10 steps to web start up

It’s never been cheaper to start a business in the history of man. Especially on line. Startup guru Guy Kawasaki proved it with his $12,000 example for www.trumours.com – But startup blog says you can do it for pretty close to zero. In the spirit of sharing here’s the startup blog list of the 10 things you need to get started, and resources to help perform these necessary tasks.

  1. Idea generating – Ideas these days are free and omnipresent. Steal ideas from www.springwise.com or www.idea-a-day.com – Just take one that suits you and do it. Maybe bring their idea to your geography, or just copy something already successful and do it. There is no currency in ideas. They are free. Take them. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that is the easiest part of any venture. And they are right.
  2. Name Generating – Actually your business name has nothing to do with success. There’s only two things to consider. Firstly that it’s available (.com?) and secondly that people can say it. Check out www.nameboy.com to help you generate some.
  3. Idea testing – I loved the idea from Timothy Ferriss who tested the idea for the best book name (4 hour work week won it) by using Google Adwords for the various options and seeing which one got the most clicks with certain key words. Inspired stuff. Steal his idea and use adwords to test your business proposition before investing heavily.
  4. Project Managment – Keep your project stuff all in one digital location. The crew over at 37 Signals provide some awesome tools for free in doing so. We’ve used it extensively for rentoid.com
  5. Communication – Get skype set up for all your international dealings phone calls and chats required in managing your project and team. I work with with people all over the world on rentoid and have never paid for a phone call yet. You can even get it on your iphone to make free calls from – Giddy up.
  6. Design – Don’t get stooged paying a zillion dollars for an agency to design your stuff. Leave the agency work for big companies with big budgets, you’re a bootstrapper and need to get it done cheap. But lucky for us these days cheap doesn’t have to mean crap. Check out 99 designs to get your site designed. If you need digital icons or related visuals check out istock photo for great up to date design. For pictures use Flickr creative commons.
  7. CSS (Cascading Style Cheets) – Check out slice and dice it to get your shiny new designs ready for coding.
  8. Coding / Programming – Yep, that tricky stuff which makes it all work under the website. Easy, go straight to Elance or ODesk to find coders for HTML, PHP, Rails, AJAX – anything. They’re all there waiting for your brief. (this should be the only biggish expense for your web startup – which means a few hundred dollars with a currency advantage)
  9. Payment gateway – Use paypal – free set up and the cheapest, most trusted way to accept credit cards and multiple payment forms on the internet.
  10. Promotion tools –  OK this is the stuff you’re all familiar with and using daily. So turn these fun parks into business tools by using them properly. But just choose a couple of them and use them well. My favourites are youtube, twitter, blogging (recommend wordpress).

So there you have it – web start up in 10 easy steps. Feel free to add any other cool tools and ideas in the comments.

What are you waiting for? Get started.




  1. Scott Kilmartin · June 2, 2009


    I will steal this and point punters towards it when they ask all the usual startup Q’s


  2. Tracy · June 2, 2009

    Hey, great post. Very comprehensive and yet not too heavy with content to make it seem too difficult.
    Do you have any handy info on hosting?


  3. Joel Gascoigne · June 2, 2009

    This is useful. I’ll be pointing a few people towards this, thanks for sharing! Of topical interest – I’m launching a startup very soon. Please help me out by signing up to be a beta tester :) http://getonepage.com

  4. Steve Sammartino · June 2, 2009


    My hosting recommendation is http://www.godaddy.com for startups. They are have benchmark customer service 24 hours day. When I say benchmark, I mean it – they will seriously explain anything to you, and walk you through it step by step. You you can call them free on Skype.


  5. Pingback: How to Start a Web Design | Effective Business Plans
  6. Anthony Feint · June 2, 2009

    great advice! I saved on number 6 by doing the design myself.

    I would add to #8 by saying be prepared to come across dodgy programmers. Even if they have great reviews they may not be the right guy for you. So be prepared to waste some money if you have never used freelancers before. Its a skill to pick the right one.

  7. Tony · June 2, 2009

    Great article Steve. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    One point – maybe run a spell checker over point number 2.

    Thanks again.

  8. webdesign · June 2, 2009

    you could even check up http://www.shopfordesigns.com to get the designs done. I did mine and got a great design…

  9. Pingback: Lets Forget the Golden Path « Just a Name
  10. Pingback: 10 steps to web start up « Start Up Blog « pachventures
  11. gorovdude · June 2, 2009

    Amazing article…. maybe you will be able to assist me with the following question….
    i have a very nice idea (still i know it is not the idea that matters…) which i am almost sure that many peopple will find necessary. What are the practical first steps i need to take in order to put this idea on a “paper”.

    I mean something like a proof of concept of a business plan,

    where can i find some article about it?

    where can i find some templates….


    • Steve Sammartino · June 2, 2009

      I have quite a few posts with business plan templates just use the search for the words ‘ Business plan template’

      Cheers, Steve.

  12. Andrew Gale · June 2, 2009

    Good stuff, just found your blog and loving it.

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