Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

Many small businesses self-fund to get started. Where should you spend money and where can you make savings? This week we focus on websites.


Ask – do I really need this?

Upon registering your ABN and business name, you can be inundated with offers of services for your business e.g. branding, website, SEO … Although these are typically necessary, it doesn’t mean they need to send you broke! Even some big tech companies started in a garage on a shoestring budget! Always query is this the right solution? There are few scenarios where someone needs to spend $20,000 on a website on day one – yet it happens (and they can be a dud)! Sometimes you will need to spend money, but don’t do it without due consideration.


Domain names

Your standard domain name should cost around $10-$25 per year. ASIC issued a warning about a company that sends what looks like an invoice for $120 for two years – do not pay!


Websites and hosting

I typically recommend WordPress for small business websites. WordPress and WooCommerce (if you need online shopping) are free, as are some themes, and even training. A minimal cost per month (cup of coffee) covers hosting (including free SSL security), so don’t think you need to go super expensive or down the Wix route, as there are other options. If your host doesn’t offer sufficient email, then consider G Suite as an email option for another coffee! When you’ve worked out what you actually offer, then consider spending on professional web design. Aim for progression not perfection!


Graphic design

Canva is a great tool for creating graphics both for web and social media, and even for print. You can obtain free images (called CC0) from sites like pexels and pixabay (the latter you can make donations to your favourites).


Balance is required

As a start-up consider where you spend your money wisely. Remember time is important too. For instance some advertising spend is required, but be careful where you use it!