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. http://www.hostnine.com/
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. http://www.hostgator.com/.
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. http://www.godaddy.com/.
I also recommend Yahoo! Domains where domain registration is $9.95 or free if you host with them. http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/domains/
If you want the lowest price available, check out Netfirms where you can register your domain for as low as $6.99 per year. http://www.netfirms.com/domain-names/.
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. http://www.vistaprint.com/business-cards.
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 Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com or directly from the Jay's Guerrilla Marketing website http://www.gmarketing.com/. 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!