If you’re dreaming of doing this online biz thing, but are finding funds are tight, let me just say I can totes relate!

If you didn’t already know, I started this little empire of mine back in college.

So needless to say, baby business Paige was on a serious budget.

(Like, couch-cushions-change-level budget.)

I knew I wanted to invest in myself and grow my business, but it can be hard to know when, where, and if to spend those precious few dollars.

Looking back, there were a few really smart investments I made that are a big part of my online business success today!

So if you’re wondering what your next steps are for starting or scaling your business, here’s what worked for me…

4 smart investments to make when you want to start or grow a business

Smart investment #1:

Online Courses

I took a course from Marie Forleo, the goddess of online business, when I was just getting started.

Now, I’m not saying you all need to run out at take her course (I mean it was an amazing course) but it was the perfect fit for me and my business and I left it feeling confident I knew what the heck I should be doing when I sat down to work each day.

It totally fast-tracked my business and kept me from wasting time learning hard lessons or spending hours/days/weeks on the (manyyyyyy) non-essentials.

So my #1 advice when it comes to building and growing a successful business is:

Regardless of what field you’re in, find the expert on that topic, and then learn from that person. 

Smart investment #2:

A legit website

It’s pretty impossible to have a successful online business without being, you know…online.

But it’s not enough just to have a website.

This is your online storefront, your business card, and eventually how people are going to be paying you so it better be legit.

The good news? You can totally put off hiring a professional web + brand designer.

Now, professional designers are 100% worth their weight in gold, and this is definitely an investment you’ll want to make down the road.

But even if you’re completely sold on your business idea, it is going to change a lot during those first few years. 

At this stage in your business, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to drop all that money on getting that fancy website and brand made up, only to have to pay more later to have it updated.

It’s 100% possible for you to DIY a professional-looking website. The website building platform that I use and highly highly recommend is Squarespace.

New to Squarespace? You can sign up for a free trial here and I also got ya a little off the price! Use code PAIGE10 for 10% off your first year. (Yes, that’s an affiliate link!)

No more paying to keep someone on retainer!

Another key benefit to DIY-ing your site when you first start out is that you now have the know-how to update your site on demand.

No more having to wait weeks until your web designer or developer is available to change out your photos or update your info.

Ps. If you could use a little hand-holding in the whole website-building tech department…

And wish there was someone to walk you through all the things that need to live on your site in order to get it to clicks visitors into actual paying clients and customers then I invite you to check out my Square Secrets Course!

Okie dokes, so besides your fab new Squarespace skills, you’re going to need one other thing to make that website of yours look legit…

Smart investment #3:

Professional stock photos

Photos can make or break a visitor’s impression of your website, and there isn’t a designer out there who can deliver a wow-worthy website using really terrible photos.

But there’s no need to run out and book a photographer just yet!

You can do pretty fabulous things with your website using stock photos, and they are a little easier on the pocket-book when you’re first getting started.

Here are a few places to find totally profesh-looking quality photos:

Pro tip: I tend to always buy from the same few photographers to keep my website images looking cohesive!


Mindset books

If you’re like me, another struggle you might be facing in the early stages of your business is confidence!

“Is this even possible for me?”

“Are people going to think I’m a fraud?”

Business books are always a good idea, but it’s at this specific point in your business I would recommend picking up a book or two to help you with mindset.

Here are my fave mindset books to recommend:

Books are v. affordable compared to many of the investments you will make in your business.

You literally get a person’s entire lifetime of knowledge wrapped up in a neat little package that you can digest in just a few hours of your time…

Which is why books are always a no-brainer in my mind!

For more books I recommend reading to get in a super rah-rah place mindset-wise (and just for getting your together in general):

Oh, and want more on when and how to invest in yourself depending on where you’re at with your biz?

I did a whole podcast on it: 028 The smartest investments to make at every stage of your online business.



Past posts you’ll love…

For More on finances

For more on business growth

For website Inspiration

For more on mindset

4 smart investments to make when you want to start or grow a business