How to Start an Online Business From Home For Less Than $150
Do you want to start an online business from home?
People start blogs or online businesses for many reasons, some start to bring extra income home and some just are passionate about a topic that they want to share with others.
Just like Elizabeth Rider who took her own experiences and shared it with the world with a dash of humor and lots of love. She helped others make healthy changes in their life for the better. In doing so, she became an influencer, coach, and an owner of a seven-figure business.
Online business isn’t a side hustle anymore. It has become a place where you can explore your potentials. if you are looking to grow a skill or even learn about new ones or if you have a crowded mind with heaps of ideas, test them out in the world. Online platforms give you the best opportunity to do that with minimum risk.
We have created this content to show you step by step, just how you can start your online business from home and have a great start on your journey.
Also, we designed this content to a budget of $150, so that being broke doesn’t stop you from starting your business.
In this blog post, we might encourage you to start a blog or build a website, but that’s not imperative to starting a business, we have seen many cases where people make money behind the scene by creating software products, teaching the influencer or CEOs and providing help to the business owners without having an online presence.
However, because we are talking about starting an online business here, an online presence is necessary.
How is starting an online business in less than $150 possible?
Because, we are experiencing one of the best times in history when it comes to the internet, technology, and virtual resources. Everything thing from conversation to money has become virtual. That is why starting a business is surprisingly cheap.
We firmly believe that anyone of any background can start a business today and become an entrepreneur.
Without further ado, let’s get on with the step by step guide-
First, before you do anything, you have to know or decide, if you want a service-based or product-based business. Knowing this is crucial because the approach, strategy, and marketing for service-based businesses are different from product-based businesses.
Because of the tight budget, we wouldn’t advise you to develop a unique product. The key to making money online is finding a gap that you can fill and charge money for it.
If you want to make money right off the bat then go for service-based business- where you will provide some kind of service or assistance to your clients.
But if you don’t want to or don’t know what services you can provide, you can go on the affiliate marketing route. Here you will promote someone else’s product or services and earn a commission if someone buys through your recommendation. Affiliate marketing can bring you 5 figures and even a 7 figure income but the problem is, it requires time and a lot of groundwork.
Decide which route you want to take.
Start an online business from home in 7 steps:
- Find A Need That You Can Fill
- Validate The Need
- Educate Yourself
- Figure Out Your Main Platform
- Set It Up
- Start With Good Content
- Take It Further and Create Smart Goals
1. Find A Need
You need to come up with an idea for your business.
Now, for a service-based business, you will provide value with your service. You can start with what you already know or any kind of training or skill you might have.
For example, if you are an English teacher, you can provide editing, proofreading, or writing services, if you are an artist you can create art pieces for people or teach how to paint or create art.
But if you are not sure or don’t have any formal training of sort, don’t worry, you can also start your service business if you are a fast learner and can provide killer service.
Pay Flynn, the owner of smart passive income, started his journey by saying- I am going to learn about affiliate marketing and teach you what I have learned. Now, he is a 7 figure online business owner.
You can also use this same approach, teach what you learn.
You don’t need to be an expert in anything, you just need to be just one step ahead of someone. If you are learning about marketing, teach someone who doesn’t know about it or interested in it.
If you are still low on ideas, don’t worry. Because million-dollar ideas are always right there in front of our eyes, it’s just a matter of finding it.
Take a look at life around you, what problems you’re facing right now in your life, whether that is a small thing like having trouble living in a small space or something big like dealing with obesity. Or maybe you have achieved the organizational skill to live in a small space or maybe you lost a lot of weight and now living a healthy life.
Great. In both of these cases, you have a better knowledge of something that many people don’t know about or need help with.
And that could be your business idea.
If you can save people from wasting time, money, or help them solve a dilemma, then you have got yourself a profitable business idea.
The best part is, finding a business idea will not cost you a dime.
2. Validate The Need
Simply, if somebody actually needs your product or service.
After you decide on one or multiple business ideas, you need to see if your idea is profitable or not. You need to validate the need for your service or product.
Like if you are have decided to start a health coaching service, you need to know if people actually need help with that. Or, if you have chosen a product to promote, you need to know if there is a market for it.
Many don’t consider this part, they become so blinded of their shiny new business idea that they don’t do fundamental research.
Through research, you should be able to answer these questions-
- Who will need the service or product?
- Why do they need it?
- What would happen if they don’t have it?
To validate your “The Need”, you will have to follow people.
No..no, you literally don’t have to follow anyone.
You have to follow people’s conversation, way of life, dream, pain, and joy.
How can you do that?
There are a lot of other ways you can validate your business ideas but as we are on a tight budget and looking to start in a short time, use these ways-
- Online Communities
From healthy living to collecting lego toys, there is almost a community for every kind of topic.
So, hopefully, it won’t be hard for you to find communities that talk about your topic/ business idea.
It could be Facebook groups, forums, Reddit threads, Quora questions, blogs, etc. These communities are gold mines to find ideas, validate them, and even develop a unique value proposition.
Your job is to participate, observe, and ask good questions. You can’t be blunt and ask a community of college students- “what they want?”. Because they want many things.
You have to look for or create conversations around your topic.
Collect as much data as you can and try answering the questions mentioned earlier.
- Finding similar businesses
This might sound strange to you if you aren’t familiar with the marketing world.
You need to find similar people or businesses like yours. Not to copy but to become familiar with the process.
Say, if you want to start a freelancing business, you need to find other successful freelancers and get familiar with their approach- how they got started? what problems did they face? and what kind of clients hire them? how they find their clients? Etc
Look for the language, tone, and content of those successful freelancers. Never copy them, because pretending can only take you so far. You should put your print in everything you do.
That’s will make you unique and uniqueness sell like fire.
3. Educate Yourself
To be successful in business you have to ready to learn and make mistakes.
Investing time and money in knowledge is the best investment in your business. Knowledge isn’t always free. But there are resources that you can tap into to get started.
Even if you are not a big fan of the book, try to read at least one book every two months. When we look at the habits of successful people with other good habits like waking up early, eating healthy, they have good book-reading habits.
- Bill Gates reads one book per week.
- Warren Buffett spends most of his time during the day reading.
- Oprah Winfrey reads one book every month.
It’s not that you can only read business, entrepreneur, or marketing related books. You decide what you want to learn.
So, join a book club or get a library card. Depending on where you live, it could be free or it could have some charges.
Plus, you can take your laptop with you and do some work at the library. Time well spent.
(Because we don’t know where do you live, we can’t add this to our budget.)
Another way to go about this, is by going to the all-knowing “Swami” (master)- “GOOGLE”.
That’s right Google. In today’s world, you can complete a full monograph/ thesis without going to the library. (which you shouldn’t do).
That’s the power of the internet.
So, go and get some education.
(minus the library card charges)
4. Figure Out Your Platform
To build an online business, you need a platform to run the business from.
It can be on social media platforms or it could be on a self-hosted website.
Running your business from a platform that you can’t control is tricky. So, putting everything on social media is a risky move. Because you don’t have any control over it. One good example that everyone is familiar with- the latest changes to the Facebook algorithm.
With the latest changes, a business owner who used to run promotions of their business on Facebook pages saw a great decline in engagement, traffic, and leads.
Needless to say, it’s safer to start an online business on a self-hosted website. Also choose one, no more than two main social media platforms to focus on marketing your business. Don’t fall in the trap of being present everywhere. You will get exhausted pretty soon.
5. Set It Up
Finally, create your online presence.
Buy a domain on your business, buy a hosting service, and create a website. There are multiple CMS (content management system) for you to choose- WordPress, blogger, etc. We recommend WordPress.
Read here why you should choose WordPress.
This is the most expensive step. A domain nowadays costs about 10-12 USD and hosting service (depending on the company) can be as low as 5 USD per month. But as far as we know hosting companies like Bluehost, Namecheap, etc has pretty cheap options.
It shouldn’t take more than 60 USD to have a basic WordPress site.
Then comes the design. Don’t think much of it, remember you don’t need to build an incredible business website here, the goal is to get started.
For the design, you can free WordPress themes or buy good themes from Themeforest and Creative Market, on average many good website themes are sold for 35-50 USD.
You can buy a theme or you can design your own website. There is a free website builder called Elementor, using which you can create your own website without writing a single line of code. It’s just a matter of drag and drop.
There are also some paid builders too like Divi, it has very professional looking themes to work with. With website builders, you can personalize your website to your heart’s content. But it might time consuming.
So, if you are not someone who will spend 3-7 hours on designing a website from scratch then go with themes.
Expenditure: $60+$50= $110
6. Start With Good Content
Now that you have a website, the next thing you need is content.
And they should not be just any content. Your content needs to be well planned and has to have a purpose. Without purpose, they are just words on the web. Nothing more.
From the first couple of steps, you should have a pretty good idea on-
- Who is your target market?
- Why do they need your service or product?
- Why would they buy from you?
- What would happen or what would they miss if they don’t use your service or product?
You can or should create your content answering these questions. What type of content you should create is totally up to your preference. It can be a blog post, video, short media post, pictures, etc. You can create multiple types of content to promote in different places.
Create good content. Always quality over quantity. Add personality to your content.
Develop a voice.
Good and specific content will help you build your authority and position yourself as an expert.
(as you will create your own content)
7. Take It Further
Okay, just to recap you got-
- Your ground research done for your business,
- You have a business website,
- Selected one or two social media platforms
- Know who to target and talk to
- Have an idea of what kind of content you want to create.
- Will start pushing them out.
Next comes ROI- Return of Investments.
You have to set SMART goals for your business. SMART as is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely goals. You can’t hope to get hired as soon as you post a blog post. That is not an attainable goal.
For a service-based business who is just starting out, your SMART goal should more or less look like this– I am going to get 2 clients this month from my social media or website by primarily doing content email outreach.
If you want to go with the affiliate marketing route then your goals would be different. It could be- I will optimize the website for SEO and start posting twice per week by promoting them in Facebook groups and twitter my goal is to get 1k-2k views to the website and grow my email list to 10-20 people.
(free email marketing software- MailChimp free till 1000 subscribers)
So, if we round up our expenditure, it comes to somewhere between $100-$110, give or take $20.
Can you see your dream of starting an online business coming true?
If this doesn’t convince, I don’t know what will.
Follow this step by step guide and you will be off to a good start.