But two Coffs Harbour home-based businesses have found the perfect solution through the Business Mid North Coast (BMNC) project.
BMNC, a joint initiative involving the Federal National Office of Information Economy, Southern Cross University and the Area Consultative Committee, is aimed at small to medium businesses throughout the Mid North Coast.
It offers a low-cost alternative for small to medium enterprises, artists and home-based businesses to promote their respective products and services via the internet.
Ms Sue van Hese, who has just set up a new business, Solitary Marketing Solutions, said she was able to get an instantaneous presence through a website with BMNC.
"The internet is an area where people first look and it provides the additional credibility. People think if you have a website you are serious about your business," Ms van Hese said.
She said while she had not yet been able to get a White Pages listing, her clients could find her on the internet.
"There's no chance that I would have done this without the BMNC. They are taking the hassle out of it for a couple of hundred dollars."
Another home-based business which has set up a website through BMNC is Cockatoo Creek Australia. The business, owned by Sandra Rowe, specialises in designer clothes for the over 35s, in sizes 16 through to 26.
Miss Rowe said the technical support and ongoing advice provided by BMNC staff was very helpful.
"A lot of businesses don't have the finances where they can pay someone to create a website. I've been very grateful for the assistance in that way," Miss Rowe said.
BMNC executive officer, Mr Peter Friel, said the start up and annual costs for a website were as low as $2.40 to $5.20 a week because the project was Government funded.
He said they now had 130 businesses in the region from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie and the number of listings was continuing to grow.
"This project has been so successful we are looking at expanding it into other communities," Mr Friel said.
BMNC has also set up a membership card program offering a range of discounts and benefits to all of its members.
Caption: Sandra Rowe can promote her clothing business Cockatoo Creek Australia via the Web, thanks to Business Mid North Coast.
For media information contact Media Liaison Unit, Southern Cross University, Ph: 02 6620 3144, email@example.com