Every business begins with a certain amount of money to work with. For some ambitious entrepreneurs, the budget is a little more limited. Even if you don’t have a huge amount of capital to work with, you can still start and grow a successful business- you’ll just have to be a bit more wary of expenses than those who have been blessed with a massive investment.
Here are some simple tips that will help you pursue your dream of owning your your business without turning to bank loans or unwanted debt.
1. Work from home. The simplest way to save on your start up costs starts with your workspace. Depending on the size of your business and the number of people you’re hoping to employ, an office may be an unnecessary expense to begin with. Turn your spare room or part of your living room into your own personal office space and conduct meetings online or in local cafes.
2. Start small. Don’t over-commit in the early days of your business. Try to rent equipment rather than buying, and take people on with short term contracts so that you have the chance to test out your business concept to ensure that it will work.
3. Budget carefully. When writing out your initial budget, be sure to include as many of your expenses as possible, including even the tiny things that seem insignificant. It’s important to be realistic at every stage so you’re aware of exactly how much you’re spending.
4. Hire freelancers. Avoid taking on full time staff by hiring freelancers to help out with specific projects, rather than paying people a full time salary for work you may be able to do yourself.
5. Save On IT. Try to resist the temptation to buy high end computers, laptops and smartphones under the guise of ‘necessary’ business expenses. You can save a substantial amount of money by opting for lower priced brands. You can also avoid paying for expensive free software options by using free collaboration tools like Open Office and Google Drive.
6. Put the time in. The key to success in any business is sheer hard work and passion. Put in as much of your own time as possible and be willing to work long hours and build up a sweat. It just might pay off in the long run.
7. Work on web design. A well designed website is absolutely essential for any business today. You can skip the cost of hiring a professional web designer by brushing up on your tech skills and following web tutorials yourself.
8. Buy second hand. If you are renting out your own office space, consider finding office furniture in second hand shops and through online auctions and re-selling sites rather than buying expensive furniture new.
9. Start small. Begin by focusing on one small project. Having big ambitions is certainly important for any new business owner, but you can lose sight of short term profit if you lose your focus. Concentrate on one goal and then assess how profitable your business might be based on your success or losses from the initial project.
10. Establish a web presence. Getting your brand name out there doesn’t have to be an expensive pursuit. You can establish a solid presence online while staying within your budget by utilising social media, building a website with strong SEO potential and networking with potential clients and other business owners online.
11. Pursue free press. Getting an ad in a magazine or newspaper could be outside of your budget range, but there are other ways to get your name out there without spending a penny. Offer your startup story to local journalists and share your motivation and message with the general public.
12. Barter. If there’s a service you need but can’t afford, consider bartering with other businesses so that everyone gets what they want. Your skills just might be of use to someone who has what you need.