One month ago, I started my side hustle This Jessa Lewis.
And I did it with virtually no investment.
My main job is in SEO/Growth and formally Social Media/Biz Management for a multi-million dollar empire on the Gold Coast of Australia and I've always wanted that role to co-exist with anything that has evolved on the side. The reality however of having a fully loaded side and main hustle is that sometimes things have to give a little to ensure everything continues to work cohesively. So, when I went live fo real with This Jessa Lewis (my Social Media Consulting business), I dropped down to 4 days a week at my main hustle.
All of a sudden I was balancing the perceived investment needs of a new start up with the hole that I needed to fill in my general weekly pay check. And that has been confronting.
Thankfully, I am quite tech savvy and comfortable with doing things myself quickly and efficiently (i.e. graphics, website, socials, integrations etc.) so I've lucky that I haven't needed to get guidance or pay for people/services to assist my business. But, I do know a lot of people struggle with this and are therefore never able to proceed efficiently with their businesses because that is an area they DO need to invest in, from the get go.
So, here are the few things that I did find myself spending money on and, what people might expect to see come up for them (outside of general set up and integration) when they venture down the startup road:
1. I purchased a URL for my website for $0.99. It would have cost $15.00 but I added it to cart, filled out my details and then sat on it. About 4 days later, after a whole lotta other emails offering various discounts and reminders - I received an email with a coupon to purchase the URL for ... $0.99 #tricknumber1
2. I purchased two Australian Business Names for $36.00 each. This was not entirely necessary since you CAN operate without purchasing a business name. However if you don't buy it, it can get a bit messy down the road as your business grows and, if someone else buys the one you want!
3. I ordered business cards from Vista Print and got sucked in with making it shiny and getting a pocket holder for them (which promptly broke upon delivery - boooo) and so that ended up being $44.00.
4. I thought I'd signed up to the paid version of Canva - where I design my graphics (quotes/review images/banners etc.) but I just double checked and I'm actually using the awesome free version.
5. I signed up to Repurpose - a service which, amongst other things, transfers your videos from Facebook to YouTube for you and I think this costs about $8 a month but I'm still in my free trial period (where you get the first 4 videos transferred for free!).
6. I bought a cute little octopus hand bag sized tripod, a regular tripod and a selfie light for when I'm live-streaming <- a big part of what I do with my side hustle on Facebook and Instagram is live stories and live videos. I got these off Amazon for the grand total of $30.00.
7. Then I got super paranoid about everyone seeing the same bra straps of mine when I wear singlets or off the shoulder tops on livestreams and so decided that I had to invest in additional lingerie .... for the business. Hahahaha.
8. Also, it being 11 months after moving up our new house on Queensland's Gold Coast, I started setting up my home office. I bought a desk off gumtree, new fabulous cushion (again, live-streaming essentials, haha) and an ever critical highly important fake pot plant. All this totalled $70.00 and I can write the desk off at tax time. Hell yeah! In fact ... side note ... my tax accountant told me last time that since I work on my laptop a lot out in the sun that I should also buy a fancy hat and sunglasses and then write those off on tax too! #winning.
9. Lastly: Training/Eduction/Learning/Mindset work. I do think it is ESSENTIAL to continually up skill and evolve whether starting a new business or not and, with this in mind - I've been part of a 90 day hustle coaching program with Side Hustle Coach and all around badass Ruby Lee and an 8 week fitness and health course with the amazing Kelly Rennie. However, I would've been doing these regardless of the new hustle.
10. And intention setting/business goal planning/dear diary moments required a new journal and pen for $8.00 - from Kmart again.
So what's the lesson here? Aside from that I clearly need to expand my shopping beyond Kmart (and on this note I did get a Money Mindset book off Amazon for $24 to address my abundance and money management issues that often result in my only shopping at Amazon or Kmart) ...
The lesson is that even here, most of this stuff wasn't even a critical business expense and, I could have still proceeded and launched and gone live and made it without ANY investment.
The first sales I had for This Jessa Lewis came from simple blog posts I put up on Facebook saying - Hey, these are my thoughts, this is what I'm doing, this is what I'm offering, message me for more details.
> My clients pay me via my unique PayPal ME link (which is free)
> My clients book their sessions via the free basic version of Calendly which integrates with my free gmail email address that I've set up for the business.
> I sent clients their business online reach/presence business analysis and recommendations via a branded pdf that I then email them/send as a Facebook Messenger attachment.
So - how much does it cost to set up an online business?
It doesn't have to cost you ANYTHING.
At the very least, you might 'need' to spend $100 and maybe $20 or so a month ongoing.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the basic new business investment requirements or, how much you spent on your business(es) when you first launched. Was it worth it?
Were there things you would've done differently?
I'm always up to connect and answer any questions- so reach out! And feel free to find me on my social medias too. Plus, if you're ready to take the next step with your social media/online business expansion then hit me up about my services and how we can get you and your business elevated :)
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