Starting Your Own Business on a Budget: Tips & Tricks

starting your own business on a budget

Starting your own business can seem unattainable, especially when you have limited funds to work with. When thinking about launching, you might feel as though you need a large sum of money in order to even begin. But, I have good news; this is not always the case. In fact, I was able to start my own business for roughly $650, including the paperwork to register as a limited liability company (LLC). I still have yet to take out a business loan. So, fret not; starting your own business on a budget (and without a loan) is possible, and the following are some tricks and tips to help you launch:

Starting Your Own Business On a Budget

Don’t quit your day job:

Normally, “don’t quit your day job” implies you should not pursue anything more than what you are currently doing for money. But, when I say this, I mean maintain your full-time job as you develop your dream. Spend a few hours every night after work (or at your leisure, depending on your level of motivation to start) developing your business plan. Know that you want to start a business but unsure where to begin? Pick something you are passionate about or very knowledgeable in.

As you start the process, plug away some money from your full-time job each month for your business. Even if it is just $20 a month, every little bit helps and will make launching more of a reality.

Reach out to friends:

Assuming you have already done your market research and developed a business plan, you can reach out to supportive friends who may be willing to help you with certain services you may need to move forward.

For example, if you are a copywriter needing a logo, see if one of your friends in graphic design would be willing to do a trade for service and/or a discounted rate to create your identity. Most of the time, you will most likely find someone willing to help. Even your friends with a background in law may be available to provide some tips on getting started with paperwork or offer a lower rate to help. You can also use the money you’ve been saying from your full-time job to pay for these services up front. Never assume your friends will do it for free; they are, after all, also in business and need to make money too. Also, don’t forget to refer them and spread the love! They will appreciate your word of mouth referral more than you know.

Start online:

The internet is full of amazing opportunities. You can easily start your business online through the creation of a website. Sites like Weebly, Wix, and even all are great platforms to begin on a budget as they all offer templates you can work off of with zero web design skills. With these, you’ll also need to purchase a domain name (AKA your business web address), a process they each walk you through when you sign up. When using WordPress, you will also need a hosting site, which is basically a home for your domain name. Weebly and Wix have theirs built into their platforms, but their customization is not as advanced as WordPress. Bluehost or are both examples of where you can find hosting sites. Again, you may want to reach out to a friend or use a consultation with a marketing company to help you get started with this particular process, as it can sometimes be complicated.

In addition to a website, you can now sell items on Facebook. If you do not want to upgrade your site to be secure enough to sell items (all websites need to have what is known as an SSL certificate when selling items or even collecting emails, which protects private information of site visitors), you can create an account at and connect it to your Facebook page or use Facebook as your store. You will need, however, a PayPal or Square account in order to move forward.

Starting online allows you to save on initial overhead costs (other than your website) on a brick-and-mortar. But, you can surely invest in a physical location after getting your feet wet. This all depends on whether your business would benefit on a physical address or if you can survive solely online.

Make it a side hustle and have supplementary income:

Starting your own business on a budget does not mean you have to wait until you are no longer at your full-time job to begin. You can start with it as a side hustle and continue to grow it until you are ready to be full-time. By all means, you can also make it your primary focus and help your financial situation with a supplementary income until you start seeing a profit in your business. House sitting, dog walking, and freelancing are all examples of easy ways to get this going. You could also use the money from your supplementary income to invest into your business if you needed the extra funding for a special project.

Grow through networking:

Networking is an especially cost-effective way to grow your business. No matter what industry you are in, everyone can benefit from networking. Check your local events calendar to see where opportunities may be for you to meet prospects. You can also utilize your existing connections or memberships to grow. For instance, if you have a gym membership, and you are starting a catering business, you can reach out to the gym manager or members who work at local businesses to see if they would be interested in your services.

All in all, know that starting your own business on a budget can be done. No matter what, though, it always takes consistency and a lot of work in order to make it happen.

Have you been dreaming of starting your own business or have you already? What tips would you add to the list? 

Top Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts

Top Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts

In the days before the internet, artisans had limited venues to sell their arts and crafts. We now live in a world where billions of people connect online at the click of a button. Artists are moving beyond trade shows and local art fairs to sell their products online. With more than 62 million Americans participating in crafting activities each year, it’s the perfect time to create an online presence and build your brand. Whether you are looking to expand your business or turn your hobby into a money-maker, here are some of the top sites to help you sell your arts and crafts.

Top Sites for Arts and Crafts

1. Etsy

Since its launch in 2005, Etsy has become the industry standard for online artisan marketplaces. Shoppers can browse through multitudes of handmade and vintage items ranging from décor, jewelry, apparel, toys, art, and craft supplies. With reported sales topping $3 billion, it is definitely one of the top sites to sell your arts and crafts.

Etsy is ideal for first-time venders since the name draws a lot of internet traffic. The website hosted 2.1 million sellers and more than 39 million buyers in 2018, growing more each year. Their platform exposes you to potential clients from around the world in ways that were not possible before. This lets artists focus on their work instead of marketing and promotion.

The site operates like a traditional craft fair where vendors setup a personal storefront to sell their goods. The seller pays a $0.20 listing fee per item and 5% commission on all sales. There is also another small payment processing fee, but it does guarantee secure online transactions. Many sellers agree that these fees are a small price to pay for access to Etsy’s user-friendly marketplace.

2. Handmade at Amazon

You know you are in the right marketplace if Amazon is involved. The world’s largest web retailer is now venturing into arts and crafts. Vendors must submit their application to Handmade at Amazon and receive approval. If you get approved, you will receive an invitation to create your Artisan Profile where you can sell your arts and crafts. The process ensures all the items are handmade and enforces strict bans on anything that violates intellectual property rights.

Advertising through Amazon grants you access to the largest online shopping platform, but it does come at a cost. They deduct 15% from each sale in addition to shipping costs. This means you will have to give greater thought to how you package, price and promote your work. However, there is unlimited earning potential if you can claim a slice of the Amazon pie.

3. Shopify

If marketplaces aren’t for you, consider hosting your own site through Shopify. The site is great for small businesses and established brands, boasting more than $82 billion in sales. With more than a million businesses in 175, it truly is a global presence.

Shopify allows you to build your own store makes the initial setup a breeze with professional templates, business tools, and support. The app store also offers a ton of options to customize your page. The simple interface connects to other social media platforms to help promote your work.

Maintaining your own online store gives you more creative control and direct customer contact. There are no marketplace rules about what you can sell or commission and processing fees. However, it’s up to the seller to attract web traffic. Shopify requires more daily updates, but it also puts you in the driver’s seat.

Choosing a Site That’s Right for You

Launching a website and sharing your work with the world can be both frightening and exhilarating. With the endless online marketplaces to choose from, you can easily become overwhelmed or discouraged. Before joining a community, take time to consider what it is you hope to achieve and which platform is the best vehicle to get you there.

If you feel lost, seek out other artisans to discuss their first hand experiences with these sites. There are many online messaging boards and communities of artists facing the same questions and concerns. Once you have chosen which site to use to sell your arts and crafts, you are only clicks away from becoming a legitimate online retailer.

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The Steps You Need to Take When Marketing Cigars Online

marketing cigars online

If you’re interested in becoming an online tobacco merchant with a wide range of cigar brands and accessories available to consumers, you have to be prepared to offer quite a bit of education regarding your products and cigars in general. Investing in a comprehensive experience that’s welcoming and allows your customers to intuitively navigate through the website will pay off in the long run.

While you’ll attract customers who are already familiar with cigars, inevitably, you’ll engage with many more that are simply curious or recently attended a bachelor party or similar gathering, and are now interested in pursuing the pastime. How will they make sense of the immense variety of cigars on the market and what kind suits their taste? How do they avoid wasting untold sums of money by purchasing accessories they don’t need, or neglecting to care for their cigars properly?


Blogs can help keep your customers abreast of the latest trends in the industry as well as fascinating history and trivia regarding cigars and tobacco. Regularly posting brief articles that educate your customers won’t only reinforce your expertise, but offer your customers further insight into the diversion they have adopted. This is an opportunity to give your customers the tools they need to develop an underlying mastery, so they begin to recognize and distinguish between the various characteristics of the tobacco.


Introductions to cigar etiquette are essential. Many customers won’t know exactly what to do with their cigars, or they may have picked up bad habits from their friends.

Clearly lay out the importance of caring for cigars along with the techniques. Allowing them to age like a fine wine will often improve the overall enjoyment of the cigars. Explain that the cigar needs to be cut properly to enhance the experience and to keep from ruining it. Make sure they are aware of the different styles of cutters that can be used. Demonstrate how to light a cigar, keeping the flame from actually touching the cigar itself as it’s rotated, until the end is heated evenly. Warn them about the risk of the odor from cheap lighters or matches affecting the taste of the cigar so they can consider alternatives like cigar-specific lighters or wooden matches. Caution your customers not to inhale, and that the cigar will go out if they stop puffing. In fact, remind them that’s how to extinguish a cigar, by letting it go out on its own in an ashtray.

This self-service model allows consumers to peruse your site 24 hours a day to get the information they need, significantly reducing the need to contact customer service. While you may never be able to completely eliminate the resources dedicated to resolving customer inquiries, you can redirect a considerable amount of effort toward the profit centers of your business. More importantly, you’re building a relationship with your customers based on trust and service that will ensure they keep coming back to your site, and generate additional buzz through positive word of mouth.

Image Source: Pexels.