1001 Newbie - Friendly Tips by Bob McElwain - HTML preview

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What's It Cost To

Start An Online Business?

It's all a function of that extremely precious commodity called time. When the alternator in your car quits, you can fix it yourself or turn to a mechanic. Working the Web is no different in this regard. Doing it yourself saves bucks, but may not be cost-effective. And it can be a serious mistake if you lack required skills.

If you want your site to become a significant source of income, judicious use of time is mandatory. No one person can do it all. And what you need but don't have time to do, will cost.

Going Into Business

If you are starting a new business, you must file a DBA (Doing Business As statement) or the equivalent in the county or state in which you will work. After filing, it may need to be published. Then you need to open a bank account. Costs vary from state to state. In California the minimum is about $50 for the DBA and $10/month for the bank account. Also consider any state or local licenses required.

If you need an accountant, costs go up. Turn to an attorney, and they may skyrocket. But you may need to consider these options because of the products or services you will market, just as in an offline business. You may need to consider liability insurance. Incorporation may provide even more protection.

HTML vs Web Page Editors

You must understand the basics of HTML, the language in which web pages are written. There is a time cost here. But at some point, most will find it more effective to turn to a web page editor to save time. Costs range from about $50 to $200. (Click here for notes about The HTML Editor. You may never need more power than is available here.)

Building Your Site

Hiring someone to put a site together can cost thousands of dollars. More important, you may find making changes later brings significant added cost. It is best to build your own pages, for then you have total control.

But the template used throughout the site is so critical to success, consider hiring an artist to get it right. Not the site, just the basic page template. Once the site is established, it can be very cost-effective to hire out the creation of new pages and updating. A good page template with original art work can run anywhere from $200 on up, but $500 should cover even special needs.