Running a business from home is very easy nowadays as websites can bring the world to your door. Self employment ideas with a low start up capital often have only a very small budget for website design and hosting and so it pays you to make sure that you are only purchasing what you want. Most website hosts have a variety of packages and you can start with the basics, to get yourself up and running with a web presence, and then you can add features later. This all assumes that you have enough computer experience to build a basic website; if you need to pay someone to do it for you, then it is best to have it more or less what you want from the start as alterations will cost you more.
As with so many issues when starting up a business, talk to people you know to find out what their experiences are. Always bear in mind that people are more likely to complain than praise so don’t give too much weight to the negatives if there are as many positives coming from different people on the same provider. There are so many web hosts out there in cyberspace that you need to look carefully at what they are all offering and make sure that their big selling point is actually something you feel you need. If you are a mum working from home in a one woman business, you don’t need dozens of email addresses, at least at the beginning. If you don’t sell from your website, you won’t need check out facilities. In fact, there are ways to sell from a website without checkout, by using paypal for example, so be careful before you sign up for unwanted features.
If you want to have a go at building your own website, look into the hosts which provide you with basic templates and the facility to just use Word rather than complex computer languages. These look good and can provide you with easily enough webspace for quite an extensive site and are not usually very expensive. There are some very good deals to be had in this crowded market, so shop around before you buy. Most will give you at least a month’s free trial, so you can find out whether you are likely to be able to manage the build yourself or whether you will need help. But a website these days is pretty much essential for successful sales marketing, so get one up and running as soon as you can.
Some web hosts are quite small businesses in the scheme of the internet and people worry what would happen if they went out of business. It is an easy matter to point your website at another provider if the worst should happen, but if your host does go down, be careful to cancel any standing order or direct debit you might have with them. An increasing problem online these days comes from spurious ‘free trials’ which are unsatisfactory; the customer then finds months down the line that the monthly payment that they set up in good faith has been made repeatedly with no other input from them.