Do you dream of starting your own online business, but worry that a lack of technical skills will turn the whole thing into a nightmare?
It’s not an uncommon fear. But it’s a fear that’s based on a common misconception. The idea that you need to have strong technical skills in order to launch a successful online business is simply untrue. The reality is, you can get a business online without learning to code, and without breaking the bank to hire a web designer.
Julia Elliott Brown, founder of crowdfunding consultancy Enter The Arena, is the perfect example of an entrepreneur who hasn’t let a lack of technical skills become a barrier to success.
“It can be a bit scary,” she explained.
“In the past you would assume you would have to get someone technical to build your website but actually if you know how to create a word document or a PowerPoint presentation, you know how to do drag and drop, you can actually build your own, quite straightforward website very, very simply. Itâ€™s not that frightening.”
Enter The Arena’s website was created using the 123 Reg Website Builder, and Julia has been impressed by just how easy it was to use.
“Even though I have run lots of little businesses, I canâ€™t code at all, I know nothing about HTML, but I do know how to take an image and resize it and little things like that.
“With Website Builder you donâ€™t even need to know how to do that. You just literally drag and drop. Take a template and just customise it.”
So what advice does Julia have for someone who wants to start their own business, but isn’t sure they’d be able to get a quality website without any hassle?
“Donâ€™t be scared. Itâ€™s not as scary as when your car has broken down and you have to take it to the garage and the mechanic says ‘oooo thatâ€™s going to be very, very expensive’.
“Thatâ€™s what happens if you go to a web build agency, they will charge you a fortune for something you could do yourself.”
She also urged anyone looking to start their own business to take concrete steps which will turn that dream into a reality.
“If you have a dream for setting up your own business and you have an idea, the way I would start is just getting it down on paper.
“By getting it out of your head and onto paper, and thinking about how could I possibly make this dream a reality if I wanted to, thatâ€™s the first step. Get it down on paper.
“A business plan is what you need but donâ€™t be intimidated by the idea of it being a business plan. Itâ€™s just about getting your thoughts down on paper.
“Start small; you donâ€™t have to launch a multibillion dollar business from day one. You can actually make some small steps to make a product, try a service, do something small.
“Just get out there, start doing something in a small way without taking huge risks, you donâ€™t have to leave your job, and start getting some feedback from customers. Once you start doing it, it starts to snowball.
“If you are getting good feedback you will be encouraged and it will feel less of a risk. If you have got a good idea, and you are getting good feedback from customers, it isnâ€™t a risk. It doesnâ€™t have to feel like jumping off a cliff without a parachute, it can feel like a walk in the park.”
Want to get started right away? You can check out Website Builder here.
Finally, if you want to improve your digital skills, then take a look at Online Business Training from 123 Reg. It’s free and covers some crucial areas, such as online marketing. And, of course, there’s no need to master anything too technical.