Start Your Business With $500


The mogul mom and her three kids

In 2004, I brought two baby blanket inventions to market and spent $54,300 on:

$15,000 custom e-commerce site; $2,000 custom logo; $1,300 stationery and business card; $2,000 merchant account; $1,000 ProfNet PR Leads; $12,000 publicist; $17,000 advertising; $4,000 Google AdWords.

I’ll never do that again! These days you can start a business for about $500. As revenues increase, you can justify additional spending, but you don’t need to pour thousands of dollars into your operations until you have the revenue to justify it.

    1. Postpone the custom website. Start with a blog on WordPress or Blogger. Templates make it DIY easy. Sell your products and services on eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist. Market your services on or They have built-in audiences and transaction tools that send money directly to a PayPal account.

      Cost: Transaction fees on product or service sales.


    1. Design within reach. To design your logo, use crowdsourcing services like and and have dozens of options to choose from.

      Cost: About $500


    1. Go to market. Pitch journalists nationwide by signing up for HARO. Add an email opt-in to your site to build your sales list using MailChimp (DailyWorth does!). Set up Google Analytics to track visitors, content, traffic sources and more.

      Cost: $0


  1. Grow it! Use free services like Picnik (photo editing), HootSuite (a social media dashboard), Feedburner (RSS feed creator), Clicky (real-time analytics), Survey Monkey (easy surveys), sales pipeline CRM (contact management) and Writeboard (sharable web-based text documents) to grow your business without spending a cent.

    Cost: Free until you reach a certain level of usage.

Ramp up. Tell us how you managed start-up costs.


Heather Allard is a mother of three and the entrepreneur behind The Mogul Mom. An expanded version of this post originally appeared on The Mogul Mom.