When the internet came about it suddenly became a lot easier to start a business.
Gone is the need to rent office space, hold inventory, hire a bunch of employees, and all the other traditional business “stuff”.
The barriers to entry are blown away.
Now it is relatively straight-forward to get started on your own. You can sell your knowledge in the form of an online course for example. However, just because it’s easy to get started doesn’t mean it’s easy to be successful – and unfortunately I think that this is a common perception.
The truth is that the low barriers to entry often mean you will have more competition, and if you are going to stand out you will need to invest additional time and money into your business to get it off the ground.
Yes, that’s the bad news. You will still need to make a financial investment in your online business.
The good news is that this will cost you a mere fraction of what it would have cost to start a business 30 years ago.
You Might Not Agree…
Now, there are probably some of you reading this that will disagree with my next comment, so let me preface it by saying that I am certainly open to counter arguments.
To start a successful online business you will need to invest more than $200.
How much will you need to invest? I’m afraid I cannot say. The point I am trying to make is that if you go into starting a business with a mindset of “how can I do this as cheap as possible”, then I believe that it is counter-productive to your entrepreneurial efforts.
This doesn’t mean you should be throwing money at the wall and hoping something sticks. You need to invest wisely, but that’s where you can depend on your entrepreneurial intuition. For example, you can save money by skipping the fancy letterhead and business cards.
What Should You Invest In?
When trying to decide what you should spend money on, think about it this way: what are the critical components of your business?
If we stick with the online course example, then the software used to create & deliver the courses is critical. Spend money on that.
If you plan to self-host the courses using WordPress then invest in WordPress specific hosting as that impacts the user experience.
If your courses absolutely must have a specific feature that isn’t possible with the software you choose, hire a developer to make it happen.
Stick to investing in the areas that are a cornerstone to your business.
I recommend that you not view this as a burden but as a financial investment with a delayed return. In the short-term you may feel the loss but the idea is that by making the proper investments now you will see a return on that investment when your business is launched.
It’s not about the money you spend, it’s about your approach to entrepreneurship. Making intelligent financial investments is a big part of being an entrepreneur. Finding ways to save money is as well, but not at the detriment to the core of your business.