For many people, being able to work for themselves and do something they are passionate about is the ultimate dream – and there are plenty of options, ranging from wedding planning and importing through to starting up a new IT firm or working as a freelance consultant.
No matter what you want to do, if you’re ready to take the leap and start your own business, it’s likely that you’ll be doing so on a shoestring budget. Luckily, there are a number of ways to give your new venture the boost it needs without breaking the bank – so read on for our top tips to starting a business with just a little bit of money.
Finding investors or securing a loan can be difficult for new business owners – especially when the economy is struggling. Recently, however, many people have turned away from traditional funding sources and looked into the option of crowdfunding instead.
Websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Fund Anything make it simple for entrepreneurs and creative types to get the money they need for a project. Instead of relying on big sums of money from a small number of sources, crowdfunding works by collecting smaller amounts of cash from a much wider pool of people. In return for these small investments – which can range from around £5 to £10,000 – the person receiving the money is generally required to provide some sort of compensation, based on the amount of money that was contributed.
Affordable business services
Starting a business isn’t just about doing something you love. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that you’ll have to do, such as filing taxes, maintaining a budget, sourcing suppliers and managing logistics. While these tasks are all vital to the running of your company, they may not be things that you’ll want to deal with and they’ll certainly take time away from your core activities.
Outsourcing is one option that will help to ensure you can focus on your expertise and there are plenty of affordable businesses services available to help you save money. For example, low-cost conference calls from Buzz Conferencing make it easy for you to host telephone conversations with people from many different locations at once – and you don’t have to worry about any special technology or surprise bills at the end of the month.
As the old saying goes, it’s not all about what you know, but also who you know. While entrepreneurs certainly need to have a solid understanding of the products and services that they offer, good networking can have a major influence on how much and how fast your company grows.
There are many opportunities for networking, with options ranging from social meet-ups to industry events and training sessions. Plus, you never know when you might make a new contact simply by going about your daily life. Be sure to carry plenty of business cards with you wherever you go and take care to follow up after every introduction.
Promoting a business was once an expensive and time-consuming task. While traditional forms of marketing – such as direct mail and mass media – are still popular choices, the internet has made effective marketing much simpler and more affordable.
Depending on the nature of your business, online marketing options include social networking on sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, as well as blogging and email newsletters. Starting out on all the different platforms can be overwhelming, so just choose a few to begin with and add more as you see fit. Remember to always provide relevant and useful content for your readers on a regular basis – but avoid posting too often, as this can become overwhelming.