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What Type of Business Can I Start?

Am I Suitable for Such a Business?

How Much Do I Need to Start a Home Business?

How Do I Start?

 

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How Much do I Need to Start an Online Business?

I am guessing that there will be 2 camps. In one camp, there will be the perception that since practically everything can be had for free or nearly free on the Internet, an online business should also be able to be started for free or nearly free. In the other camp will be the perception that since online companies like Amazon and eBay require millions in seed funding, any online business would require similarly large expense to get up and running.

Generally, the money needed can be divided into money needed for one time purchases to set up and for your business, and the money needed each month for licenses, subscriptions and such. In addition, money will also be needed for the various other expenses of your business.

The following list gives you an idea of where money might be needed:

One Time Expenses

  • Computer and/or Notebook.

  • Computer Accessories.

  • Computer Software.

  • Furniture.

  • Website Development.

Regular Monthly Expenses

  • Internet Access

  • Domain Name

  • Web Hosting

  • Phone and Utilities

  • Staff Salary

Other Expenses and Costs

  • Inventory

  • Travel

  • Promotion

  • Website Updating and Maintenance

Don't be too intimidated by the list above. I am just trying to be thorough and give you an idea of all the possible costs and expenses. Most online businesses can be run very well and very profitably with a fraction of what you see above.

Let's do the list again assuming that you want to start an online business that focuses on selling products through a blog on the Blogger or WordPress platform. The products that you sell will be sold through affiliate programs so you do not have to maintain inventory, or worry about other administrative issues. You effectively just act as the middleman. In addition, let's assume that cash is tight, so you want to save as much as you can.

One Time Expenses

  • Computer and/or Notebook. Existing equipment is adequate.

  • Computer Accessories. Existing accessories are adequate.

  • Computer Software. Existing software is adequate.

  • Furniture. Existing furniture is adequate.

  • Website Development. The software platform has already been developed. All that needs to be done is selection of the template and modules for the blog.

Regular Monthly Expenses

  • Internet Access. Cost: $10-$50 per month

  • Domain Name. Cost: $5-$10 per year

  • Web Hosting. Free

  • Phone and Utilities. Cost: $25 per month (Electricity)

  • Staff Salary. No staff

Other Expenses and Costs

  • Inventory. None

  • Travel. None

  • Advertising. No paid advertising will be used to advertise the blog.

  • Website Updating and Maintenance. Business owner will post to and respond to comments in the blog. Maintenance of the blogging platform is done by the owner of the platform.

As you can see, you can start and run an online business as a blogger for very little money. The total cost to start the business is nil as you can probably use resources that you already have, and the running cost per month comes up to less than $100.

But, each and every business is different, so it is near impossible to project the amount required for your business. But, as a ballpark figure, I think the following figures should suffice for most online businesses:

  • Startup Cost ($500 - $2500)

  • Running Cost ($100 - $500 per month)

A very important thing to note is your living expenses. If you still have an income when you are starting your business, then you should be good to go. But some of you might choose to forego an income and concentrate on your business full time. If you choose to do that, other than your business costs, make sure you have enough to cover your living expenses for at least six months to a year.

An online business can have more twists and turns than the most convoluted spy thriller, so you do have to be prepared to go down unexpected alleyways and have the financial buffer to do so. In the initial stages, when you are simply considering the possibility of being the owner of an online business and preparing to start the business, I would advise hanging on to that job.

In time, when you have a better idea of the type of business you want to start, and the products and services that you want to offer, and the amount of money that you can make, then you can start some serious budgeting and consider giving up your full time income.

What I want to show you here is that an online business can be started for very little money. But please be aware that while starting and running your business can be almost free, that does not mean that you can just go for free services.

Paid services do have their place. When compared to free services, paid services will generally save you time and hassle. They will have better support, and be more reliable.

Free services will require that you spend more of your time, and there are times when the cash that you need to pay for paid services pales in comparison with the additional time, hassle and other issues that usually accompanies free services.

 

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Introduction
What Type of Business Can I Start?
Am I Suitable for Such a Business?
How Much do I Need to Start a Home Business?
How do I Start?

 

 
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