You can launch your business with only $65. This will include purchasing a WordPress premium theme and hosting for 1 month. The WordPress theme will only be a one-time purchase (whew), and hosting will be $4.95 for the remaining 11 months.
***Note: You can start your business idea with less than $5, but I’ve factored in time vs. money to the equation. What this essentially means is that after trial and error through my own experience I’ve found it to be more challenging to go the “affordable” route. Let me explain why.
I went through major headaches with customizing my theme where I spent months just working on my website! You want to avoid this at ALL costs, especially since you want to validate your business idea as soon as possible. I also ran into an issue where I broke my site various times (yikes), and if it wasn’t for me having backups I would have been devastated. So a free theme isn’t “free” since you will pay with your personal time.
Now with this in mind, this article will cover an effective approach to kick-start your business idea in a “lean” way, or as some entrepreneurs would say “bootstrapping”. After reading this article you can tell your friends you’re “bootstrapping” a business ?
If you’ve stumbled upon this article chances are you have the desire to take action on a business idea you’ve been holding off for too long. The problem many entrepreneurs face (including me) during the early stages of business development is maintaining a positive attitude after each failure. A great resource to have for this scenario is a book called “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. Ryan explains how our obstacles in life can be our key to success.
Right from the start, you have to keep in mind that you will fail. There’s no way around this, and because of this, you should change your perception of what failure is. Each time you fail you should view it as a learning opportunity, and come back with a more creative approach.
Before we dig deeper let’s briefly go over what other obstacles hold entrepreneurs back from starting their business:
They don’t know where to start
Have low cash
Assume they need a 10-page business plan
You need to be passionate about your business idea from the get-go. Why? This will ensure that you have a great idea who your target audience is, where to find them, but overall get momentum going. For example, you shouldn’t start a Facebook Ad business just because there’s a lot of money to be made in this niche.
You may be strapped for cash I get it. You do need some capital to get started, but it’s completely attainable. “But, I have to pay my lease, and my blah”. No excuses please because we all have them. If you look hard enough you’ll notice on areas you can cut down on such as Netflix, Starbucks, going to the mall, or going to the bar with friends every weekend. To some degree, it’s ok to enjoy all of these activities, but just make sure you leave room to launch your business idea.
Finally, you DON’T need a 10-page business plan unless you want to be featured on Shark Tank, or impress other angel investors. Seriously all you need is the motivation, and $65 to kick start your own business idea.
Ok so enough of me rambling on what may hold you back, and let’s cover how you can get launch your business idea today!
The required Tools
Here’s a breakdown of the required tools and their pricing:
- Bluehost: $4.95 per month for 12-month “Basic” tier plan.
- WordPress Premium Theme: $45-$60 (one-time cost) varies on theme and features (I use Avada, but you can check more themes HERE.)
- Facebook Page for your business idea. (FREE)
Crafting the perfect business idea from the start
Aside from the tools mentioned above, you need to be clear on what you’re passionate about. I’ll cover this in more detail in a different article, but for now here are the basics on how to get started.
Note: DO NOT skip this step as it is the most important one.
Grab a blank sheet of paper and write down your vision. (as specific as possible)
For example, “I plan to be run a business that allows me to be financially free generating $6000 in monthly passive income. I would like to be location independent and have at least 4 different ways to monetize my business idea. ”
Next, you will write down 3-5 things you know you’re passionate about. (Here a few examples)
- “I love working with people and motivating them to accomplish their goals.”
- “I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and growing an audience.”
- “After struggling in finding a job for many years I’ve learned what it takes to stand out in front of big crowds. I now want to help others show off their true potential, and land their dream job.
You’ll then brainstorm with the list of ideas that you’re passionate about, and see which passion aligns the most with your vision.
So you’ve found an idea that you’re passionate about. Give yourself a pat on the back because it takes some people months or years before they realize they were in the wrong business. If you feel like you’re not 100% there it’s ok just proceed with your best business idea for now. You can always change, and anything you learn along the way is yours to keep. Now before we set up Bluehost you need to find an awesome domain name.
Crafting the perfect domain name
You can use a plain sheet of paper, but I like to combine my blank sheet of paper with a neat online tool. This tool is called Namemesh, and you can find it HERE.
What this tool will help you do is easily view what domain options you have available. So for example, if I was starting an SEO business I would type in the search bar “SEO for dentists”.
Before you start using this tool I recommend that you use your blank sheet of paper to jot down all of your name ideas (5-10). After you’re done writing these down then start plugging 2-3 keywords on Namemesh to see what your options are. Your goal is to find “.com or .net” domain that identify your brand best. (personal preference).Make it easy to remember so when your target audience tries to search your website on the web they don’t have a hard time finding it, or worse land at a different website (yikes!)
Researching your domain on the web
This isn’t necessary, but I highly recommend it. This will save you possible headaches in the future. I once purchased a domain without doing research. After I installed WordPress I had found out a few days after that there were 2 other websites who had a closely related domain name.
For example, my initial domain was passion-preneur.com. When I did a simple Google search on the web I found passionpreneurnetwork.com & passionpreneurs.com. Although my initial domain was unique and was why I was able to purchase it I decided not to keep it. Here’s why. If I moved my traffic to passion-preneur.com some people may or may not include the hyphen. This could cause me to funnel traffic to my competition (not cool!).
Even if I was to reroute all my traffic to my site I would have to compete with these URLs in page ranking. This is where SEO comes into play. I’ll dig deeper on SEO in another post, but for now, all you need to know is that SEO is the process of optimizing your website pages to rank high on Google. So for you to avoid this mistake follow the following steps to do your research.
Type your domain name into Google and view the results.
As your browsing down your search results are you viewing domains that are closely related to yours? For example, if your domain name was seoforfinancialadvisors.com and the other domains were: seoforfinancialdvisor.com and financialadvisorseo.com then these would be too closely related. You should repeat this process until you find a domain that’s unique enough to not damage your website traffic.
If you decide you still want to pursue a specific domain regardless your competition then consider the following:
- Install MozBar on your Google Chrome browser
- Once the plug-in is installed and activated enter your domain name without “. com, .net” and view the following results populated by Google.
- This tool from Moz will calculate the page authority for each page on the web. It goes from a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the absolute authority.
Note: The MozBar Tool will calculate from 1-100, but essentially you can think of it as 0-14 is a 1, 15-24 being a 2 and so on.
What will determine if you will pursue your domain name idea is if you view the first 3 page results with scores less 34. What this means is that you can eventually outrank these pages. You can obviously outrank any page, but it’s not worthwhile to spend months or even years trying to outrank companies that have the budget to compete.
Setting up Bluehost
You’ll first want to head to Bluehost. Once in the Bluehost homepage select the big green “get started now” button, and you’ll notice three different plans. Select “Basic” for now, and in the future, if you want to host multiple domains then you can bump up to the “Plus” or “Prime”.
- In the “Sign Up” page select “New domain”, and enter the domain you’ve brainstormed with Namemesh. You should see that it’s available.
- Enter your personal information.
- Choose the following for “Package information”: Basic 12 month, uncheck everything else.
- Now enter your payment information
- Don’t add any of the extra packages on the next screen and complete your order (don’t close browser session yet)
- You’ll receive an email confirmation once the order is complete.
- On the next screen select “create your password” button. Go ahead and create a strong password and jot this down somewhere safe.
- On the following screen, you might get a pop-up asking if you want assistance setting up Bluehost. Select “I can do it myself” or close option out.
Congratulations! You’re halfway there.
To recap you should have completed the following at this point:
- Have found a business idea your passionate about
- Brainstormed creative domain names, and chose one that won’t jeopardize your traffic.
- Opted-In for Bluehost’s $4.95 Basic plan
In my opinion setting up Bluehost is more time consuming than installing WordPress. You will have to be logged in Bluehost to perform this process.
- Select the “Hosting” option in the main menu.
- Under the “Website” section select “Install WordPress” and click “Get Started” when you view the green button on the following page.
- In the “Select Domain for installation” select the dropdown and click on your domain name.
- Hit “Next”.
- Check all required options and select “Install”.
- Wait 5-10 minutes for WordPress to install & when installation is complete select “View my credentials”.
- Write these down somewhere safe where you can easily access them.
- Login to WordPress with credentials via the link at the confirmation page.
Note: Going forward you can log in WordPress via the link provided in the credentials.
www.domainname.com/wp-login.php (Enter your username + password)
Login Bluehost and select “WordPress Tools” on Main Menu. Next on the left sidebar select “Users”. You will view a drop-down menu under “Select site”. Assuming this is your first time setting up Bluehost you should only see your original domain name. After it is selected click on “Login”, and a new window will pop-up.
If you’re still reading you should feel proud! You have completed the following:
Installed WordPress for your domain.
Understand the different options you have to log in the backend of your site.
You’re now 90% done with launching your business idea.
Installing your Premium Theme
There are many great themes out there so do some research to see which one is the best fit for you. I personally have tried Avada and it suits my needs. It has a wide set of features for you that enable you to customize your site almost any way you’d like.
If you want to view other great themes you can check them out HERE.
Tip: It’s good to find a theme that’s a good fit for you, but the last thing you want to do is spend hours or days looking for the “perfect” theme. Yes, you will be investing some money up front, but if you don’t like your initial theme you can always change down the road. The key is to launch your business idea.
Ok, so after you’ve purchased your WordPress theme, now it’s time to install it. You should receive a link via email with your purchase confirmation along with the theme files.
To install your WordPress theme, make sure you first log in to your WordPress site. Follow the following installation steps:
- From your WordPress dashboard, you want to select “Appearance” on the left menu and then click “Themes”
- At the very top, you should see “Add New”, go ahead and click this option.
- Select “upload theme” button at the top of the screen.
- Click “Choose File” and upload both parent & child theme.
- Finally, make sure that your “Child” theme is activated.
- Select “Appearance” on the left menu and then click “Themes”
- You should see your theme here now. Activate your child theme (i.e. “theme name child”)
You’ve successfully installed your WordPress theme!
Tip: It’s important that the “child” theme is activated to avoid code being overwritten. If you were to activate the “parent” theme, then you run at risk of getting your code overwritten each time WordPress pushes a code update. If this doesn’t all make sense to you it’s ok as long as you have your “child” theme activated.
I promise the next steps will be much easier 🙂
Creating a Facebook Page
I don’t want to repeat what’s already out there so feel free to view this post where you can easily learn how to create your Facebook Page HERE.
After you’ve created your first Facebook page start making daily posts starting as soon as possible.
Here are some ideas on what to post about:
Relevant Meme pictures with quotes.
Lead your audience back to your website by posting blog posts.
Another tip is to view your competition.
See how often they post and what they post.
Always be original (don’t plagiarize), but follow what’s working.
How do you feel? You should feel proud because you’ve started what most “wantrepreneurs” don’t. You’ve successfully brainstormed a business idea that you’re passionate about, and created a website for this idea. This is only the beginning, but you’ve made a big accomplishment.
Last Piece of Advice
So you may be wondering “Ok so I’ve created my site now what?” To keep things simple you have to provide awesome content. Create content that people would pay you for, and do it for free. If you didn’t skip the most important step, which was choosing a business you’re passionate about then this won’t be a deal breaker.
This is where the easy (easier) part comes into play. Create blog posts consistently, and I mean 1-5 times each week. Link back to your blog posts from Facebook. For example, if you post a new article every Wednesday post this link on your Facebook page. This will enable your website traffic to grow as well as your Facebook audience.
I challenge you to start a business you’re truly passionate about. Life is too short to wait for the perfect business idea or to be scared of failure. I’ll end this post with a favorite quote.
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”-Jim Carrey
I hope this post inspired you to launch your business idea? I’d love to hear your feedback on the comments below.