Can I tell you something?
Two years ago, the things I read online made me think of ways I could use my knowledge to help Nigerian and African businesses get on the internet.
Considering my financial status and age at that time, I was like, if I ever discuss this with anyone, they will just laugh it off.
So I decided to keep quiet about it.
I needed close to 200 thousand naira to rent and setup a small office if I was ever to get started and avoid that question of “where is your office? ” Because here, people get to trust you mostly when you have an identifiable offline office.
There was no such money. I was merely a second year student trying to keep stuff working.
As at then, I’d already had a blog that was running online. After looking for alternatives on the internet, I found out that I could set up a virtual office with my website.
I got the site up and running with less than 10 thousand Naira. Overtime, I became a full blown digital agency, setting up other businesses online.
And then, today? It’s all history.
That’s my little story about how my website helped me start out my dream at over 90 percent less than what I normally would have used.
Actually, I have seen even bigger businesses today who started up their internet based businesses at 70 percent and even less capital because they chose to start online.
Now, this doesn’t mean that owning an offline office for your business is a bad thing to do.
This post is meant to inspire you and any other person who has an idea but without enough capital to get started.
And how to start an internet based business without breaking the bank is what you’ll learn in this post.
So here we go.
I’m going to show you 8 strategies on how to start an internet based business with 70 percent less capital.
I will also show you how you can set up your business to work for you, 24/7, even while you sleep!
Put on your seat belt and let’s get started.
1. Start without brick and mortar office. I’ve always had a thing for avenues to start a business without an office.
I mean there are so many people out there who would have been willing to start up great ideas if only they had a free venue to get started.
Yes. If not for the fact that this is how I started myself, it’s a fact most small businesses don’t have huge capital. So they will need all avenues to get started at the barest cost.
That’s exactly where your websites and online platforms come in handy.
I know I don’t have to mention a whole lot of businesses you can start without an offline office because I believe you’re already aware of the most common ones.
Businesses like mommy blogs, virtual assistant websites, eCommerce websites, and all sort of websites serving as virtual offices for real businesses
Most of these guys started without an offline office. Their websites was their office and everything they needed.
This has also been my story as an entrepreneur. Like I mentioned earlier, I started my business right here with my website.
Indeed, the internet has given people a chance to live their dreams in a way it would have been impossible 20 years ago. I’ve been a part of this and I feel you can too.
2. Integrate social media. One thing that’s critical to success as a small business is constant communication with your clients
It doesn’t only give you feedbacks on how to serve them better, it helps you build lasting relationships with your clients and ultimately a wellspring of incrased income.
Before now, it took a whole lot to get this done but right now, you can get this relationship started by creating social media accounts on platforms where your clients hangout. And then linking the account to your websites.
You can use platforms like this to conduct and get instant feedback on product reviews, polls and so on.
Done well, interactions with your customers through your website linked social media account can help you reduce cost and understand how best you can serve your target audience.
3. Organize meet ups without spending. As a business with a website, instead of hosting get together parties and physical meetup for your customers, you can get to organise these online.
You can set up a calendar for the event on your website and social media platforms, choose a venue and get to host it totally on the internet, right on your website.
Talk about webinars and they likes of it. You won’t have the need to rent venues.
Doing this has huge potentials in reducing your business cost.
4. Expand to hosting interviews and sending it to your readers free. With your established website, you can reach out to industry leaders host, interview them and share with your audience.
Done well, this builds credibility for your brand, depending on the person you interview. And the depth of insight shared.
In return, you can also get interviewed on the long run.
5. Forget blind marketing. Market to actual targets in need of your stuff. All you need is a good product/services, correct pricing and a compelling copy.
When optimized properly, your website brings in the exact audience you need. From there you can start telling them about your products.
Talk about using strategies like email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing etc. Your website gets you the audience you want, helping you to sell to them what they need. No guess work.
Let’s look at this example. I am a blogging coach. I teach people how to become outstanding bloggers.
One day, I decided to write a great post on how to become an outstanding blogger and post it on my website.
On your own part, you’re looking at taking your blogging to the next level. So you decided to find out “how to become an outstanding blogger”.
You searched for it on Google then luckily, you landed on my website.
After reading the rich post. You learned a great deal. Then still on my website, you saw a free ebook offer I made just to say thanks for visiting my website.
You entered your email and got the ebook.
Over time we start talking through emails. I send you posts that delivers huge results for you.
Once in a while, I send you offers to join my paid coaching so you can really get this to the next level. And then you joined. And I won a new client.
Comparing this, to traditional media advertising where you don’t really have the exact data of your preferred customers.
Advertising on your website will not only reduce the cost of running your business, it will get you the exact audience in need of what you’re selling.
And they are 50 times more likely to buy from you because they already have need of the products.
7. Become an industry leader for free. With a cool website, great content and smart marketing strategies, You don’t have to be a university Don or have PhD before you can become a thought leader in your industry.
Just know the “ins” and “out” of your niche. Help people benefit from it. Show up consistently and google will announce you to the world.
8. Flexible working hours at reduced cost. Let’s say you’re in the business of selling books for instance. Getting your business on the internet can help you increase your working hours.
Yes. You get your website and books set up on automation. This way, people can always check out your stock, place orders or even make purchases at the time your offline store is closed.
Imagine how this will help you drive growth without increasing expenses.
You can use automation to operate on a 24 hour work day, 7 days a week without having to pay anyone some extra cash.
You’ve heard about that stuff folks talk about passive income/making money while you sleep?
That’s one of the advantages of owning a smart website for your business.
When done well, your e-business can function without you being around, 24 hours a day. It can stay open for as long as you want.
With automation tools like Axiom sales manager, you can automate quotes and proposal creation, active conversion can optimize your sales cycle, contacting your clients only when they are ready to buy.
Tools like these and many more takes the work off your hands while giving you ample time to take care of other things.
Well, this is where I want to take a break on how to start a smart online business with 70 percent less cost.