What You Should Pay For and What Can Wait When Launching Your Online Business

By Melissa Batai

When you're just launching your home based business, you'll likely feel financial strain. There are so many ways to spend your money from creating a professional website to marketing to attending conferences and networking. Each item can seem equally important. However, if money is tight, here are some of the important components of your business that you may want to first address.
Two Great Ways to Spend Your Money 

A professional website. When new clients land at your website, the overall look and feel can attract them and inspire confidence, or it can deter them from hiring you. If you can create a professional website, definitely do so, but if that's not your forte, this is one area where you'll definitely want to spend your money. Keep in mind you can also try to barter services with a web designer to keep your costs lower.

A professional headshot. You've likely seen the LinkedIn profiles that either don't have a picture or have one that is much too casual. A good professional headshot can convey to potential customers that you are a professional and will work hard to meet their needs. If you can't afford to hire a professional, perhaps you have an amateur photographer in the family or among your friends who could work with you.

Two Ways You Shouldn't Spend Your Money. . .At First 

While marketing and conferences are important, they can wait until you have a more steady financial base. There are plenty of ways to market for free online. Just check out a few good books on viral marketing to learn some basic concepts.

Likewise, there are many ways to make connections online. Later you can attend conferences and further develop your connections. While some seek sponsorship to attend conferences, there are definite drawbacks to this approach.

When you're first starting out, it's easy to think you need to pay for everything right away. However, prioritizing can help you ease any financial strain you may be experiencing. 

Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1) blogs at Mom's Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and focuses on cutting expenses, budgeting, paying down debt, saving money and once a month cooking.

*Photo by velkr0 via Flickr.

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