Can You Build a Business For Free?

small business

Have you ever wondered if you could be more successful if you only had more money? I’ve been a self-employed copywriter for twelve years. I have kept my overheads super low however in truth have needed to spend in order to grow my businesses. As the saying goes, you do need to spend money in order to make money, and if you’re not willing to do this then the rate of growth you’ll experience is going to be low. The key is being savvy with your spending in order to build a business that is successful.

Free Growth is Possible But Slow

There are countless ways to grow your brand while staying relatively frugal, but at the end of the day, you need to spend a little bit of cash in order to get yourself out there. I went years without a website (other than this one), didn’t go to networking; I didn’t have business cards even. My business grew and I was happy with the rate of it given that I have very small children at home. It could have grown faster however it would have cost money. As it was my spending wasn’t zero but very low to start with.

Without spending any money, you’re not even going to have your own website domain. Instead, you’re going to have a subdomain with an existing company, and this is going to affect your credibility and also your exposure. People aren’t going to remember your website very well, and you also won’t be able to monetise a website like that very efficiently. So yes, free growth is possible in theory but very limiting.

Studying is the Best Way to Grow Your Career

You don’t need to go back to college or school to get something like an MBA with engineering focus or even to learn new skills such as music production. The fact is; you can learn pretty much anything on the internet if you know where to look. Paid resources are often the best place to learn because they’re created by professionals that want to teach and pass on their skills. The best ROI on spending I’ve done is spending on self-education and I don’t regret a penny of it.

There are a number of great resources online, free courses, forums and more. I’ve made the most of many of these but have to say the courses I have undertaken and the skills I have learnt which have the biggest impact on building a business for me have been paid courses. These aren’t necessarily copywriting courses, or SEO digital learning opportunities either. Back in January I completed a mindfulness diploma. Putting this learning into practice has helped me both personally and professionally. 

In Summary

The moral of this story/blog post? If you want to build a business without spending money on it, you can. You will have to set your expectations accordingly though. I’m still frugal on my business spending. I make sure that what I spend on my business has a good return on investment for me. Examples of this include membership to our local business association, excellent web hosting, a web developer and my accountant.

Whether you are looking for full-time blogging work or are looking to build a business that’s entirely different, you need to budget for necessary expenditures if you are going to build your business and reach your goals.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

The Year of Less

If you’re looking a book purely about decluttering and spending less you’ll be disappointed in this book. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders is so much more than that. I tried reading that cult favourite book which asks you to take every item you own and hold it in your hands, see if it sparks joy, then throw it out if it didn’t. That book didn’t spark any joy so I threw it out. The Year of Less has its own electric current and I struggled to put it down.

Cait Flanders is a well-known blogger and freelance writer living in BC, Canada. I’ve been a blogger since 2006 and a freelance copywriter for almost as long and so can tell you, it’s rare to see anyone write so openly, honestly and so compellingly about alcohol dependency, consumerism, mental health and facing and overcoming it all in a brave and inspiring way.

Cait tells us what led to the decision of starting a year-long shopping ban, how the challenge was set up, what she could and couldn’t buy and we live with her through that year, and beyond. We see events unfurl in her life that threaten to break her, we look at things in her past that have shaped who she is today (or during the period the book was written about) and we look at where she finds herself after the year of less, and beyond. This is a personal journey for Cait that she generously decided to share with all of us and in doing so offers inspiration to countless others struggling with the pressures and expectations life likes to heap on top of us.

There are many books out there which tell of how a person has reinvented themselves or found the “true them”. Some are tongue in cheek, some hilarious and some rather dark. The Year of Less offers a lot of this and yet is somewhat unique in that it is written in a refreshingly matter-of-fact way.

This is a beautifully designed book that is easy to read (you don’t want to put it down) which glows with a truth that’s hard to deny. If you’re not sure what I mean by that read it. There’s a little of all of us in Cait Flanders and I for one wish there was more of Cait Flanders’ bloodymindedness in me!

If I was the sort to hand out stickers and give people star ratings The Year of Less would get a solid 5/5.

Find out more about Cait on her website and purchase her book from all major retailers (you won’t be sorry).

Hay House Publishing were kind enough to send me this book to read and review.
My thoughts about the content are entirely my own.

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