How much does it cost to run an internet business?

A lot of people wonder how much does it cost to set up a business online. This is dependent on what scale do you want your business to work and what are you actually going to sell. Facebook took off really well during initial phase and later required additional investment to take it to the next stage. Initial expenses are needed no matter what you want to do over the internet. There are some basic requirements for setting up an internet business.

Basic hardware

You may already own a modem and a computer. However, you need to consider the cost of internet access and computer if you wish to set up an internet business. This could turn out to be $500 for a laptop or computer. Let us assume you be required to spend $200 per month to access the internet

Website name/Domain name

Establishing a presence on the internet can be done for free by utilizing blogging platforms such as Blogger or WordPress. However, these services are aimed at people who wish to share their experiences and thoughts with the world. You would require a domain name for running a business on the internet. Domain registration can be done to own the rights for a .com domain name for a year. It costs $10 to renew annually . For other domain kinds, the price may vary.

Website hosting

You will have to store all the files that would make up your website somewhere. This is when a web host server comes into the picture. Several web hosting options are available including dedicated server and shared web hosting. Having a dedicated server can prove out to be expensive when compared to shared hosting. You will have to spend around $60-$100 monthly for utilizing shared hosting services. This seems to be a better option during initial stages.

WordPress and WordPress Themes

If you don’t had the expertise to program a site, then you can use a platform such as WordPress to build your site. The straightforward easy to interface can help you to build a site that is search engine friendly. Two free options are offered by WordPress. The shared hosting option is presented to people who are not powered by a web-hosting solution. This is designed for people who wish to run personal blogs. WordPress also offers a “host-it-yourself” option that permits the user to develop and manage a site on a personal web host server. This is something that new businesses can deploy. You can have a homepage, about us page and a lot more offered by this option. There are several plug-ins that permit you to customize the pages and also permits the addition of videos and photos to your WordPress site.

Building a business asset and list

You would have to build a client mailing list as part of your business plan. You will have to build two lists, customers and potential customers, in order to remain in touch with them and be aware of any updates or offers to them. You would require email list management for this purpose. An auto-responder software can prove out to be beneficial and it costs less than $20 per month for 500 email contacts.

Building a list is essentially a great asset for your business. The basic costs for setting up a business can fall in the range of $1500 to $2000. However, you would be required to spend more as you expand your operations. New tools are being developed all the time with improvements in technology. You may be required to employ them in future for making your internet business a continued success.

Additional costs

The above mentioned basic costs are not the only costs that are incurred while planning to setup an internet business. There may be additional costs based on the business model that you choose. You would spend some money in generating traffic with the aid of paid advertisement tools. This would add up to the cost. Proper training in the form of workshops, courses and forum memberships can also add up to the costs as this would help you to  service and expand your customer base further. You would also be required to spend money on availing legal and accountancy services.

The initial investment may not be high when you are planning to run an internet business. However, with time the costs are going to add up. There may be invisible costs which you may not be aware of while modelling your business plan. Electricity bills, telephone bills and a lot more may add up when you start putting your dreams into reality. You need to set an additional margin while taking the costs into consideration.