Guide to Launching an Online Business on a Shoestring Budget
Do you want to start an online business in 2021? This is a goal many people have, and it’s not hard to see why. Starting an online business brings an array of benefits, such as:
- Being your own boss
- Choosing your own hours
- Having more financial freedom
- Not worrying about getting fired
- Doing something you truly love
But, a common obstacle that potential entrepreneurs face is a lack of funding. They think they don’t have the money to invest, so they can’t start their business.
This simply isn’t true. You don’t need heaps of money to start a business. In fact, if you’re willing to work hard, you can start a business on a tiny budget and grow it over time. Here’s how:
1. Find a great business idea
Although there are some businesses that would be impossible to launch without funding, there are plenty that you can start without much cash!
Start by thinking about what you really enjoy doing and what skills you have. Additionally, consider whether you have any equipment at home that could help you with a business.
Some ideas for low-cost online businesses include:
- Digital marketing
- Graphic designer
- Social media management
- Web design
- Blog or vlog
- Website flipping
Of course, there are many other online business ideas. Always start by carrying out your own research and think about how your skills can solve a problem for your customers.
2. Make a business plan
The next step is to create a simple outline for how your business will operate, which should include a clear, concise business plan that details your next steps.
Rather than just winging it, it’s also best to have direction. This will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and it will make you more likely to succeed.
To get started, you can use software like Bizplan, which provides business planning tools. Or, if you’re more experienced, you can create a business plan yourself.
Either way, your plan should have measurable, attainable goals that will translate into growth. If you plan to move forward without much capital, careful planning is vital.
3. Establish a brand identity
After making your plan, it’s important to establish a brand identity. This will ensure that customers recognize your brand by your font, colors, logo, tone, and other components.
Some companies – particularly bigger ones – use branding agencies to do this. But, this can be pricey. So, one alternative is to do this work yourself.
You can use free tools like LogoCreator to create a logo for your brand. There are also other tools available for other visual branding elements, such as images, logo design, videos, and color schemes.
The most important thing to remember when creating a brand identity is that it needs to be consistent. Your customers should be able to recognize it instantly and on every platform. This includes social media, your website, and any other platforms you use for marketing.
4. Build an online presence
Last but not least, building an online presence is key to any online business. In the digital world, how your business is perceived online can be the difference between success and failure.
The first stage in this is to build a website. Rather than hiring a web developer, you can save money by using a free platform like Wix to create a business website.
You should also establish how you will market your brand. Although paid options can bring web traffic much faster, there are lots of free options available.
One option is organic social media engagement. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are amazing for attracting customers and engaging with them.