Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Natalie Sisson, who has graciously volunteered to promote Namecheap in her book, the Suitcase Entrepreneur book. As such, we’re pleased to share her tips with Namecheap readers.
Starting and building a business is probably one of the most challenging undertakings of your life.
I know this from personal experience and that’s exactly why I wrote The Suitcase Entrepreneur book to make the definitive bible on exactly how to build one you can run from anywhere.
If you’re just starting out, then it’s likely that all you really have right now is the desire to build something that’s your own and to make an impact on the world.
But it’s hard to see how that’s going to come to fruition when you don’t have much money, no actual budget and no real concept of what owning your own business means.
Because of the internet and the power of online tools, it’s simpler, cheaper and faster than you think to start a business and definitely way easier than it used to be even ten years ago.
All you need to do to start a business is take action.
But since you probably have a limited budget, wouldn’t it be good to know what you really need to spend money on in terms of setup and online tools?
It would also help to know what really works from the get go so you can start right away and get the most bang for your buck.
The Only Tools You Need to Start Your Business
With just six virtual tools and one hot strategy that I’ll outline below, you can do anything that a major corporation could do on your own scale.
- A great domain name from Namecheap – $10
These days with millions of the best names taken, it’s pretty hard to get a .com that you really want, but be creative here and try to think of a name without hyphens so it’s dead easy for people to find you. Use keywords where possible or a short made up name that people will remember. If you can’t buy a .com, having a .net or .co is OK.
- Web hosting from Namecheap – $6 monthly
This fee is monthly, but it’s so minimal that it won’t make a huge difference to your bank account. For just six dollars a month, which is a total of $72 a year, you can have a website that is completely under your own control.
- WordPress design (use Elance or oDesk) – $50
You’ll want to spend the most money on how your website looks. With more and more businesses establishing their online presence, it’s important to stand out from the crowd with a great design. But you don’t have to break the piggy bank to achieve this if you use freelancers on outsourcing sites like Odesk or Elance. Top Tip: Make sure that you’re rigorous in getting what you really want from the designer. State your expectations right from the start and make sure that you’re happy with the designer that you hire. That being said, be realistic about what your designer can deliver with just $50. If you need to know what to do before you even post the job, you’ll want to read this article on hiring a web designer.
- Logo design (through Fiverr.com) – $5
Since you’ve already figured out what you want your site to look like, it will be much easier for you to figure out what you want your logo to look like. With this knowledge, you can tell your designer exactly what you want, so there will be less room for you to have to make corrections.
- Mentoring by a successful entrepreneur – $10 lunch
One of the smartest things you can do for your business is to find an entrepreneur that you really admire and offer to take them out for lunch or coffee. Prepare a list of the three core questions and make sure that you listen to or read their past interviews.This way you’re not repeating the same questions that you could’ve just found online. Even cheaper, you can just email them and ask them for five minutes of their time over Skype or even through email. You can find more about how to do this with this article by Natalie Macneil.
- PayPal account to receive payments – $0
Setting up your PayPal account will take you less than three minutes. You just fill in some basic information, and you’ll be ready to go. If you already have a normal Paypal account, set up a business account.
- 3 social media profile designs (Fiverr.com) – $15
Finally, you want to set up three social media sites to represent your business. Focusing on three is easier than trying to get on all the social media sites and spread your message. I would recommend Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to start. Then tell your designer on Fiverr.com what you would like your social media profiles look like based on your website on your logo. As always, be clear and set your expectations from the start.
A whopping $96.
If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you have the capacity to spend $96 to build your business.
And if you’re realizing that you’re the one holding yourself back, learn to sit with the fear so you can move forward with doing what you really want to do – starting your own business, becoming location independent or building a blog that matters.
Don’t let the fear hold you back.
If you spend this $96, the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out.
And $96 won’t break your bank!
That said, you will need to take the time to understand the psychology of online marketing and setting up shop.
So set aside time to learn how to engage and market your brand through social media and how to become a better blogger to gain more credibility and drive leads and referrals.
Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur and Adventurer who travels the world living out of her suitcase and running a highly successful online business from her laptop and smartphone, teaching others how to do the same. She’s just released The Suitcase Entrepreneur book on how to create freedom in business and adventure in life. You can grab your copy here.