If having a decent website is key to the success of your start-up – and it should be – but you are restricted by a limited budget, you need to think outside the box to maximize return from your budget.
In today’s globalised world there are many creative solutions to that problem.
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For example, there are sites such as elance.com where you can access a worldwide pool of freelance web developers who can build your site.
The entire process is managed in the cloud and you could have programmers around the world working on your site while you sleep.
In taking a budget approach like that the key is managing the process and the control, communications and direction of the project require your careful guidance.
Other issues such as language barriers and cultural differences also need to be managed but if you have the necessary skills and can find the right freelancers to collaborate with, you can put together a site quickly and on a low budget.
For people not comfortable managing a group of developers another option to get your site made on the cheap is to purchase an established and basic site already available on the market then test whether there is demand for your products online before investing heavily in your own website.
There are many product offerings available online – such as volusion.com – where for as little as $19 a month you can purchase an all-in-one eCommerce solution and have your online store with a shopping cart up and running very quickly.
We used a similar shopping cart at Milan Direct when we started out five years ago and only invested heavily in a new website when demand for our products was proven.
If those strategies do not appeal you can always get innovative and if you know a great web developer you can offer equity in your start-up in exchange for site development.
I have met a few entrepreneurs who have made such deals work really well for both parties.
There are many strategies one can employ to stretch the web development budget – you just need to get creative.