What are the costs of setting up an online business?

Apart from the cost of having Internet access, the costs of setting up an online business will greatly differ depending on the type of business that is being set up.

Do you need web hosting or will you market through a Twitter or Facebook page? If you need hosting, will you be using a free hosting service, or a paid hosting service? If you plan on using a paid hosting service, will you be using a cheap hosting account on a shared server, a VPS or a dedicated server? What type of computer will you need? What type of software programs do you need? Do you need special software or scripts to run your site? Do you need a web designer?

What you need and how much money it will cost depends on what your business idea is. A good way to work out what your set up costs will be is by carefully examining the business idea that you may be interested in.

For example, Suzie wants to sell home made jewellery to the general population. All Suzie might actually need is an ebay seller account where she can advertise her products. Suzie doesn’t need a hosting account, a web designer or any special software to run her online ebay store. Suzie might need a camera to show photos of her products, but nothing too extravagant.

David on the other hand wants to set up a classifieds site where people can post “wanted” and “for sale” advertisements. David might need to register a domain name, set up a hosting account and install a “Classifieds script” that will allow people to sign up and post ads. David might also need web design software to create banners for his site or he might hire someone to design the site for him. David’s online business idea might cost him anywhere from $50 to $5,000 depending on how he chooses to approach it.