The Real Cost of Starting an Online Business
Do you have $371,100 to open a franchise?
How about $80,000 to invest in your own restaurant?
So, You Want to Open Your Own Shop
Once upon a time I thought it would be fun to open a restaurant. After all, the franchise model is a popular and proven way to get started in your own business. However, after flipping burgers for a few years and having responsibility for the grease bucket, I decided the food industry wasn't for me.
Though I have nothing against restaurants, fast food or franchises, the costs associated with those types of business opportunities aren't appealing to me.
According to Jamba Juice's website, a new franchise owner must be ready to spend a couple hundred grand to open a store. To open a Firehouse Subs (one of my favorites), in addition to your love and devotion to sandwiches, you've got to have a "minimum of $80k to invest".
So, You No Longer Want to Open Your Own Shop
If managing rent, warehouses, supply chains, utilities and overhead don't sound appealing to you, maybe an online business is more your style. Before I purchased my first domain, I had NO idea how much anything would cost. And the more people I talk to, the more people I find who are in the same boat - we just don't know the cost of starting an online business.
To help demystify the costs and clarify what's needed, I've put together a list of the absolute essentials.
Yes, some of these links are affiliate links, but I only provide links to services I use and recommend myself. And, these links won't cost you anything extra. So dive in!
What You Need
Starting an online business is similar to starting any other business with a physical location or storefront. You need a name, a place where visitors can browse your products and a way to accept payment. Almost everything else just adds to the ambiance and personality of your business.
Things like window dressings, a smiling hostess and knowledgeable staff all help people feel safe about buying from you. Their online equivalents - landing pages, appealing design, and a blog - achieve the same goal of helping people know, like and trust your business and brand.
Every business needs a blog. CLICK HERE to see why.
How Much Money You'll Need
If you signed up for every service I recommend below, you could start an online business for $1,344.38 and have most of your costs covered for multiple years.
Hosting ... $125.64
Domain ... $9.99
Landing Pages ... $97.00
Email Marketing Service ... $91.80
Premium Theme ... $99.95
Legal Work ... $800
P.O. Box ... $120
Grand Total = $1,344.38
For less than $1400, you could start an online business, sell your products, and own your business from the front door to the back warehouse and not have to pay anyone royalties, fees, or other startup costs (other than maintenance) for years to come.
Will it be easy? Hell no.
Will it be the ride of a lifetime? For sure!
How does this $1345 break down?...
... Let's take a look.
When I started my online business, I bootstrapped as much as possible. You're more than able to do the same thing yourself, but you'll eventually get to the products and services I've listed below. I spent as little as possible on my business until my client Larry called me up and told me I was running my business with a flat tire, and I should fix it.
I won't go into all of the free versions here because this is about starting a high-quality, professional looking online business the right way, not just the fun way that looks like you built it in your mom's basement.
Here's what you'll need...