The Cheapest Small Business to Start – Tips and Resources

Text from my newsletter of 9th August

Probably the quickest and cheapest way to get into business for yourself is to set up an online business.

If you’re still employed, that’s also a great way to start something on the side, which you can grow to the point where you can transition smoothly to it full-time, when you’re ready.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re not technical.

Today’s technology puts setting up, not just a simple website, but an online shop, within the grasp of anyone who is comfortable using a computer.

What costs are you likely to incur?

A domain

A .com domain is around US$15 a year. Others (e.g. .co uk, are often more expensive, but still in the same ballpark.

A website

The cost of a website varies enormously, but starts from free.

Beware of the free ones, though, because you get what you pay for.

The free websites will contain restrictions in what you can do, and they may display ads, that have nothing to do with your business, on your web pages.


Hosting plans range from around US$10/month (usually charged annually in advance).

For more details on what you need in order to set up a website, and some links to resources I recommend, read this article.

The upside of an online business is that, for a small start-up cost, you have access to a global market.

The one thing you have to focus on, though, once you’ve decided on your business and set up your website, is to drive visitors to it.

I cannot make this point strongly enough:

No visitors = no business

In one sense that makes the challenge quite simple: all you have to do is focus on getting visitors to your website.

Simple, but not necessarily easy.

This week’s links

So this week I’ve linked to an article on how to set up your own online business, that also describes the different businesses you can establish. I’ve also linked to three articles on driving visitors to it.

The lowest cost business you can start after 50

As I said, one of the lowest cost businesses to start is an online business. The beauty of this is that, while it is low cost to start, you can potentially reach a global audience, with a corresponding return on your investment.

Camille Gains goes through the different ways you can make a living from a low-cost, online business in this article:

Start an online business after 50

How to drive traffic to your website

In the previous article, you will have noticed that success in any of the online businesses she refers to, depends on the number of people who visit your website – without visitors your website is just a cost centre.

This article on the Kinsta website sets out 76 different ways to drive visitors to your website.

It’s a long read, and, if you’re going to start an online business, I recommend you bookmark it so you can refer back to it whenever you need to.

I would suggest that you tackle one or two methods at a time. Get comfortable with those, then move on to the next one, and so on.

How to drive visitors to your website

5 social media marketing tips

Social media marketing is a necessity for any business, online or offline.

This article looks at choosing which social platform to focus on (I touched on this a couple of weeks ago), how to attract and grow your followers, and how to use that to drive visitors to your website:

5 social media marketing tips

Low-cost ways to promote your online business

“..Digital marketing isn’t an option—it’s a necessity..”

So says Janet Attard in her introduction to 17 ways to promote your website online.

Her article actually covers 52 low-cost ways to promote your business, but the first 17 are focused specifically on promoting an online business:

Low-cost ways to promote your online business

If you have any questions on setting up a website. . .

I have a website design agency, so if you have any questions relating to setting up your website, please don’t hesitate to ask – just get in touch.

Fun flashback

This is just a great song: ‘Latitude 88 North’, from ELO:

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Martin Malden

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Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.