Are you one of those people who get giddy when you find a good deal? I sure am. I’m still super proud of the lamp and two end tables I scored for my college apartment for a grand total of $5 at a yard sale! As an entrepreneur, it’s likely you are always on the hunt for a good deal. You have a big dream a little cash to get it up and running. I get it.

Most of us have been there. I have put together a list of 5 budget-friendly ways to help your business shine. Because we all know you are pouring hours into something you are passionate about – it’s time to let the world see how great it is. I hope you are excited about these as I am about scoring a good deal.


1| Use a Custom Domain

Cost: $12/ per year

What is it?

A domain is an address assigned to a website. A custom domain is one that you choose based on your brand. In my case, the custom domain is pineandpixels.com.

The Impact

In order to have a website that the public can access, you will need to have some type of unique domain pointing towards it. Often, free website builders will include their brand name in the URL as a default – a way for their company to gain more exposure. An example of this would be yourbusinessname.wixsite.com, where the company Wix includes their name in the domain. Over the years, these types of domains have become associated with less professional businesses. Custom domains can be as cheap as $12/year so businesses not willing to invest in one are perceived as less credible. Additionally, custom domains improve brand recognition – they are easier to remember.

How to get started?

You can connect a custom domain to pretty much every website out there – even the ones made with DIY website builders. To purchase your custom domain, you’ll need to find a domain registrar – I suggest GoDaddy.com. Domains will need to be registered annually (some registrars allow you to purchase a few years at one time) to be kept in your name.


2| Use a Custom Email Address

Cost: $6/month per email

What is it?

In the same way that a domain can be customized with your brand’s name, and email address can also be customized. This looks like ______@yourdomain.com. In my case, I use the email address info@pineandpixels.com. You can have multiple email addresses associated with your domain such as names. (ex. jane@yourdomain.com and john@yourdomain.com) 

The Impact

If you are starting small but have big dreams to grow your business, you’ll probably want to bring on help at some point in time. It makes sense to standardize your emails so the end of each email includes your domain. This is perceived as a more professional and legitimate business. Not to mention that it helps with brand recognition. 

How to get started?

Email set up and migration can get technical. To keep the cost down and DIY this I recommend Gsuite for Business.

Get 20% off the first year of the Gsuite Basic Plan with coupon code M9NUWLFDJ7MQAV6 for G Suite Basic Plan.



3| Skip the Watermarked Images

Cost: FREE

What Are They?

Watermarked images are the ones that have a semi-transparent logo or text across it (a watermark). They are copyrighted and require a paid license to use them. All too often small businesses don’t realize this and they use the image with the watermark on their website, social media or even printed materials.

The Impact

Considering that it is illegal to use the image without paying for it, watermarked images are not putting your business in the best light. Although you may not be familiar with the concept of watermarks and copyright many people are (likely some of your customers) and they may wonder at the legitimacy or quality of your business.

How to Get Started

Check out some of the free stock photo sites for commercial use like unsplash.com or pexels.com. Start a folder on your computer or on something like GoogleDrive or Dropbox so you can access it on your mobile device and save photos from these sites to the folder as you find them. Comb through your website and social media platforms to see if you have used watermarked images and need to replace them.

Related Post: The Legal Lowdown on Photo Usage


4| Create a Branded Email Signature

Cost: FREE

What is it?

A branded email signature is the block of contact information at the end of an email to provide the recipient with your information. It typically includes your name, title, phone number, email address, mailing address, website link and any other info pertinent to your business (social media links, tagline, office hours, etc).

The Impact

By branding this information, you are utilizing another opportunity to enhance your brand recognition. I suggest including your logo and/or headshot as well as your brand color(s). Every time someone sees your email they will see the visual elements that go with your brand. Consistency is key here. Make sure your email signature matches the brand you are portraying everywhere else to prevent any confusion. Not only are you reinforcing your brand but you are also making your customer’s life easier by keeping important information at their fingertips. This is one of those little details that shows you truly care about your customer.

How to Get Started

A quick google search for your email platform (do you use Outlook, Gmail, or something else?) will yield many tutorials on how to create and save an email signature. Remember to keep the font sizes and colors legible. You probably can get away with just one font and can utilize bolding and italicizing to help clarify the information.


5| Proofread Everything

Cost: FREE

What is it?

Typos, spelling and grammatical errors happen. Sometimes they are just a mix up of letters when our fingers are going too quickly or perhaps we don’t take the time to think through the context. Does anyone else still get tripped up on affect and effect?? As a small business, you WILL be writing something for your business. I don’t care if you are a llama farmer, cupcake baker or you hire a copywriter for your website … there will still be times you need to string words together for your business.

The Impact

Typos happen. Not taking the time to proofread is unprofessional and sloppy. Depending on your brand and target audience, there can be a time and place for intentional grammatical errors. Unintentional errors (I’m looking at you there with the awkward autocorrect error on your last Instagram post) reflect poorly on businesses. Errors make customers question your competency.

How to Get Started

Spell check is a great starting point but my absolute favorite tool is Grammarly. You can download a free plugin to check your spelling and grammar. If your not tech-savvy, just commit to reading everything out loud before it is published.




The bottom Line

Potential customers are forming opinions about your brand every time they interact with it. The best part about these tips? They are simple and affordable. Don’t give up on bettering your brand because of the price tag. I challenge you to pick two of these budget ideas that you can start implementing this week. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *