Want to know the hardest part about starting an online business?
Simply getting started.
|You need the bare minimum to get the ball rolling on this cool new idea that you’re ready to show the world, but you’re overwhelmed by starting and worrying about how to afford to launch without putting it all on your credit card or taking out a loan.|
If you’re solely an online business, we’re here to tell you that there doesn’t have to be a huge startup cost to launching your business. Would it be nice to invest in a business coach or that online class that you’ve been dying to take? Absolutely! But it’s not necessary. Those are things that can be put on the back burner because you don’t have to be the perfect business owner before you launch.
Wanna know a little secret? No one is a perfect business owner – no matter how many classes, courses, coaches, ebooks, and blog posts they’ve read or invested in. We all fail at some point.
With that said, there are plenty of free resources you can use when first starting your business that can help to eliminate a big portion of the startup costs!
|Having a professional website right out of the gate isn’t as necessary as you may think it is, especially if you’re a service-based business. You can easily create a simple PDF portfolio in Canva for free that will give info about you, list your services, pricing, testimonials, and/or samples of work that you can then send to potential clients or add to your social channels.|
|If you insist on having or need an actual website, domain names can come as cheap as 99¢. That’s couch change! |
When it comes to the actual design, most website building platforms have templates that either come free or that you can purchase. Even if you want to DIY it, we’ve seen some awesome beginner websites that were simple, yet effective. So, don’t get too hung up in needing it to look a certain way.
As far as your logo and branding, those could be created in Canva or, if you know how to use the Adobe suites, you could whip one up. Would it be nice to have a logo and designs that you paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for? Yeah! But, again, you don’t need it. All of those things will come in time.
|Stock photos will be your best friend. When it comes to free ones, there are sites like Unsplash that will let you search upon thousands of stock images that you can download and use in graphics, on your website, and wherever else you need them. You don’t even have to hire a professional photographer to take your headshots. |
As long as you have some awesome lighting, either near a window, outside, or a cheap ring light off of Amazon, and you or someone you know has a phone or camera that will take nice quality photos, you’ll be just fine! If you search on Pinterest for professional brand shot list, there are tons of shot ideas and pose inspiration in case you’re stuck on what kinds of photos to take. Even with that said, though, you’ll be fine just taking a few different simple headshots.
I personally save time, save on the camera, SDs, iPhone camera, and lighting equipment by using Hautestock. Their stock photos are what I use all over my blog, are high quality, have so much chic and beautiful photos to choose from in all the categories you could possibly think of!
Sign up now for Hautestock here where they even have a members hub full of tutorials and are starting video stock content! All the photos you see in this blog or my salespages aside from my professionally done personal branding photoshoots are from Hautestock.
If you have any questions, feel free to list them in the comments below! I’d be more than thrilled to answer your queries.
|With a startup business, social media is key to help spread the word about this amazing thing you’ve just launched to the world. The problem with social media is the amount of time that you need to dedicate to each platform – it’s really time-consuming! |
Luckily, there are several apps that help you schedule your posts. Some charge small monthly costs (We’re talking one or two Starbucks drinks you’ll have to sacrifice over the month), and some are built right into the platform.
For Instagram and Facebook, I use Planoly to schedule all of my posts in advance and even add saved hashtags. They’ll then auto-post at the scheduled day and time. They have a free version that will let you plan out 30 days of content per month. Facebook will allow you to natively schedule posts to pages in advance, we just find it easier to use Later since we already use it for IG.
For promoting my content, and shopping links + affiliates outside of Instagram stories and posting on Facebook, I use Tailwind to schedule promotion pins on Pinterest. Pinterest is literally the place people are looking to shop, find blog posts, and search for whatever services you’re selling!
Wondering how exactly to market your business online using social media or your website?
|Finally, let’s talk about systems. |
When it comes to free systems, you would be able to accomplish a lot with just the Google Suites in your back pocket. Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Gmail, and Drive all play a humongous part in our business, and they could serve you tenfold until you’re able to invest in something else, like a CRM or project management system. Those are all of the free or low-cost resources that could tremendously help you cut down startup costs for your business.
I personally use Honeybook to onboard clients, email them a welcome chain with everything from proposals, to project timelines, to asking for testimonials all completely automated! Customers even have their own branded login portal so they get that next level elevated luxury experience when signing up for my services.
Do you have more resources that have helped you? Feel free to comment below in this email to share your tips on saving money when managing a startup!