How to start an online business for $100

Is now the right moment to put your long-lingering business idea into practice?

Set Up a Switchboard

If you're expecting a lot of incoming phone calls, an answering service might be worth the investment: You'll seem more professional to customers, and you won't be roused from bed at the crack of dawn by callers who don't understand what time zones are.

153311-ringcentral_original

You can have a live answering service (similar to the one your doctor uses) for $20 a month--or less, if you have minimal incoming calls. Another option is to do it virtually: For about $10 a month, you can get an 800-number-based system such as RingCentral that answers calls with an automated greeting, routing calls to you (or other employees or contractors) or to voice mail depending on button presses.

If phone calls aren't a big deal, consider a second landline or a dedicated cell phone that you can use for business: Adding a line to either is easy, and with a cell phone you can even share minutes under a family plan.

For a Little More: Get a Virtual Office

The world doesn't need to know you're working in your basement, so many business owners turn to a P.O. box for the official address of their company. A bare P.O. box, however, doesn't seem all that professional, and you can't receive UPS or FedEx shipments there.

Another option is a virtual mailbox service, such as that of Regus. With a virtual mailbox, you get a physical mailing address and someone who will sign for packages from other carriers. The catch is that people sending you mail still have to put a PMB code on the envelope, though it's less conspicuous than with a regular post office box. You pick up the mail once a week, or the service forwards it to you at cost. The plans cost $100 to $150 per month.

You can step up from there to a more serious arrangement: A virtual office setup gets you not just mail service but a live receptionist who answers the phone however you like, plus access to a physical space with offices, conference rooms, and even videoconferencing facilities. Fees can range from $250 to $325 a month.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christopher Null

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?