Doing business online isn’t exactly expensive. At least, it’s not if you use a bit of common sense about what type of expenses you rack up. But most people just breaking into the game are interested in getting going as cheaply as possible; for many, that’s the allure of doing business in this arena. Not to mention many start out rightly uncertain about what isn’t a scam and what isn’t…
Here are a small handful of simple little tricks you can implement to cut the basic costs as you build your online empire.
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1. Search for Coupon Codes
You probably already know that many online products and services have a “coupon code” option on the checkout page. If you came from a website that provided a special promo code, you can enter it here and get a discount on the purchase.
And online discounts can be very considerable. It’s not all that uncommon to see a product that sells for hundreds of dollars getting a 50% discount from a promo code – I’ve even seen 90%!
Yet, for some reason, a lot of webmasters don’t go through with the trouble to hunt these codes down before making a purchase. It’s quite simple really…just go to Google and enter in “(Name of Product) coupon code” (note: obviously, you don’t need to use the parentheses or quotation marks).
You should be doing this every time you make any purchase online, whether it be for a new domain name, an eBook, or some high-powered software program.
2. Leverage Reseller Hosting
Are you hip to reseller hosting? It’s really something you should look into if you plan to run multiple websites online.
How does it work? Well, for instance, you can rent a basic hosting package from HostGator, one of the most popular web hosts out there, for just $3.95 a month. And that allows you to host one website. But with a HostGator Reseller package, you can host (hypothetically) unlimited websites on your hosting plan, and it only costs $24.95 a month. Not bad, right?
Reseller hosting is also more secure and reliable, making it a win all-around.
On top of that, you can even turn it into a nice little income earner by renting out web space to other online entrepreneurs. Some webmasters go as far as to offer free web designs for small businesses and then sit back to collect a monthly payment. A small handful of these can possibly cover all your online business costs.
3. Split the Costs
Why not partner up with a fellow online marketer (or maybe even a couple of them) and split the costs of different resources online?
Found a marketing course you absolutely have to have? Get a buddy to split the fee with you and then you can both use the same password. You can do this with web-based software, online service accounts, and eBooks as well.
Just do your own homework – some online companies frown on this sort of thing, so make sure it isn’t explicitly forbidden in the Terms of Service.
4. Pay Annual Rates for Services
Many online services offer a discounted rate if you pay for a year in advance instead of monthly. It’s smart marketing on their part because it guarantees money in advance, but it can also work out in your benefit if you’re 100% sure you’ll be using them for a year.
Just think it through and don’t make an impulse buy you’re going to regret later.
5. Regularly Unsubscribe
One of the most effective marketing strategies in the online marketing world is to get customers to sign up for a residual payment. Not only does this mean a steady income for the merchant, but many online consumers fail to unsubscribe from online payments, even if it’s for a service they never use. They often don’t think about it until the payment has already gone through, and let’s face it, for some, online payments just don’t feel as real.
Don’t be that person!
In fact, you may want to set a date every month when you go through and unsubscribe from all subscriptions you don’t get value from. When in doubt, get rid of it.
6. Always Comparison Shop
The online marketplaces are extremely competitive, and while you may think you’ve found that product or service that answers your problem perfectly, have you even taken the time to see what else is out there? Slow down a little bit and look around – the internet is built for comparison shopping.
Not to mention that open-source software is widely available now; sometimes you’ll even find there are free solutions out there that offer just as much value. This is especially common with WordPress plugins.
In any case, at least do some research to see if there are more viable options at a cheaper ticket price somewhere. And don’t forget to take coupon codes into consideration when comparing the final cost.
7. Set Reminders for Trial Periods
Another effective marketing trick used online is the trial period. How many times have you purchased a product or service with a 30 – 60-day money-back guarantee? Probably quite often; these pitches are standard now. But here’s another question – how often have you actually remembered to get your money back when the merchant failed to meet the set expectations?
If you’re like most people, possibly never. This is one of the reasons the marketing strategy is so effective.
Here’s an idea. Set a notice in your Google calendar, or use some other tool that will remind you when the end of the trial period or guarantee is approaching. Then, if you haven’t received the promised value, you can return the product and get your money back.
Don’t take advantage of these offers in an unethical way, but getting your fair usage out of them can save a lot of otherwise wasted money.
Some of this might seem like penny-pinching to you, but one of the marks of a successful businessperson is someone who analyzes their costs rationally and doesn’t throw money away. Building these habits from the beginning will create a mindset and approach to business that can go a long way towards increasing the bottom line and making your future in online marketing more assured.
As I always say, this is a real business, so act like a real business owner. Any simple (or complicated) tricks you use to cut the costs of running your internet business? Share with the rest of us.