How to Create an Online Business on a Budget

By: | April 4, 2019 | Tags: , |

Creating an Online Business on a Budget

This post was contributed.

While some online businesses are booming, it can be tough to get started, especially if you are on a tight budget. The old saying goes that you must spend money to make money and while this is true, not everyone has large funds to start something new. Here are a few tips to help reduce start-up costs and get your online business going.

How Much Does a Business Plan Cost?

Make a List

While this may seem like a silly first piece of advice, keeping a journal or a list will keep you on track in your online venture. Take a few minutes each day to write, list what needs to be done, and keep track of your budget. By writing things out, you make a sort of commitment to yourself as well as allowing yourself to analyze and prioritize as needed. This can start before the business is ever online by writing out goals, wants, and needs.

Create a Business Plan

Start backward with your plan by defining the ultimate success of your business. Now, plan how you are going to get there. Even if you do not find all the answers right now, it is important to set milestones to reach goals along the way. Think about where you want to be in four months, a year, and even five years from now. Next, plot how you are going to reach each mark. Once you reach a goal, what will you be able to delegate? If you are on a budget, you must figure out what you can do for yourself and what you cannot. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.

Find a Mentor

Find a mentor, or two, if possible. There are many resources available and many are free. Mentors can put you in touch with others to offer help and point you toward resources. They can also serve as sounding boards for ideas and help you navigate the trials of a new business startup. This also allows you to pick the brain of someone who has been there and done that. This can save you wasted time and money in the long run. If you can’t find an appropriate mentor, engage a trustworthy SEO Company or other Digital Agency of some form to assist. Just make sure you do your research.

Tackle the First Goal

Now it is time to start working toward those goals. For some, this may mean a prototype while others will design and test the first website. Embrace the idea that done is better than perfect. You can make changes as needed, but you have to start taking steps to get started. Planning is great, but if you are too busy planning, you will never really get started. As you reach for this point, reach out for help from your network.

There are library lectures and networking events that are often offered for free, as well as web-hosting for very little money, if not free. Also, there are many free website builders that you can choose from at the start. YouTube videos can teach you how to do what is needed as can other free resources.

Free and Inexpensive

As you start on this undertaking, take advantage of free resources and do inexpensive market research. There are library lectures and networking events that are often offered for free, as well as web hosting for very little money, if not free. YouTube videos can teach you how to do what is needed as can other free resources. There are even free invoicing, scheduling, and finance programs to get you started. Do free or cheap market research by reading articles and asking people in the business for options and opinions. Create networking groups for people to try your products and take a survey to gain information.

Also, see How to Get Free Costco Membership.

Conclusions: Your Business Plan Cost

An online business can be started on a budget, but it may take some creativity. Use the resources that are available to get started. You will have to do some legwork and do lots of reading, but you can get started and create a successful business. Now, go get started. Article provided by the team at

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  1. Jignesh

    What I have personally noticed is that the initial cost to start an online business is generally low. But given the competition in almost every niche, marketing costs are huge and turnaround time to break-even is increasing with time. This has bought a lot of small online businesses in trouble, because the major chunk of the market is captured by big players and remaining share has got a tremendous competition from small online businesses.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jignesh,
      I agree with you. In an articulate way, you explained the problem that prevents startups from being more successful than they are. Thanks for writing.

    • Tim Halloran

      I agree with this. To make a significant income from the online world requires a huge amount of work generating content to complete, or an investment of capital for marketing. With marketing you also need large value products to compete!

  2. Moss Clement

    Hi Janice,

    For any business to succeed, whether online or offline, one must have a solid plan for the company. Your idea would include how to source for funds, your marketing tactics, etc. And to cut your learning curve and reap positive returns on your investments, get yourself a mentor. I like that these points are highlighted.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Moss,
      I agree with your points especially about the marketing tactics. I actually have a post I’m working on about how to formulate a marketing plan. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Catering Equipment Suppliers

    I would stress on the market research part and probably have discussions with multiple online business people. Market research will help you to know how things are done- with a quick paced online business it is always up to trends in the market so market research is important. The discussion with multiple online business people will help you to identify what to do and what not to, this will help in the long run especially if you are on a low budget.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Catering,
      You have some great ideas. I currently have a post in draft form about the marketing process. I will keep your ideas in mind.

  4. Ryan K Biddulph

    Mentoring is huge Janice. Cuts years off of your learning curve. I had a tough time before following advice from pro bloggers. Choosing to follow pros made my life easier.

    • Janice Wald

      I agree, Ryan. Mentoring is helpful in any industry, I believe. Thanks for commenting on my business plan post.

  5. Gaurav Kumar

    Hi Janice,

    Managing your budget is the first step to launch a professional business. I still meet many people who say that want to launch a business but they do not have the budget, but the same time they are spending more than 5000 grands on holidays.

    Budget plays the major role in a business. Making a list and creating business plan will definitely help.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Gaurav,
      You raise an interesting point which I hear about in the news all the time.
      For example, actresses that have lavish lifestyles have to cheat to get their children into college.
      Maybe that’s a poor example, but many people in politics and corporate America plead poverty but also have lavish lifestyles.
      Couldn’t the actresses have afforded tutors for their children instead of cheating?
      Definitely, budgeting goes far in affording what you want in any industry.

  6. Rachel

    Thanks so much for sharing tips on coming up with a business plan, take care!!

    • Janice Wald

      You take care, too Rachel. Thanks for coming by this week to thank me for the post. Glad you enjoyed!

  7. Tim Halloran

    Thanks for the article. Mentors have helped me massively with my online business. I also have found prioritising my daily list makes me focus on the most productive activities, rather than the ones I’d rather do!

  8. Tim Halloran

    Thanks for the post. It’s true that imperfect action is better than no action I agree. Starting on a budget can be tough though and mentors can help you to stay motivated and be accountable to someone. Your chances of success are much higher if you find others on the same path and surround yourself with them too!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Tim,
      Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you adding to the discussion with these tips.
      My guest author must agree with you about being accountable to a superior which helps with productivity. One of his tips was to find a mentor. I’m glad you feel my guest author’s tips were valid. Thanks for writing to tell me.

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