How to Start an Online Business on a Non-Existent Budget

Before the age of remote working and online shopping,starting a business used to involve taking out a hefty bank loan or relying on an investor. In the days of digital entrepreneurship, however, anyone can start a business online with little more than a laptop, a Wi-Fi connection and some hard graft.

If you want to start an online business, don’t be fooled into thinking you will have to quit your job. Most startup entrepreneurs launched their first business in their spare timewhile attending a nine-to-five job. Once you start making enough profit, you can run your business full-time, but there is no rush to make this leap.

So, whether your talent is marketing, design, writing or teaching, here are three helpful tools for starting an online business without financial backing.

Professional Website

These days, you can create a professional looking website that will cost you nothing to set up, and you may have seen companies like Yola and Wix advertising free website design. Don’t worry about making your website look perfect. The content you post and the quality of your images is the most important thing. Give people a reason to visit your site, and the paying clients will come.

Further down the line, when you start making money from your venture, you should consider forking out a little for a more polished site. Free templates are great, and most free website building platforms allow you to customize your page. However, options are somewhat limited, so at some point you may wish to purchase a more professional template or hire a graphic designer to create a custom website for your business.

You also need to consider your domain name. When you’re just starting out, it’s fine to use a WordPress or Blogger domain (for example, [email protected]), but once you have established yourself with a few paying clients, this is the first thing you should change. Buying your own domain name (for example, johndoeblogs.com) will make you look more professional and will drive more traffic to your site. What’s more, it typically costs less than $5 a month.

Business Cards

As an online business, you’ll do most of your advertising through your website and social media channels. If you want to approach local businesses or clients, however, you’ll need to create a business card so you can maintain your professional image. It doesn’t have to be an investment, however. Adobe Spark software comes with a free business card maker so you can create your own custom design.

Imagine you are a freelance writer and you get talking to someone you meet in a cafe about his graphic design business. He tells you that he’s created a website, but he needs someone to write marketing content for his page. Being able to hand over your business card will make you appear more professional than simply scribbling your email address on a napkin. In business, good first impressions are everything, and a professional business card will help you achieve just that.

Hustle!

The most important investment you will make into any new business is the investment of your time. It doesn’t matter whether you have a $100 in the bank or a five-figure savings account. If you’re not willing to put time an effort into building your business from the ground up, then it will never be successful.

Spend time reaching out to clients and polishing up your website. Use every platform at your disposal as a way to market your services to potential clients, even social media pages. Don’t forget to keep adding to your online portfolio as you start to collect clients, even if the projects are only small.

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