Don't Sell out of a Cardboard Box!
There is a bizarre myth running through much of the
Internet community: you don't need to spend any money to succeed in business
online. Entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs are setting up shop across the Web with
nothing but the software off a computer magazine cover disk or provided by their ISP.
Sure, the Internet is a great leveller. Little minnows can
compete effectively with big fish, and all that. But why do people insist on taking this
idea to its logical conclusion?
If you were to start a home-based business, and you really
wanted to penny pinch, you could advertise it on the noticeboards of local shops, and
stuff photocopied flyers into your neighbours' mailboxes. If the business you were
planning to start was unique enough to warrant the attention, you might even be able to
get your local paper to give you a writeup. Still, you could not possibly expect to spend
less that $20-30 a month on paper, envelopes, telephone calls, photocopying etc. More
likely, you might like to get some fancy stationery printed up, or get a sign made for you
to hang on your front door telling the world that you are in business.
So if you want to go into business online, don't settle for
less. To do things properly, you'll need to budget $100 to start up your site (including
the $70 domain name charge), and $10-20 a month to keep it up and running. That will get
you a domain name of your own, space on
a virtual server somewhere, an email address and much more.
If you can't afford $10 a month, then let me be blunt: how
on earth do you expect to a living from the Internet? If you are selling home-made
products for instance, you still need to buy the raw materials. If you plan to make a
fortune out of banner advertising on your site (unlikely, but not impossible) then again
to attract advertisers you'll need a presentable site. There is no silver bullet!
Don't sell out of the equivalent of a cardboard box on the
streets! Reach into your pocket and find the minimum to get yourself a virtual roof and
four walls around your business... anything less will just set you up for a fall!