Start up a business on a budget
Do you want to start your own business but don’t know how you can ever afford it?
In this digital age, it is now easier than ever to start up a business without much investment capital. For the price of a website and business cards most people can be in operation within a week.
You also have to be wise about your spending. The biggest mistake new businesses make is investing in the trappings of business without calculating what return they will have on their investment (ROI)
Do you really need compliment slips and fancy stationery? Or maybe you are thinking of paying a designer thousands for a new website? While planning your new enterprise start with the following three tips and you may save yourself and your venture enough money to fall back on in difficult times (and tough times come for everyone).
First, write down the bare minimum you need to operate your business. I mean the absolute bare minimum.
Forget about embarrassment, “I could never go see a client with this old laptop”
Forget about pride or image, “I can’t answer my own phones”
Forget about the glamour of being a CEO and concentrate on your product or service.
Do you need a shop or can you test your product on a market stall?
Do you need an office or can you meet clients at theirs, or at a café?
Second, once you have your list finished- shop around and never listen to a sales pitch.
A salesperson’s job is to sell you something and yet often people forget and get caught up in listening to all the very good reasons “why your business really needs…”
Shopping around, for me, means first finding out how you can get it for free. It is a matter of thinking creatively.
Can you swap someone services instead of buying outright? What do you have of value, even if it is not related to your business? There are many community sites which have “Skills Swap” sections like…”your website skills for my tutoring in English”
Recycling sites like http://www.ilovefreegle.org/ give stuff away for free. All sorts of computers, printers, office furniture, etc. Don’t get caught up in thinking because someone is giving things away it must be rubbish.
“Pride goeth before a fall” So don’t be embarrassed to ask friends for help or another business for a discount.
Shopping around can also mean getting twenty quotes instead of three, or going to another area of town where everything is cheaper.
Cheaper does not always mean lower quality but sometimes it does. Being a clever entrepreneur means figuring out the difference.
Last, never spend money on advertising.
If your business is online, there are hundreds if not thousands of free directories to list your business with.
These include social networking sites like facebook and Linked In. It will take loads of time and you will get a spat of sales calls trying to get you to upgrade your listing (be strong) but Google actually rates you higher the more you appear elsewhere.
So use free auto fill programs like “Last Pass” to make most online form-filling a breeze and dedicate 15 minutes each day to profiling your business.
Get free advertising by putting ads on free community websites and or get involved in forums that your potential client or customer might frequent.
Network at free events and trade shows where your customer or client will attend.
Never say never. With some businesses you may need to advertise straight away or buy something new. After all, going to meet a client with a hole in your trousers is never smart.
That is why talking to a business coach is always a good idea. They can help you reason through to make the best decisions possible for you and your business.
Now go and make your dreams come true!
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