In this post I‘m going to take a deep dive into something that every solopreneur can relate to: expenses. Specifically, I‘m going to break down all the costs involved in running an online business.
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Website Building and Design
I’m using Showit for my website and I’m in love with it. It’s a website builder that allows for limitless design creativity and you can purchase amazing templates from top-notch designers or create your own site. Showit also hosts your website so you don’t need to pay for that separately, just for your domain. It’s 408$/year.
I bought my first Showit template from Tonic Site Shop* and while their templates aren’t by any means cheap, they are super beautiful, and I think the best in the market! If you’re using Showit, I highly recommend them. They also have Canva layouts, sales page templates and more. Their website templates will set you back between $1,000 and $1,500 but they are definitely worth it. So that’s not an ongoing expense but I still wanted to mention it.
I use Ionos to host my domain and pay $5/month. I also plan to buy a few more domains for future projects so that will go up a bit.
I‘ve been using ConvertKit* for my email marketing since 2016 and highly recommend them. Their automation features have made email marketing much more manageable. I pay $790/year.
Domain Email with Google Workspace
I use Google Workspace as my email service. Google offers great features all for a reasonable monthly fee, $6/month.
Dropbox has been my trusted cloud storage service for file sharing and collaboration for years. I sleep a lot better knowing that all my hard work is saved in the cloud, so even when my trusted MacBook would die on me or get stolen, I could just log in on a different device and keep on working right where I left off. I pay €120/year.
Zapier is a tool that allows you to automate repetitive tasks by creating “Zaps” that connect different apps and services. It can help you streamline your workflow and save time by automating tasks such as data entry, file management, and social media posting. I pay €228/year but it’s on my list to check if I really need it or if the free plan would be sufficient.
Calendly has made scheduling appointments effortless for me, reducing the back-and-forth to schedule meetings. I pay $103/year.
Zoom has been my go-to platform for video conferencing, offering reliability and a range of features for meetings and webinars. These days I mostly use the meeting feature also for masterclasses and workshops I’m hosting and don’t upgrade to the webinar plan, because I like the more personal feel. I pay €139/year for the Zoom OnePro plan plus €37/month for the cloud storage. I use the cloud storage to save recordings of my client calls and then I can simply send them the link and delete it after 12 months.
Finance & Legal
I’ve used Invoicely for invoicing for years, and it has simplified financial management for my online business. I use the basic plan and pay $96/year. I know there are other options to create invoices that are cheaper or free but the truth is that I’m so used to it and I don’t want to have to figure out how to use a different tool. It also has features that I really like, like integrations with PayPal and Stripe.
I pay €64/month for my accounting firm here in Spain.
Xodo Sign (formerly known as Eversign)
Xodo Sign is my choice for electronic signatures and I use it for client contracts. It’s secure and user-friendly, making it easy to sign and send documents online. It‘s $96/year.
When it comes to design, I’ve been a big fan of Canva for years. It’s perfect for creating visually appealing graphics, social media content, and marketing materials. I recommend upgrading to the Pro plan for extra features like resizing and access to their extensive stock photos and template library. I pay 120$/year.
I’m using Buzzsprout for hosting and distributing my podcast. It’s very user-friendly, has nice features like a customizable player that you can embed on your website and offers valuable analytics. I pay €17/month, including the digital remastering feature that automatically enhances my audio.
Loom is a tool for video messaging, I use it when I want to answer a question and instead of writing it all down I quickly jump on video and then share the link. I signed up for the yearly plan for $96.
I just started using Descript for podcast and video editing, with its unique transcription and editing features, and I love how easy it is and that it does things like removing filler words with just one click. I pay $144 for the yearly plan.
I pay €69/year for Microsoft office.
I use Vimeo to host videos like for testimonials or workshop replays, and the course videos for the blissful biz hive that’s now on Skool. I pay €69/year.
Teachable* is the course platform I use and recommend. I’ve been with them since I launched my first online course in 2016 and I’m still very happy with their platform, they are reliable, offer all the features I need and are reasonably priced. I pay $1,428/year.
With Skool you can put your courses, communities & event schedules together in one place and I’ve been using Skool to host my membership The Blissful Biz Hive. It’s $99/month.
I’m paying to Meta Verified on my Facebook profile and Instagram account for safety reasons. A few months ago someone copied my Instagram account pretending to be me and scam my followers which was scary. So I decided to bite the bullet and now with the blue verified badge my followers know it’s me. It’s expensive though, €24/month.
And that’s it for expenses! For 2024 I expect to pay around $9,000 for tools and software, or $750 per month on average.
Wherever possible I use the yearly plan because normally you save around 20% and it’s also less work for my accounting, less invoices and receipts to handle.
On top of that I pay for my team, for learning, online courses and masterminds, paid advertising and my own salary of course.
Well, there you have it, guys – the real deal on what it costs to keep this online biz rolling as a solo entrepreneur.
Sure, the numbers might seem daunting, but each expense is an investment in the future of my business.
The truth is you can’t build a six-figure business without spending on tools and expenses. Most platforms have free plans but there are always restrictions and when you grow and have a certain audience size, that won’t cut it anymore.