Friday, December 26, 2008

Starting Out With Way Too Little Money

I was reading a business forum the other day. One of the posts was from a woman who was announcing she was quitting her business and going back to work. She just couldn't make her business successful. It seems she stared out with way too little money and so her plan was to go back to her job and save enough money to start again. I don't know what type of business she was in, but I do know one thing. If she had $50 dollars, she could start a successful business. It doesn't matter what type of business you start, there are very inexpensive ways to market and promote it.

If you've read my blog at all, then you know that one thing you need is a website. You can build a web presence completely free by starting a blog or by simply joining some affiliate programs that provide a free website. If you want to host your own site, you can do so for under $20 a month! There are some great web hosting services available for extremely reasonable prices. My favorites? Try Yahoo! Web Hosting. Starting Price: $8.96 per month for the first 3 months. $11.95 per month thereafter. No setup fee.

Or if even $11.95 is a little steep, try HostNine. Price: $6.96 per month. No setup fee.

If you want to host a website for under $5.00 per month, that is possible! Check out Host Gator where you can get web hosting for as little as $4.95 per month.

You will also need to register your domain name. Again, there are tons of cheap domain name registrars available. Perhaps the most well known is GoDaddy where you can register a new .com for $9.99.

I also recommend Yahoo! Domains where domain registration is $9.95 or free if you host with them.

If you want the lowest price available, check out Netfirms where you can register your domain for as low as $6.99 per year.

Website done and domain name registered! How about some business cards? You can get 250 quality business card for as low as $3.99 at VistaPrint. I have used VistaPrint for my network marketing business cards and they did a wonderful job.

Okay - now how to promote your business inexpensively. Well, if you have a printer of any quality, you can post flyers on bulletin boards, depending on the type of business you are starting. This works well for local business such as house and pet sitters, daycare providers, personal assistants, etc. You can buy paper for less than $10 just about anywhere. Design your flyer and print it. Go to your local UPS Store or Kinko's and make your own copies - cheap!

If your business isn't suited to bulletin board advertising, try classified ads - online for as low as $9.95 per month. There are so many online ad services available and almost all of them do a fine job. I don't really have a favorite. Just Google classified ads and you'll find all you need. Advertising locally is also usually very affordable. Now by locally I mean in papers such as The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette or The Morning News for me. Not the NY Times or The Washington Post!

What is the best investment you can make for less than $20? Go buy a copy of Jay Conrad Levinson's book "Guerrilla Marketing." For about $11.00, you can receive all the advice and tips you will ever need on how to market your business on a budget. It is available form or Barnes and or directly from the Jay's Guerrilla Marketing website Even if you don't buy the book there, I suggest you still visit his site just to read the articles. And be sure to sign up for the free weekly newsletter!

Lack of money shouldn't be a reason for you to get started on your own future. When I first started, I had NO money. My husband didn't believe this could work and wouldn't agree to let me use any of our money to get started. So I could only spend what I managed to save myself after household bills. Since I was working for a non-profit at the time, that wasn't much! Keep your job until you are making enough to quit. Use these resources to learn how to build and market your business for little or no cost. Take some of your business profits and invest it back into marketing and building your business. And next year, look back in satisfaction at how far you've come. Let's make 2009 your year to shine!


Baby Boomer Penny Pincher said...

Very good tips, I am always trying to find ways to pinch pennies, and this post is full of helpful tips.

I have been using Bravehost for years, did a site free there for a long time, then finally bought a domain, and buy my domain names for my blogs, etc., through them. They aren't too bad in price. I've been with them for so long I haven't really explored other options, so it is good to read some of yours.

Happy weekend!


Eileen Williams said...

WOW! What great and practical information!
I'm thinking of starting a new business myself and I will follow your sound advice. Although I do have a website, I haven't yet read "Gorilla Marketing" so I'm heading to Amazon right after I finish my comment.

Many thanks-your suggestions are the BEST!

karlyn said...

Great info Melodieann. I am often surprised when I speak to people about websites, how expensive they think having a site is, when it truly does not have to be. I love MomWebs - their prices are fabulous. It's run by a fellow wahm (work at home mom) and the support is like no other I've seen, and I've been doing websites since 1996. I maintain several sites.. 16 at last count.. so believe me when I say that cost and support are important to me too.

Beverly Mahone said...


You are so right about this. People think they have to invest a small fortune in order to see a successful return on their money. I am a firm believer that if you love what you do, the money will come. You just have to have PATIENCE and CREATIVE MARKETING SKILLS.

May I use this post for the BDN website?

Betty Lynch said...

Great article and wonderful tips!

Thank you,


Pam Archer said...

These are great tips, Melodieann. It is possible to gain exposure for one's business through free PR, too. It has worked well for me.

Karen O'Bannon said...

You sure know how to take away the excuses, don't you? LOL! Thanks for the tips. Great information.

Website: Check
Domaine name: Check
Business Cards: Check

Off to get some flyers.


Heidi Caswell said...

Even if someone was to use one of the free blogging services to start their website, I strongly recommend that they purchase and own their own domain, getting at least 2 years. Great $20 investment. Even if you are paying someone thousands for a website you need to own your own domain.

I've known many who like hostgator, heard good things about them.

Getting word of mouth advertising going for you is a great plus.

Anonymous said...

The idea of being your own boss and running your own business is exciting but how many people are successful in actually bringing this dream to realty, tough today internet provides an easy platform to be your own boss. All you need is a good ecommerce solution. my convenienced.

Samuel Johns said...

Hello Melodieann,

I noticed that there are a couple of links that are broken and don't work in this post. The vistaprint business card link should have ".aspx" placed after the ".com" for example the correct link is

Thought I would share so other users don't have the same problem.

Thanks for your great content :-)