The idea of starting your own business is exciting and daunting all at the same time. When you consider having to come up with sources of funding to make your dreams come true, the process can seem even more formidable. Fortunately, in today's internet-connected business world, we have access to some great options for promoting yourself and growing your business, even if you have little to spend. Here are some great tips for starting a business on a shoestring budget.
Start At Home A business that can save money up front without having to pay expensive rent and utilities on a physical location is a business that can get ahead more quickly. Consider starting in your very own home, where you have the added benefit of being able to take tax deductions from things such as office space, utilities, and even the purchase of office equipment and electronics. All of these expenses add up quickly, so make sure to keep receipts and have the government pay you at the end of the fiscal year.
Business leaders and often sought out mentors Mark Skovron, PhD and Jeff Peltin began their first business in the shared space of Mark's home office twenty plus years ago. They stayed in that basement office in Baltimore until they were so cramped they could barely stand it.
Still, they did not venture out on their own at first. Mark and Jeff looked to colleagues who already had a permanent location in a prestigious office building and ended up renting one office in what became a co-op situation.
Skovron and Peltin benefited from having an address in Class-A office space, and over 2,000 square feet for visitors to see and for them to use but negotiated to keep their total rental to a couple of hundred dollars a month.
It wasn't until years later when they were prospering financially, that they leased their commercial space, and from their previous experience, had it built out with additional offices that they, in turn, rented out to other entrepreneurs. The co-op mentality and strategy continued for years, but now the Skovron-Peltin team were the landlords, making their financial obligation almost zero after leasing to others.
When the time was right, and they knew that they could afford and benefit from a unique space, they adopted a business philosophy of intentionally waiting one more cramped year -- and only then leapt.
Through all of the sacrifices, they were able to achieve profitability and savings much earlier than the masses of entrepreneurs who dive in head first only to find that their expenses become the very nightmare that steals the dream of their business idea.
"You can't sell a dream when you're living a nightmare." - Mark Skovron, PhD
Today, Mark and Jeff have operational headquarters in Surprise, Arizona, a Phoenix metro. Owning a total of three businesses and preparing to open a fourth this year, they are more successful and enjoy both business and life more than ever. They still keep operating costs to a minimum, even though their requirements now include several satellite locations.
And as for Mark and Jeff? They still prefer working primarily from their residence, in shorts, tee shirts and flip-flops since it is only a one minute walk to a large garden-pool. Actual trips into the office amount to about once per week opting instead for conference calls and other SaaS platforms for communication and efficiently accomplishing their workloads. (SOURCE: www.MaxGroupBusiness.com )
Learn To Barter
Despite what most people may think, the concept of bartering, or trading services with others independent of currency exchange, is alive and well among entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs by nature are not afraid to take risks, and they are more inclined to think "outside the box". You never know what is possible unless you ask; having conversations with vendors and offering them products and services in exchange for their wares will benefit both of you, and it will leave you with cash in your pocket to spend on other things.
Make A Budget Plan And Stick To It Keeping your operating costs to a minimum while generating additional cash flow is one way to grow with little capital available. Recruiting friends and family members who can volunteer their time to help you expand is one way to reduce your daily expenses. Budgeting your time while still working at your current job is another way to keep costs down; if you are disciplined and passionate about making your dream a reality, you will find ways to work on your business while keeping your current financial affairs afloat. Maintaining impeccable records of revenue and expenses and keeping track of spending will ensure that can fund your business transactions promptly.
Ask For Payments Up Front When first creating relationships with clients, it can be intimidating to ask for payment ahead of products and services that you deliver. Building that trusting relationship between business owner and client is a delicate matter; if you are asking for fees from clients before you produce the goods, make sure that you can honour these commitments.
Depending on the services or goods that you are offering, you can also incorporate a 50% down, 50% balance upon delivery option. An arrangement such as this may provide your new clients with the confidence they are seeking, and place the financial commitments on a fair playing field.
As your reputation for trustworthy business transactions grows, so will your business and your capital.
Consider Sources Of Free Advertising Any good business strategy includes advertising and promotion of some sort. With all of the additions to social media and other free or low-cost online options, it is relatively simple to begin online networking. Another way to obtain ad time is to talk to non-profit organisations and get them to sponsor some of your ad campaigns. In return, you can offer the non-profit organisation your products and services for free in hopes that they will continue to help you build your reputation. The more time you invest in putting yourself out there, the more likely it is that you will increase your profits through increased sales.
If you have an idea for a business, coupled with a driving reason and passion for sharing your product or service, do not let the lack of money keep you from achieving your goals. Disney, Apple, and Harley Davidson are all reputable companies that have made an enormous impact on our society, yet they are all companies that began in a garage. The owners of the Whole Foods corporation got evicted from their two bedroom apartment and ended up living in their first store for six months while moving up in the ranks. It is possible, with hard work, determination, and a driving spirit, to see your dreams become a reality. Keep your nose to the grindstone, buckle up, and get ready for an exhilarating ride to your success!