Are you still flip-flopping about launching your brand because you have a small budget or NO budget? That's Cool. Solopreneurs are on the rise as they launch more online businesses every day. Online businesses are one of the most inexpensive ways to operate a business – if you're realistic about what you need to pay for and where to get it all.
I used to believe that I couldn't launch my business because I was either “too busy” or “didn't have enough money.” Then I realized that I was helping people (for free) and getting them results. So why couldn't I do for myself what I was helping others to do? F.E.A.R. and tripping over my own self-doubts.
Starting a business on NO Budget but expecting high-class results. This is what many Solopreneurs hope for, but this is no way to launch a successful business.
Some excuses I've had or encountered:
- I don't have money to start a business.
- Why should I pay for an expert?
- I can't pay for a web designer.
- I don't have time to manage a blog.
- I don't need an accountant.
- When I get more money, I can leave my 9-to-5 to start my own business.
- Why would anyone buy from me or listen to my advice?
These excuses are understandable, but are no reason not to launch a business if you are actually ready. I had to get out of my own head and launch my dreams because it was no use waiting for someone else to launch it for me.
Here is what I needed to realize:
- I have money but was spending it on the wrong things.
- I had private jet dreams but was working with a coach level budget.
- If I don't invest in my brand who else will or should?
- I needed to improve my self-control and work with a mentor.
- I shouldn't refuse free (or paid) advice.
- I should never waste my mentor's time.
Launching Your Brand on a Budget
Here are some suggestions to launch your website inexpensively while not sacrificing high quality. There are some things you need to pay for (and I'll tell you how much) and other things you can do just as well for FREE!
STEP ONE: PURCHASING YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Why pay more than $10 – $12 for a domain name? Shop around and read reviews, but Namecheap and GoDaddy are great for handling domain registrations. Domains are important because they give you credibility as a business and help secure your place on the Internet.
Free websites do not enable you to have your own domain name, so instead, you end up with something like my business.freespace.com or discounthubspace.com/mybusiness instead of simply mybusiness.com. See the difference?
Your customers expect you to invest some money into your business. This would be a clear indication that you are not doing that – and for $10 – $12, why shouldn't you?
STEP TWO: CHOOSE A GREAT HOST TO MATCH YOUR NEEDS
Hosting plans vary considerably. Much of what you pay for will be determined by the features you require to run your online business and what your hosting company provides.
Are you setting up a simple, one-page website? You could probably use a low-cost host for $5 per month. (I would recommend paying for great service over simply seeking costs) Do you need some extra help with templates and your layout? Do you expect a large amount of traffic or downloads? Do you need a WordPress dedicated hosting provider? Are you using your site for e-commerce? You might have to pay more, but it can be more than worth the extra expense to have integrated web pages already set up. Also, consider the expense required to ensure your host is providing you with enough bandwidth to handle the traffic on your new website. Too much downtime can be costly.
Never, under any circumstances, ever, use a free host! Perhaps only if you want to start a blog or similar format while you get your actual own website up and running. Get your feet wet. Free hosting usually means you pay in other ways – lack of a domain name, lack of control, lack of personalization (logos, white label, etc.) or a lack of quality. Many free hosting accounts are for personal use only and do not allow commercial accounts.
Try to get recommendations and seek out reliable reviews from others when looking for a trustworthy host.
STEP THREE: DECIDE WHO WILL CREATE YOUR DESIGN
As previously mentioned, you can get access to professional templates on some hosting services. These will give your website a professional polish without the expense of hiring a designer. However, there may also be some extra learning curve with those templates as you need to plug in your content into their proprietary system. You are limited, however, to the look, you choose to depend on the variety of designs available. You may still need a website designer or developer to code in your wanted changes.
These same templates are also available to others who are on your hosting provider, so your site may have the same appearance as someone else's. Again, if you need custom work done, consider hiring a freelance web designer or developer from a site like UpWork, Fiverr, or ask a local student studying web design. Freelance sites often put you in touch with new designers who will charge less while building on their experience and adding to their portfolio.
Spending money wisely is important when launching any business, but some free services will cost you in reliability or image. On the other hand, there are some inexpensive deals you may not hear about so don't give your hard-earned money (or worse – your credit) for a service you can pay less for and get the same results.
Once I got myself into focus, I was able to not only launch my business but build a brand. From improving my social skills at networking events to learning how to sell skills and services, I put my efforts into not just learning how to run a business but how to build relationships with others beyond “superficial hellos” on social media.
I'm still a work in progress, but I'm far from the ball of nerves I was when I started Bklyn Custom Designs.
So why are you still reading? Get on your grind and launch your brand today! Register for one of our courses to help you!