How Much Does Starting An Online Business Cost

How Much Does Starting An Online Business Cost

Your business may not be 100% reliant on website sales but i can guarantee if done correctly, your website could generate you a lot of traffic and sales. In this post i will give you the typical cost for hiring/outsourcing certain tasks and also the amount of time it would take to do these tasks yourself. Startup businesses always need to spend as little as they can until they are fully established with a regular client base and income.

I’m not going to lie to you, launching a successful brand and website can be expensive and/or very time consuming. If you are no willing to put the hours in then you will not reap the benefits. Lets get started.


Your company identity is vital in any successful business. It’s not as straight forward as just picking any name and running with it. Your brand needs to be short, memorable and relevant to your product if possible.

Come up with a list of as many amazing names as you can think of and be sure to think outside the box, be creative. From that list you need to research the availability of the below. The worst thing you can do is pick a brand name that is already out there!

  • Check if your domain name is available (both and .com).
  • Check if the Facebook and Twitter usernames are available.
  • Google your brand names to see if anything comes up (negative reviews etc).

These checks would of significantly reduced your list (hopefully not all of them). With the list you have left over, run a poll by asking as many family and friends which one they like best. The trick is not to tell them what your business is but try and get them to guess what it is through your brand names.

Now you have your brand name you need to purchase as many extensions of your brand domains, eg,, .com etc. All the major extensions. Always buy your domain name in your name, not through a website design or marketing company.

Next you need to secure your Twitter and Facebook usernames be setting up these accounts. Don’t worry about putting anything on them for the time being. Do the same for ALL social media accounts you can find.

Your logo. Companies can charge a fortune for building logos and you may think you are creative enough to build one yourself. Trust me you’re not! You need the correct software to export different file extensions of your logo.

I would suggest using Fiverr for your logo design. The people on here just customize existing templates from your design brief. The truth is, you will never really see another logo like yours even if they use the same template.

Your logo needs to be clean, uncomplicated and easy to remember. Do not go over the top with the design.

Once you’re happy with your proof, make sure you get all the vector files from the designer (.eps, .ai, .psd). On Fiverr this may cost you a little extra but you need these files to create a varied brand identity.

All the below costings and time are approximate. If you see a * next to a price it means the fee cannot be avoided. Cost and your time is laid out as followed – £outsourcing cost / your time doing it yourself.

  • Brand Name Research = £0.00 / 5 Hours
  • Domain Names = £20.00 * / 0 Hours
  • Social Media Setup = £0.00 / 2 Hours
  • Logo Design = £25.00 / 0 Hours

Website Design

A website has to look professional, modern and clean there’s no compromise with this! If you want visitors and sales, this is a must. You have various free page builders available such as Wix but i suggest using WordPress.

WordPress gives you all the functionality your business requires and the ability to edit/updates the pages yourself. You have 2 choices with building a WordPress website:

  1. Hire a company to build the website.
  2. Purchase a theme and build the website yourself.

Option 1

Depending on the online business you have, this can be very expensive. For example, for a basic 10 page website this can cost £500+. An eCommerce website can cost anything from £1000 upwards. The benefits of using this option is that you are leaving the main part of your online business in the hands of professionals. All you need to do is wait for them to finish building it once you supplied them with a design brief, content, logo, images etc. The downside is it will cost you a lot.

Option 2

Building a website yourself can be very time consuming. You can purchase amazing themes from ThemeForest for around £50. These themes come with demo data. This means you are able to install all the pages, settings, layouts, content, images etc (the same as you see in the live demo) and you can edit this demo data yourself.

There are plenty of WordPress tutorials around and every theme on ThemeForest comes with documentation and support.

  • Website Design (option 1) = £500.00+ / 5 Hours
  • Website Design (option 2) = £50.00 / 30 Hours

Hosting and Website Maintenance

Every website needs a hosting package. Hosting is where all of your website files are stored to allow them to be displayed on the internet. This is also where you create your email addresses (

There are loads of hosting companies about that all offer the same thing. We have found Hostgator to be one of the best and cheapest although their customer service can be pretty poor (1+ hours wait times on their live chat).

Website maintenance is where a website is closely monitored daily to ensure it is performing to its optimal best and visitors have the best possible browsing experience on your website without any problems. Companies like SixtyMarketing provide both hosting and website maintenance package to keep your site secure and running smoothly. This is an optional extra, especially with new businesses, but its always best leaving technical work in the hands of the professionals so your site is constantly live, secured and backed up.

  • Hosting = £9.95 per month * / 0 Hours
  • Website Maintenance = £14.95 per month / 0 Hours

Internet Marketing

This is where the costing and hours really start adding up! Now you have your branding, social media, website design, hosting and website maintenance up and running, its time to start getting online traffic! Just because you have a website, it doesn’t automatically mean people are going to find it on Google. Below are the most common methods to gain traffic and Google rankings.

SEO (Search Engine Optimsation)

SEO is where you optimise web pages to perform well for certain keywords on Google. Every website owner needs to research their keywords for what they would like to rank for. Each web page should have a different set of 2/3 keywords. There are keyword research tools such as Moz’s Keyword Explorer which will help you get the best keywords for your business.

These keywords then need to be applied correctly in to your web pages. There are literally 1000’s of SEO guides and 98% of them are absolute garbage. Here are a list of reliable SEO guides:

Hiring a company to perform your SEO can be very expensive and the chances are they will not even get you ranked anywhere near the first page on the search engines. A lot of people have been burnt in the past using SEO comapnies and have spent literally £1000’s so be careful!

  • SEO = £200.00 per month / 10 Hours per month

Blog Writing and Marketing

Regular blog posts are a great way to receive traffic, social media followers/likes and backlinks (see below). You cannot just put any old rubbish on to your blog, the quality has to be exceptional and better than whats already out there for a specific subject.

With a new website you should be looking to blog 1500+ words twice a week. This will help establish yourself quicker on the search engines. You can hire a blog writer but the quality will not be anywhere near as good as coming from an expert in your industry, such as yourself.

Once you have published a blog post, it’s important you get it out there in front of the right people in your industry. Here is a list of websites to submit your blog posts to. I also suggest spending some time building your own niche list of websites relevant to your own industry.

  • Blog Writing & Marketing = £400.00 per month / 15 Hours per month

Social Media

You need to publish daily to all your social media accounts. Building up a following can take a long time. You need to ensure you’re only publishing quality posts. Using a scheduled posting software like Buffer (free) will save you a lot of time. Make sure you use relevant hashtags to be found.

Social media companies use software like Buffer so there really isn’t any need to outsource this work as its a huge cost.

  • Social Media = £100.00 per month / 5 Hours per month

Link Building

Building quality links is the backbone of any website ranked on page one! Unfortunately for you, there are so many companies out there that perform spam link building techniques that they will probably get you kicked off Google, not ranked!

Having your link on a high quality, trustworthy website isn’t easy to achieve but this is the only way you should ever build inbound links. Here is a good link building tutorial on hour to correctly build backlinks.

Paying a company to build your inbound links is very costly and the chances are the links they build will all be completely useless.

  • Link Building = £500.00 per month / 15 Hours per month

Whats the Total Cost For Outsourcing?

The total cost for outsourcing all work to do with your business online comes to:


Whats the Total Cost For Doing The Work Yourself?

The total cost for perform and learning all work to do with your business online yourself comes to:


The approximate time you will need to spend each month is 65 hours (16 hours per week).

As you can see, you you are prepared to work hard and put the long hours in to get your online business off the ground you can save an absolute fortune each month!