5 Ways to Start Your Side Hustle on a Budget
One of the primary reasons women hesitate to start a business is their fear of needing thousands of dollars to cover startup costs. For brick-and-mortar businesses that require physical locations and/or inventory, yes, those costs can be very expensive. However, if you’re starting a service business online (coaching, consulting, VA, instructor, social media expert, author, etc.), working from the comfort of your own home, then the startup costs are minimal.
Here are 5 ways to stay on budget while setting up your business:
- Purchase a domain. Every business should have a website as part of their online presence so invest in a paid domain. Don’t settle for platforms that offer free domains; those will look similar to www.mynewbiz.wordpress.com and scream unprofessional and cheap. Invest the funds to purchase your customized domain AND an SSL Certificate. (Note: If you're going to build a Kajabi website - you do not need to purchase the SSL Certificate, it's provided as part of Cloudflare.)
- Shop around for web hosting. Domain registrars will always offer you a hosting package but those deals are not always the most cost-effective. Do your research, ask online associates, and read online reviews. I’ve seen web hosting packages for as low as $10 per month. You also want to inquire about their percentage of downtime and how quickly it takes to get a customer service response (this is super important). If you have an emergency with your site, you don’t want to wait days for an answer. There are a plethora of companies out there but I only know of one that's women-owned (Momwebs.com) and I recommend them because they have an excellent reputation. I do know the owner personally and she's is pretty amazing.
- Invest in an autoresponder. An autoresponder is an email service that gathers email addresses from people who fill in the opt-in box on your site. Create a giveaway in exchange for their email; it’s a nice incentive and showcases your talents and knowledge. Some platforms are free up until you reach a certain number of list subscribers. Others are free based on how many emails you send each month. Do your research carefully because free platforms usually have more rules. My advice is to choose a platform that matches your budget and use the tool. Growing your list is an awesome way to consistently stay in touch with prospects and clients. You just never know when a prospect will make a purchase and move to client status, so staying in touch is paramount 🤩.
The Kajabi (all-in-one) platform includes an autoresponder along with integrated email marketing pipelines + tools. At the beginning of 2020, I used InfusionSoft, and prior to that Mailchimp. While those tools were cool, Kajabi has allowed me to 10X my company opt-in and email strategies. It's just so easy to use and the well-designed support tools are amazing. If you'd like to learn more about how we use Kajabi, let's connect for a free 30-minute consultation. If you have already decided that Kajabi is going to be your platform of choice, but haven't taken the big leap to sign up - take advantage of my affiliate link and sign up today for a FREE 30-day trial to help you get started.
- Create a brand board. You’ll want a brand board for easy reference when it comes to crafting your website and creating any graphics you need for your site, products, or social media. You can use Pinterest to pin the colors, fonts, photos, and textures that resonate with you and provide the business image you want. Use these elements in your graphics as well as on all your social media profiles. Canva is a great resource for creating graphics and saving your brand board information for simple implementation. Search for mood boards, they have some great easy-to-use templates.
- Allocate money for equipment upgrades. If you’re an online service provider, your equipment upgrades should be a priority in your budget. It’s vitally important to have working equipment and reliable internet in order to gain the trust of your clients. If you can’t afford the best of the best equipment, consider upgrading to one step above what you currently have. Unfortunately, there’s nothing cheap about computers and electronic equipment but if you pay for quality brands, they’ll last a long time and you won’t have to think about that expense for a few years. Remember equipment purchases are a tax write-off 💰.
In a nutshell, starting a client-based service business aka Side Hustle is certainly possible to do within a budget. However, don’t waste time finding those first clients; get started today, so you can earn back that startup money quickly.
These steps are just the beginning of your business building. If you don't want to be bothered with trying to figure out how to build your own website, I'd love to help! We offer reasonably priced Kajabi website & course creation packages @ thecherylcooper.com. The sites are custom-designed with YOU in mind + I provide small business "online" coaching along the way! Building an online business is a totally different user and sales funnel experience.
Let us me care of the set-up, so you can focus on showing up!
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