So you want to get your business running online but you don’t have much cash or design skills to throw at it? Well, never fear because there a dozens of ways to skin this cat and most of them can be done much cheaper than you realize. For reasons of example, I am going to assume the following: Our business needs a new logo, a website, an ability to process payments, a way to advertise and, because I have already worked out the budget, we are going to keep it all under $600.
1. Logo: Although there is a lot to be said for brand development, for this example I am just going to focus on the logo itself.
Allow me introduce you to a little known secret called 99designs. This site is for designers and clients alike. The way it works is a business will post an ad for design need (eg, a logo) along with a price. Artists will then draft up several designs and you pick the one you like. Each contest last several days and you are able to pick which logo you favor and give the artists feedback so they can tweak their designs to your liking. You pick the price (obviously, the higher prize the more designers will work for you) and the rest is easy. On average $200 will get you enough interest and options that you will find something you will like.
2. Website: One word, ‘Shopify.’ With packages starting for as little as $24 p/month you can be set up with website design (via templates), web hosting (with unlimited bandwidth!), payment gateways (Google Checkout or Paypal Pro), site statistics and you can even use your own domain name or go with the free myshopify.com domain. You can also change your package at any time as your business grows.
3. Advertising. Forget Google Adwords for now. There is so much competition in that space that you will be forking out more money than you want to in order to get your ads displayed. There is, however, a nice alternative found in Facebook. Depending on your target, a FB Adwords campaign can yield great results for around $0.30 per click. You set your per click bid and your daily maximum spend and you will never go over budget. Of course, the more you spend the better the results and if you are advertising in a popular market, you may have to spend more per click. With a daily budget of $10 and a click bid of 30 cents, you can potentially get up to 33 clicks per day which means nearly 1000 clicks p/month and you’ve only spent $300.
Altogether, we have only spent $524. We have a fancy new logo, a website that is hosted and maintained and we have even have our own advertising campaign. The rest is up to you to see where you can go from here. Good luck!