Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or just starting out, launching a business on a budget can feel overwhelming.
With money flying out the door and not much coming in, it’s easy to lose track of your spending. The good news is that budgeting is just like any other business skill that can be mastered. So before you start making money, considering the following tips to help launch your business on a shoestring budget:
Marketing is key when launching a new business as it helps get as many eyes on you as possible. That being said, hiring someone to handle the marketing strategy might be difficult at the initial stage of your business.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do by yourself to help boost your reach and spread the word:
- Build an eye-catching website – In the age of the internet, having a fully functional, attractive website is an essential part of a company. Websites aid your growth and potential customer base. Creating one doesn’t need to be expensive as website building platforms such as Wix.com allow you to customise and create one free of charge. These services also provide tips and guides to help you create the most effective website for your business.
- Social Media – Never underestimate the power of social media when launching your business. When used correctly, social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools, and can allow you to reach a huge targeted audience. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.
With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s important to do your research when deciding which one is right for your business. Trying to set up multiple channels when you don’t have the resources to run them can result in a waste of both time and money. Therefore, choose your social media channels based on the relevance and your target audience.
For example, a business with strong visual content could benefit from being active on channels such as Instagram and Pinterest. On the other hand, businesses targeting a corporate audience would benefit from creating a LinkedIn account.
Outsource your needs
As a busy entrepreneur, there are many responsibilities that you need to handle by yourself. When you’re time-crunched, outsourcing is a great method to get additional support that you might need on certain parts of your business without having to commit to hiring full-time staff. Outsourcing can help reduce overall costs while allowing you to build your skills and expertise. There are a variety of ways you can outsource; from hiring a freelancer for a small projects, to hiring a specialist agency to run aspects of your business requirements such as PR or social media. For example, if you’re looking for administrative and secretarial support, services such as SmartPA can be a good option.
Weigh up your workspace options
Initially, working from home or your local café or library can be most affordable option for most businesses. A home office requires minimal budget and resources, which is perfect for early stage companies. If you’ve got a little budget to spare, consider working in a communal or co-working space. Generally, co-working spaces offer leases on as little as one desk, which is perfect for businesses who don’t yet have the resources to commit to a longer rental agreement.
Generally, co-working spaces consist of a variety of other small businesses like yourself, which is great for exchanging ideas and networking. Collaboration is encouraged through internal events and notice boards, which allows you to learn from other entrepreneurs. It’s important to weigh up the costs and benefits of these spaces to ensure they are right for your business needs.
Building strong relationships is another key element to growing any successful business. Getting yourself to networking events can be challenging. If you focus on the many benefits and shake off those initial nerves, before you know it, you’ll be ready to put yourself out there.
Websites such as Eventbrite and Meetup are a great place to start. These event services are free to join and feature a variety of free a low cost events. Networking opens potential opportunities for your business, while allowing you to get your business out to the right people. It’s important to do your research before attending events, to ensure you don’t spend your value time and money attending ones that aren’t beneficial for you.
While launching a business on minimal budget can feel daunting, there are a variety of ways in which you can reduce the cost. With a DIY attitude and a little knowledge, you can build your business into everything you could dream of.
About the author
Sarra Bejaoui is Client Services and Operations Director of SmartPA. SmartPA is a UK-based business that provides outsourced professional administrative and business support to large corporations, SMEs and individuals.