While online business start up costs are nothing compared to brick-and-mortar businesses, you still need to make some minimum investment to launch a web business.
When you hear people say, "start a business on a shoe-string budget", remember this: a shoestring also costs something. And what for some people "small investment" means $1,000, for others it might mean $50 or less.
So, how much exactly do you need to have available to start an online company? Let's review costs.
*Please, note: I am assuming that you already have a computer and Internet access - otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this article :-) I am also assuming that you are starting a basic online business - not an e-commerce web site with advanced shopping cart system selling hundreds of items, which would require a bigger investment.
1. Domain Name
If you are serious about your business, you want to choose and register a domain name - www.yourdomain.com. You can purchase it for as low as $16.00 a year. Some web sites offer it for less, you just need to do some searching. Give a lot of thought to your domain name - after all, it will represent your company. I kept thinking about my domain for longest time. I wanted something unique, memorable and with humor. That's how my HelpingFoot.com was born.
2. Web Site Hosting
Hosting is an absolutely necessary component to any web business. Your web site has to reside on a web server, and hosting companies provide you with space on their servers for which you have to pay for. Of course you can choose a free hosting company at first (such as Geocities.com and Angelfire.com) but for reliability try to switch to a paid one. I use Pair.com and my hosting fee is just $5.95 a month. I also had to pay a one-time $28.00 set up fee.
3. Web Site Design
Now, biggest stone in web business set up - web design. You can choose to do it yourself by picking up a book for beginners, going through free online tutorials, or purchasingquality training materials to learn how to set up your own web site. Or you can hire a professional designer. Because web design is a relatively simple task for any computer-literate person, just about anyone can call themselves a web designer today. That's why fees vary greatly from $10 to $200 an hour for web design. You can probably hire a college student to do an entire web site for you for $200.