I have seen the same problem many times: people signing up for countless business opportunities then quitting as soon as they are asked to invest any money into it; and people who end up with huge credit card debts because they’ve thrown unlimited money at any system that promises to help them earn huge six-figure commission cheques within a year. Then there are the successful people who are willing to accept that it is essential to invest money into their business up to a set budget if they are to become successful. So how much should you invest into your business.
YOUR OWN DOMAIN
The most important investment you should make is in your own domain. Every business needs a website to display their wares to the online world. There are many websites on the Internet that will offer you free space on their domain but this is not recommended if you want to portray a professional image to your visitors. One of the problems with free websites is that they tend to show adverts on your page which can make it look messy and unprofessional. It also gives visitors the impression that your business can’t be very good if it has to rely on free web space.
Another problem is branding. It is important for you to build a professional image to show your visitors that you are a successful and trustworthy person. A poorly designed page on a shared website with many adverts and a shared domain name (URL) will make you look like someone who doesn’t really care what their website looks like and probably not too bothered what their visitors think. Therefore you should invest in a hosting package which will give you a personal domain name of your choosing which reflects what you are promoting along with the tools to create a professional looking website.
There are many good hosting companies such as Just Host that will give you everything you need to build a professional website. They can cost up to $20 a month depending on the package you choose.
There is a famous saying amongst marketers which is “The money is in the list”. By building a mailing list of customers you can make money over and over again from the same people just by sending them a promotional email. Professional marketers use autoresponder tools which allow them to capture the email addresses of prospects who are interested in their products. Now they have a mailing list that they can email with either a single broadcast or a selection of follow up letters. This is important as the customer might buy something from you but never return to your website in the future.
Autoresponder tools are great if you are promoting a newsletter or an affiliate program because they come with a built-in splash page creator. This means you don’t need to buy a domain as the autoresponder allows you to build a single page with a promotional message and provides you with a link to display the page through your chosen marketing campaign. They also provide hit tracking tools so you can see how many people have actually clicked on the link inside your email. This will help you discover how effective your marketing campaign is.
The most popular autoresponder tools are Get Response and Aweber which are packed with many powerful features. The prices of these autoresponders start from around $19 a month up to $160 a month depending on how many subscribers you want them to capture. Personally I would recommend Trafficwave which is $17.95 a month with all the basic tools you need and unlimited subscribers.
How much you invest into your business depends on what you can comfortably afford each month. Your own domain and an autoresponder tool are the two most important investments you can make and should be part of your monthly budget. So an invest of $100 a month could leave you up to $70 left over for advertising costs after paying the monthly cost for the domain and autoresponder.