only one type of opt-in on a page.
5. Use pictures.
Let everyone know who you are
It’s time to let everyone know that you’re open for business. The first thing you should do is open a social media account. Even if you don’t use them, make sure that you own your business name. They are all free so why not sign up?
Social media tips:
- Sign up for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
- Make sure all your social media profiles are public, NOT private.
- Link your website to all your social media channels.
- State what you do on all your profiles.
- Behind the scene posts
- Quotes relevant to your business
- Images relevant to your business
- Photos relevant to your services
- Images that show how useful your service/product is to your customers
Create content for your website. This is great for SEO (search engine optimization) and garnering attention to your service. The big 3 options are blog posts, video posts, and podcasts. You just need one outlet. I recommend posting at least once a week when you get started.
- Why your customers should hire you.
- Reasons why your service/product is awesome.
- How your service/product will help your customer/client.
- Who should use your service/product?
- How to use your service/product.
- Your service process.
- What clients/customers should do before they purchase your service/product.
- What clients/customers should do after they purchase your service/product.
Bonus: 2 Free tools to start creating cool graphics
When you’re creating content for social media and blog/video/podcast posts, you’ll need to create cool graphics. Here are 2 tools that will help you create graphics.
If you’re design challenged, don’t worry, Visme has you covered. They have a lot of templates for your design needs.
- Blog Posts
- Featured blog post image.
- Click to Tweet.
- Social Media
- Instagram graphic.
- Twitter graphic.
- Facebook graphic.
- Pinterest graphic.
- Video cover.
- YouTube banner.
- Cover page.
There are so many template options. All you have to do is change the picture, color, and font to match your brand style. They have both free and paid versions.
Canva is another choice for creating graphics. They also have the same options as Visme. There are both paid and free options.
Opt-in ideas for Canva:
- Price sheets
- And more.
Summary – I don’t have enough time to read this
Here are the highlights of how to launch your online business for under 200 dollars:
- Choose a service or digital product to sell.
- Choose a name for your business.
- Get your domain and hosting.
- Get on social media.
- Make graphics for your website and social media content.
How much did it cost you to start your business? Let me know in the comments below.
-Paigon | Natasha Lane Design Co.