A neighbor came to me the other day asking about an idea she had to start a new online service. It’s a great idea. It’s a service that people in our area could really use.

She wanted to know what it would cost to start her own website for it.

For what she had in mind: minimum, $1500 for setup and design. Which for her is cost prohibitive.

But…

Here’s what she should do if she’s really serious about getting this idea going. (And I hope she is.)

She should start working it up on wordpress.com where she can do it as a pilot project for free. The cost to her is zero, and she’ll get some experience working with an online Content Management System (CMS). Experience she’s going to need to make her idea succeed. She can learn the ropes as she goes, see what works, and what doesn’t. All without costing her a penny.

Then, once she has a working – and by working, I mean not just technically operational, but a “live” site people are actually using – demo, she can get buy-in from locals to raise the money to get it going on her own site.

It’s not what she had in mind. It’s what she should do.

Like I said, she has a great idea. It’s a project worth starting. It would make our community a better place.

I hope she does it.