Launching an online business can be daunting at the best of times, launching an online business on a budget can feel all but impossible. Well, we’re here to tell you that not only is it possible but having a strict budget might actually be a plus and could result in you making a profit much sooner in your entrepreneurial journey.
Get really honest about your costs – what do you need to spend and make to survive – personally and professionally. Knowing your numbers early on will stop you from wasting money on things that aren’t absolutely necessary. As a startup, every penny counts and you’d be surprised at how much it adds up with a low-cost item here and a monthly subscription there, keeping an eye on those expenditures will allow you to adjust as needed and should hopefully keep you profitable.
When you’re just starting out you don’t need any of the following – business cards, a neon sign, a cool office space, staff, a fully catered launch party, branded stationery… get the picture? If you have the budget for those things and you want them, great! But if not, don’t sweat it – you can still get yourself up and running and bring in revenue without them! Heck, we’re a design agency and we’ll happily tell you that you don’t even need a fully custom built website right off the bat! In fact, you’re likely better off getting your product/service out there into the world, seeing what happens (because things will evolve – trust us) and then going into the design process when you have a clearer idea of what you’re doing and what you need.
Whilst we’re on the subject, if this is you and you’re currently scheming up ways that you can find thousands of pounds (or dollars) for a custom website – well, we might (read – we definitely do!) have the answer to your website-related prayers! Nope, we’re not handing out thousands of pounds in cash, sorry! (Though how cool would that be! Ha!) What we have donw though, is create a range of premium website templates designed specifically for service providers just like yourself, templates that look and act just like custom designed websites – but at a fraction of the price!
I know, we’re hella excited about it too!!
Click here to check out the full collection!
But back to our top tips for launc
Start small, stay focused (aka don’t get distracted or catch ‘ooh, look what THEY’RE doing!’ syndrome) and find your minimum viable product – which means essentially, what is the least you can do to get your product to market. Does it do the job? Perfect, launch it. Leave the bells and whistles for later. Doing this allows you to A) start making money (crucial for a startup) and B) gain valuable knowledge about both your product and your audience.
Don’t worry about creating multiple products, start with one, do it well.
Think of it this way, you could spend months and months perfecting your product or offering (or multiple products and offerings), time, resources, energy – all poured in, only to find that your product isn’t actually what your people need right now… Had you launched quickly, you would have known sooner and could have pivoted with the absolutely invaluable addition of experience and feedback.
Leave perfectionism at the door and just get. it. done.
The true beauty of an online business (along with those low overheads – amIright?!) is that you can tweak and pivot very easily compared to product based businesses. Take full advantage of that and keep iterating.
I’m guessing that as an online business on a budget, the cash available for marketing is minimal if not zero. But don’t worry, you can do a lot for free these days!
It’s time to use everything available to you, to spread the word. Start a blog – it’s free and will help to establish you as an expert within your field. With a little strategy, blogging will also help to boost your SEO, meaning more people will find your website via Google! And if you need a beautiful new blog that will rep your brand right out of the box – check out our premium Showit website templates created specifically with online business owners in mind.
Social media is a total gift – it’s free marketing and even with the algorithm changes over the past few years, it is still a total gold mine if you use it properly (and with integrity, of course). Don’t worry if you only have a tiny audience, love on those people hard – serve them so well that they can’t help but tell all their internet friends about you! And don’t forget your ‘real-life’ network – get on your personal Facebook account and start sharing, even if it’s just your mum and high school friends that you haven’t seen in years!
Regardless of what type of business you have (service based or product based), if you’re not on Pinterest, get on Pinterest and if you’re on it but using it to pin recipes and random home improvement ideas then (unless that’s what your business is about) you need to get focused ASAP. Pinterest is our number one source of web traffic and it’s actually really easy to start seeing results – we’ve even put together a FREE CHECKLIST that walks you through the exact steps we took to go from 0 to 2.5 million monthly unique views – it also resulted in thousands of unique site visitors each month so well, well worth the time investment.
Click here to grab the checklist!
Reach out to your peers (and if you don’t have any, start building relationships ASAP), ask if anyone would be willing to share about your business. The worst they can say is no and then, at least you tried. You could also offer incentives in the form of affiliate fees – that way you’re not out of pocket unless they actually make the sale.
Most importantly show up, daily – remember the rule of 7 – someone has to see or hear about your product at least 7 times before they make a purchase. So, get out there, you never know who’s watching.
Have anything to add to this list? I hope this post encourages you and shows you the possibilities in launching your business on a budget!
If you decide to go for it and start your online business on a budget, let us know how you get on? We’d love to cheer you on!