If you’re looking to start your own business in 2018, you’re going to need some start up finance – but how much will depend on how well you plan. You may not need to apply for a start-up loan with some careful planning and a little extra thought… so here’s our rules to starting a business on a budget.
Only pay for what your business really needs
Sounds obvious but every penny counts when you’re starting up, so ask yourself how much value the product or service you are paying for is going to deliver to your business. Do you really need a separate mobile phone or loads of branded stationary when first starting out ? If it’s not essential at the start, leave it until you’ve got more cash in the bank.
It’s so easy to get excited and hire a small office somewhere and buy some quirky office furniture only to realise that £500 per month could have paid for your marketing to get the product off the ground. Libraries, conference centres and other public buildings are a great free way to get away from working at your kitchen table without forking out on expensive space. Look for paces like Regus where you can hire out an office on a daily or hourly basis.
There are so many free or incredibly cheap technology platforms out there to help your small businesses thrive. Some great (and free) starter tools to check out are MailChimp (mail) and Hootsuite (social media). Don’t sign up for anything that pushes you into a yearly contract.
Barter , Barter, Barter
You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save if you just ask. Most companies will throw in some extra freebies or give you a discount for a quick sale. Similarly, if you’ve been loyal to a service provider for a while – ask them for a loyalty discount. There are very few things that can’t be discounted, so get on the phone and speak to a sales person rather than clicking straight through to buy on-line.
Stay away from Google AdWords
Yep, that’s right. If you have a limited budget, Google AdWords will suck every penny of it from you and deliver very little. Explore other ways of getting your message out there like paid Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn campaigns. Perhaps look at banner advertising through someone like Clicksor but leave AdWords until you have a higher budget. Having someone doing your marketing means they can maximise a smaller budget with their expertise.
Make a 3, 6 and 12 month plan for your business and revisit it regularly
Without a plan for your business, you’re like a driver of a bus without a route or a destination. Sure you can drive around, but where kis it taking you and is that productive? Sit down and fully understand what your business means to you and what you want to achieve from it. Set yourself goals and always measure your progress.
If you want expert advice and some hands on help with your business, you might want to check out our marketing services to really help drive your business forward.