Starting a Small Business on a Budget
For many entrepreneurs, starting their own business can be a challenge in one crucial area above all others – finance. Having the resources to set up in business or finding willing investors can be very difficult, particularly if you are a young person just starting out in your career. If you have the determination, some good contacts, and a persuasive sales pitch, you may get investment; or a business loan. You could also try a crowd-funding campaign as a way to raise the money to start you on your way. If these options aren’t the answer for you, then the alternative is to get clever with your budget.
Look at ways in which you could scale the business model down for the early stages. For example, rather than envisioning having your own store and staff, which would take a substantial investment, consider starting out working from home with just yourself doing everything. If you have a sound business plan, you should be able to scale the business up as you start to bring in more revenue. It may take longer to reach the same goals as in your initial vision, but starting small reduces the financial burden considerably. Many businesses have found that having an association with a big retail platforms like eBay, Amazon, or Shopify, negates any need to have their own website. By using the facilities offered by these market leaders, you reduce your costs and in many cases the work involved, for example if you utilize a drop-ship model.
There are many ways in which you can take advantage of free or low-cost solutions for advertising and marketing activities. Many forms of digital marketing can be employed at very low cost or even free, for example website builders, social media accounts, guest blogs, and SEO tools like the free backlink checker. In fact, paying great attention to optimizing your website and being active online is one of the best ways to improve your reach and make contact with prospective customers. Another advantage of using big businesses as your platform is that the job of marketing is largely down to them. They deal with search engine optimization and advertising so you don’t have to, making this a highly cost-effective option for small sales operations.
Spending cash wisely
You can’t get started with no investment or operating budget at all, but you can do a lot with very little. The trick is to spend what you have on what will make the biggest difference to your bottom line. For instance, buying top of the range IT equipment when you’re working from home is more of a luxury than a necessity. However, you do need to be able to identify where economies might be unwise, like doing without good quality anti-virus software. You’ll also need to reinvest a lot of the revenue you earn initially, so you can build up your business. That means being prepared to accept a reduced income in the early stages, but it will be worth it when you have achieved your dream of running a profitable business.