Eight Ways To Start A Creative Project Or Business Idea For Under $100

by / ⠀Funding Startup Advice / October 8, 2012

Source: Natalie on Pinterest

If you’ve decided on a new idea that you just must unleash to the world, you’re probably thinking about these key things:

– How do I develop and ship it in the least amount of time
– How do I effectively build and market it for the least amount of money
– How do I make sure it’s going to have a big impact on hundreds of people

The great news is, it’s all entirely possible. In fact we’ve never had a better time than now to create project and products within days, on a tight budget, that we can spread far and wide.

Social media, outsourcing and online tools are the new age entrepreneur’s armour and weapons of mass construction.

I like to think of them as your allies in marketing, lean startup and productivity, as well as your source for inspiration, information, and education.

However there’s also the often overlooked power of mentors, masterminds and a support team to ensure you succeed.

So how do you combine them all, to ensure you get that new idea off the ground and actually shipped, for under $100?

1. Hire A Guru

Often the last thing you think about when starting something new or building a business, is hiring an expert, so I’m putting it here first. The time and money they save you though, is more than worth their fee. Imagine having someone who’s succeeded at what you’re trying to do, tell you exactly what you need to do now, to achieve the same. When I started my online business I wish I had done this to save me from the countless hours I spent doing all the wrong things, and trying to do everything myself. If $100 gets you half an hour of their time then so be it, but it will likely be the best investment of your life.

2. Enlist a Mentor

If you feel you want to put your $100 elsewhere, then instead spend a couple of dollars on buying a coffee in return for picking a mentor’s brain. Decide on who it is you admire and could learn a lot from, and who would be able to advise you on your latest endeavor. Then invite them to coffee or lunch in return for accessing their brain. The clarity and insight you’ll gain on what you’re doing will be so worth it. Make sure you follow up and thank them, and keep them up to date on your progress. They’ll serve as allies and support in the future too.

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3. Unleash a website

There are no excuses not to get started in creating your online home within hours. You can buy a domain name through Namecheap for less than $10, get monthly hosting for under $5 from Hostgator, install a professional WordPress theme from a range of templates on ThemeForest for under $50 and find a contractor on elance for $35 to install and tweak it.

4. Buy The Best Business Books

Most books average around $10 on Amazon these days. Look up the best selling books in your area and order as many as you can for $100. Download them to your Kindle and get reading. Make it your daily ritual to read 1-2 chapters every morning and night, and take copious notes. Then put those notes into action. Or, if you’ve spent that $100 on setting up a killer website, then go to your local library instead and consume the books in peace and quiet.

5. Tap Into Crowd Funding

You could take your $100 and head to Indiegogo or Kickstarter, or any number of crowdfunding sites and ask people to turn that into $1,000, $10,000 or any amount you think you need to make this dream idea come to life. Spend the money on having a quality video produced that tells a compelling story as to why people should step up and invest in your idea and believe in your dream. It’s a great way to test your idea with the market too and get creative in terms of the rewards you offer in exchange for their money. It also gets you to focus on the core benefits of what you’re doing and why that matters to others. I wrote this popular post on how to create a kick ass crowdfunding campaign and gave examples of people who had.

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6. Invest In A Product Or Program

If you’re a freelance software developer, perhaps the best use of your $100 is taking an online class to extend your skill set and offer more expertise to your clients. If you’re a copywriter, perhaps buying a product that focuses on an area you’ve been wanting to improve is a great investment. Or if you’re requiring a more focused blueprint for taking action and want to be held accountable, find a mastermind group or join a program like $100 Change. When you’re part of a group, program or learning environment the benefits and pay off multiply.

7. Spend It On Social Media

If you’ve got an online presence already, including a website, Facebook page and YouTube channel, then why not invest in some advertising to start the ball rolling, and get traffic and referrals. Facebook ads are highly targetable, effective when done right, and can fit your budget. Consider setting your daily budget to $10, honing in on your exact target market demographics and trialing 3 different ad designs. Send them to your FB page or a squeeze page on your website and track the results. If it’s working and converting into qualified leads or even sales, then invest some of that back into more adverts. Use YouTube advertising to get initial views on a new video and create some buzz. Use advertising to enhance your community building efforts and the work you’re doing already in providing massive value and great content.

8. Buy A Creative Vacation

Don’t underestimate the value in creating space for yourself to come up with your master business plan and strategic marketing actions. Spend your $100 on small get away to a country cottage, or a lovely hotel or a short day trip to a fresh location that inspires you to think creatively and come at your business idea or project from a new perspective. If it’s a place without Internet or mobile access, even better. Research shows that we are most creative when disconnected and in a new environment that stimulates our senses and thoughts. It could be the most productive day or short vacation ever in terms of the results you produce, and progress you make.

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So what next?

At the end of the day, these ideas are all designed to empower you to start, and take action. Too many brilliant ideas or projects are shelved for all the wrong reasons.

As you can see you don’t need a massive budget or months of preparation work to unleash your genius to the world.

You just need a vision, the determination and focus to see it through, the right tools to make it happen, and the support from mentors, coaches and a community to ensure you stay motivated and on track.

How are you going to spend your next $100 to start something special?

Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur who shows you how to build a business you love from anywhere, using online tools, social media and outsourcing. She’s on a mission to ensure you create freedom in business and adventure in life. Her brilliant initiative $100 Change is designed to get you to start your dream project or business today. You can learn from 100 change makers like Chris Brogan, Michael Port, Amy Porterfield, Jonathan Fields and Danielle LaPorte, over 100 days for $100, and then have the opportunity to have your money given back to you ten times over with a scholarship to get you to launch. It’s an entrepreneurial movement.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.