How to Start an Online Business from Scratch on $100 Per Month

You’ve got an amazing business idea. Seriously, it’s really good. It’s obviously going to take off. But there’s one tiny problem—you don’t have a huge pile of life savings to bankroll it.

Don’t worry, and read on, especially if you’re planning to sell a service, app, or software. We’ve got everything you need to know to start for just $100 a month (or maybe even less).

Buy Your Domain on Sale

You wouldn’t buy groceries at regular price, would you? Okay, maybe that’s just me. But there’s no reason to pay full price for your domain when we have so many on sale at Rebel. Come check ’em out. With deals as low as $2.00, you won’t even notice you spent money.

Package it together with hosting from $4.87 per month. Yes, that includes professional email. Yes, that includes 24/7 support. No, that doesn’t include a pony. Don’t be getting greedy, now.

DIY and Save on Web Design

People who build websites can make bucketloads of money. That’s why you don’t want to hire one of those people. At least, not when you’re starting up on a tight budget.

Never fear! You can build your own website with Weebly’s easy drag and drop tools. You’ll have an awesome-looking website in no time.

As for graphic design and logo design, you can do that too. Or, outsource it to a budget site like Fiverr.

Use Budget Marketing Tactics

You can get tons of people to notice your business without paying $5 million for a Superbowl ad. We’ve got comprehensive guides for cheap ways to drive traffic to your site. And also on budget-friendly outbound marketing. Check out those posts for tons of great ideas, from SEO to social media and from sidewalk chalk to swapping ads.

Skip the Office

When you’re running an online business, you can do pretty much everything you need from your laptop. At your kitchen table. In your pajamas. (Or at your local coffee shop—whatever works for you.) So why would you fork out the big bucks for a little fluorescent-lit cell to commute to?

Need to meet with clients? No problem. You can rent a meeting room by the hour in a co-working space or a shared office.

Payroll? What Payroll?

Do as much as you can yourself, and only hire another employee when things are starting to take off. If you’re operating as a sole proprietorship, you get to hang on to all the profits. That’s your income.

For those keeping track, here are the costs you’re looking at so far:

  • Domain: $2.00
  • Hosting: $4.87
  • Design: around $5
  • Advertising: around $25

That gives you at least another $63.14 per month for occasional meeting rooms, other unexpected costs, and coffee. Lots of coffee. And remember, a bunch of those costs are one-time, not monthly. All it takes is an investment of your time.

Crowdfund

Think you might have a few other startup expenses that bring your costs over budget? Or are you planning to start a business that needs startup supplies and has overhead costs? Does your type of business require some registration fees?

If you haven’t got any financial wiggle room, try rounding up some bucks through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. You’ll trade off some future profits, but you’ll have some backup in the bank.

Starting a business is tough, especially if you’re doing it on a shoestring budget. And especially if you’re working a full-time job at the same time. But that doesn’t mean it has to be super expensive, too!

Lots more tips on startup online business costs here.

Step One: get a .com domain from Rebel on sale for a limited time.

Author
Jana is Rebel’s VP of Marketing. She has more than a decade of experience driving strategic digital marketing initiatives and building brands online. Jana nerds out over marketing strategy, culture building, abandoned spaces and really obscure travel destinations. She likes bringing purpose and passion to everything Rebel does, and remains neutral on the Oxford comma.

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