Are you starting an online business with a small budget? You are not alone, most new home based business start ups have little money to work with when first starting out. Online businesses are one of the lowest cost businesses to run, if you know what you need to pay for and where to go. Follow these suggestions for getting your website set up inexpensively while not sacrificing quality.
There are some things you need to pay for (and this will tell you how much) and other things you can do just as well for free. The first step to starting any type of business is to register your business. You can usually do this through your local county clerk.
If not, they can point you in the right direction. You should also consider investing in some sort of Internet Marketing Course. If this is your first venture into the Home Based Business arena, there are many things you need to know to make your business a success.
A good course can show you how to start, build and profit without getting ripped off. Unfortunately, the internet is flooded with scams and schemes that are designed to take your money. A good course will also guide you on how to spot these scams and how to avoid them. You can find good, informative internet marketing courses for under $50. Don't spend any more than that until you get going. Advanced courses can range into the hundreds of dollars and you won't need an advanced course until you get to the point that you want to expand your business.
The next thing you need to do would be to register a domain name for your website. Try to make your domain name relevant to what your business is going to be. For example, is you decide to sell pet supplies make your domain as specific as possible.
Something like petshampoo.com or dog grooming.com There's no reason to pay more than $10 for a domain name, so feel free to shop around.
Domains are important because they give you credibility as a business. If at all possible stay away from free websites. Free websites do not enable you to have your own domain name so instead you end up with a long URL like: mybusiness.freespace.
com instead of mybusiness.com. See the difference? Your customers expect you to put some money into your business and this is a clear tip off that you are not doing that - and for $10, why shouldn't you? Another quick note about free websites is they usually come with sponsor ads and links that will take traffic from you. Next step is to find a webhost. Hosting plans vary considerably.
Much of what you pay for will be determined by the features your hosting account provides with its service. If possible, try not to skimp on a webhost. Choose a host that offers plenty of space, allows hosting for more than one website and has tools for a growing business.
Are you setting up a simple, one page site? You could probably use a low cost host for $5 per month. Do you need some extra help with templates and layout or expect a high amount of traffic or downloads? You may have to pay more but it can be well worth the extra expense to have integrated webpages already set up or to ensure your host is providing you with enough bandwidth to handle the traffic on your site. Many hosts also include HTML editors so you can build your own website easily and with little effort. This alone will save you on hiring a website designer.
If you build your own site, this will also save you on purchasing an HTML editor. Never use a free host, unless perhaps you want to start with a blog or similar format while you get your own website up and running. Free hosting usually means you pay in other ways, lack of a domain name or a lack of quality.
Many free hosting accounts are for personal use only and do not allow commercial accounts. Try to get recommendations from others when looking for a good host. The next step is designing your website. As previously mentioned you can find professional templates on some hosting services. These can give your website a professional polish without the expense of hiring a designer. You are limited, however, on the look you choose depending on the variety of designs available.
Templates are also available to others so your site may have the same appearance as someone else. If you need custom work done consider hiring a freelance web designer 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. There are many, many places on the internet where you can find website templates.
Look for templates where you purchase the template. This will ensure the template is not being used by other designers or folks building websites. It also allows you to customize the template for your particular needs. If your website is set up for making sales, you will also need a merchant account or some other means of accepting credit cards. You must be able to take credit card payments if you want to be successful.
Merchant accounts can be expensive to set up and if you make lots of sales, can be time consuming processing individual payments. There are many companies that will do the processing for you. Some have no set up fees and charge a percentage of each sale for the service. This is the best scenario when you are starting out. Many of the big marketing guru's also use these processors. They are easy to use and set up.
Just do a search for payment processors on your favorite search. Use the most respected companies and you will have no worries. There are many things you need to know when starting any business venture, but with the right guidance it is also the most rewarding opportunity to be involved with. Once everything is set up and in place, the possibilities are endless. And so is the income! Spending money wisely is important when starting any business, but some free services will cost you in reliability or image. On the other hand there are some cheap 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.
Ed Rizzo is a professional internet marketer, copywriter who makes it simple for you to get more knowledge to start your own Home Based Business.To learn more about internet marketing visit his website at http://www.dpdhomebusiness.com