Most of the business owners who decide to try their hand at online marketing are usually on a tight budget. Many are stuck at a job they hate and their business is the side hustle that will get them out of paycheque to paycheque living. They view an online business as a ‘saviour’ – an answer to their prayers. Finally, they can put an end to their financial struggles with the profits they make in their online business.
And then reality hits them.
They need money to invest in a domain, autoresponder, tools and so on. The saying, ‘Money makes money’ has a certain degree of truth to it because you can’t multiply by zero.
In this article, you’ll discover a few hard truths that may be bitter to swallow, but knowing them will help you to build your online business and finally get off the hamster wheel you’re currently on, without any shocks.
1. Don’t quit your day job too soon
Like motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, used to say, “I’m working full time on my job and part-time on my fortune.” This is exactly the mindset you need. You’ll need to stay at your day job and use it to fund your online business instead of stressing yourself out over where the next piece of cash is coming from.
To build an online business, you’ll most probably need to buy a domain name which costs around $10 a year. You’ll also need good web hosting to host your site. That’s another $20 or so each month. Let’s not forget the most important tool of all – an autoresponder for delivering your lead magnets and emails. You’ll be investing about $20 a month for that.
At a glance, you probably need about $50 or so to get started. If you can’t afford these investments just yet, you’ll want to save up until you can afford them. With a few tweaks to your budget, you’ll be able to find the funds to get started.
2. Don’t buy upfront -yet
While you’ll enjoy cost savings if you pay for hosting or other services annually, it’ll be difficult for you to pay a lump sum, if you’re on a tight budget – and you don’t need to. Don’t run if no one is chasing you. Go with small monthly payments that will be easier on you. When you’re making a good income online, you can start paying for services annually and getting a discount. You'll also enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a service you hate or can't get on with for 12 months.
3. Do most of it yourself
Forget outsourcing for now. Aim to learn as much as you can and do whatever you can for your own business. Hiring a freelancer on Fiverr will be helpful, but if you can’t afford the extra expenses, you can always do the work yourself. Even graphic designs are easy, thanks to sites like Canva which are pre-loaded with templates that you can use for free. Save money by doing most of the work on your own. It’ll take longer, but it’ll be easier on your wallet and give you a good appreciation for your freelancers when you have the money to invest. One of the things I've learnt the most is how long things take. If my freelancer tells me 90 minutes to upload and optimise a blog post, I know something is wrong somewhere and I can train them.
4. Start selling a.s.a.p
The only way you’ll make money online is by selling – either your own product or by promoting someone else’s product as an affiliate. You’re really going to have to hustle here.
Set up social media accounts and build an audience there. This is free traffic. Point them to your blog or landing page. Build a list, remarket to them and so on. Do whatever you need to do to make money. If you have skills, you can offer your services on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Competition on these platforms is stiff, but sooner or later, someone will hire you.
Now you can bootstrap your online business with your freelancer earnings.
Don't fall into the trap of waiting for the stars to align, for you to be “discovered” or to have x amount of people on your email list or in your followers. When you do this, you'll never feel you have enough. So, start as you mean to go on.
5. Don’t spend it all
Last but not least, when you do start earning money, don’t spend it all. Keep 50% for yourself and reinvest the remaining 50% in your business. Get a good page builder so your landing pages and sales pages look great.
Invest in a plugin like Thrive Leads (part of the Thrive Suite) so that you can insert pop-ups and scroll mats on your blog. Investing in a pop-up was a big deal when I started out, and everyone says they hate them… But it had an incredible impact on our business.
Get the essential tools you need for your business so that you can make more sales and succeed.
There’s no denying the fact that building an online business will be much more difficult for someone who is strapped for cash. But with time, you can still build one.
Resourcefulness will always make up for a shortage of resources. Bide your time at your job, tighten your belt, buy what you need for your business and hustle like hell.
Within 4-6 months, you’ll be able to build a business that can cover its costs.
Within a year or so, you might be earning enough to quit your job.
Take your time but keep going.