Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, you don’t need to pay much money upfront to start an online business. Unless you sell physical products, that is. Let’s make something clear from the beginning, though: To start an online business, you’ll have to be ready to invest, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be lots of money. Instead, you can invest time!

How to invest time instead of money

3 Steps you need to take to plan your finances and your time before starting an online business

Step 1.

First of all, take some time to answer these questions:

  • What will your business be about?
  • Who are your potential customers?
  • How will you promote your online business?
  • What costs will you have in the first year?
  • When will you launch your business?

By the way, if you’ve never written a business plan and these questions are new to you, feel free to use this interactive business plan.

Step 2.

Make a list of every cost you could drop for a couple of months. For example:

  • How many subscriptions do you pay? Yes, including Netflix, HBO, or Disney+! Do you honestly think that you will have time to binge-watch a TV show?
  • And what about preparing some yummy home meals on the weekends instead of eating out?
  • Or brewing your own coffee instead of getting that daily coffee latte… It might sound boring, but don’t get the end goal out of sight. It’s just for a limited time!

So, yes, I want you to write down all subscriptions and regular costs that you have and discard what you don’t really NEED. Write down the result and how much extra money you can save. And do it. Every. Single. Month.

Step 3.

Once you know how much money you need to start your online business, you’ll have to figure out how much time you need to invest and how you will use that time!

Write down the times at which you can work on your online business. Try to find at least 10h per week. It’s not that much. Really. What about from 8 to 10 pm from Mondays to Fridays? There you have 8 hours. Again, think of Netflix… If you don’t want to stop watching your favorite shows, at least leave them for the weekends (but only if you’ve accomplished the goals you’d set for the week). And don’t get me started on Instagram or TikTok… Just don’t check social media until you’re done with your work. Believe me, it’s time-sucker #1!

If you’re working, you won’t probably have much time to work on your business, but the good news is that you’re earning money, and that’s something you should profit from. For instance, if you need to take up some courses on business or technical stuff, do it while you’re still working.

Get ready to switch from little time and more money to more time and less money during the early phases of your new business.

Meet the Work for You Planner

Step 4

When the tasks get bigger and you’re all set up, try to combine your “official” job with your new business as a side hustle. You could try and work part-time or leave your online business for the weekends or the evenings, but this can’t be a long-term solution. Going part-time as the first step toward freelancing is much more doable and realistic.

Step 5

Once you begin making money, you should start thinking about quitting your job. If you don’t think that money you’re making is enough, try to fine-tune your business strategy. It’s yours. So feel free to change whatever you want!

Start Your Online Business without Going Broke!

As you see, the key to starting your online business without spending too much money. Consider time and planning your allies, both to become aware of your timelines to launch your business full-time and to spend as little money as possible!

Alicia RG
xoxo - Born to Freelance
Born to Freelance

PS. I have NOTHING against Netflix. I actually love it! πŸ˜…

How to invest time instead of money to start an online business

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