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How to start your business when you are on a low budget

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Dreaming of launching your business venture but hesitating because of limited capital?

If and when you seek advice from an experienced entrepreneur, they will definitely tell you that you need a lot of money to start a business. However, if you reach out to new-age business owners, you will see that many of them disapprove of the traditional belief that you need a lot of money to make money. 

Be a smart worker! Use your grey matter and find out creative ways of financing your small business. You don’t need to belong to a family of business tycoons to get overnight success. You just need a great business strategy to run your business smoothly when you do not have enough cash. 

Focus on cost control, cut down on unnecessary expenses, rely on organizations and websites that help small businesses flourish, and you are good to go!

Simple Steps To Start Your Own Business With Low Budget

  • The first step should be researching your options and then drafting a budget plan. 
  • Find out ways of saving money. 
  • You do not need a lavish office or thirty employees in the beginning. 
  • You will need to be tech-savvy and wise enough to know where to spend money to gain maximum benefits. 
  • Connect with people who can help you operate your business; hear their suggestions and then come to conclusions.
how to start a business on low budget
Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Let’s take a deeper look at how you can manage your finances and run a low-cost business. Here are some hacks on how you can build the business of your dreams while you are bootstrapped for cash.

1. Obtain a microloan from a bank

New businesses start by obtaining a microloan from banks at a lower interest rate. Usually, traditional bank loans with higher rates of interest will be difficult to get for a small business owner or for someone who is planning to start a business on a low budget. On the other hand, it will be easier for you to repay within the stipulated time when you obtain a microloan. You can look up the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration to know in detail about their microloan program and the eligibility and requirement for applying for a microloan. 

2. Consider sole proprietorship operating structure

Begin as a sole proprietor of your business venture because it is a no-cost operating structure, and thus, you can save a lot of money. When you are a sole proprietor, only you will be responsible for paying debts. However, you cannot define your business as a corporation. So, even if you cannot put “Inc.” after the name of your company, you can run your business with a low budget without the tension of having a rift with a business partner! 

Eventually, when your business expands, consider incorporation. As a corporation, you can reap tax benefits. When debt accumulates, you will be safe from it since your corporation will be considered a separate person under the law.

3. Start working from home

Leasing an office space incurs huge expenses for a business. But after the pandemic, most people prefer the work-from-home model. Take it as an advantage and let your employees work from home. Save the money spent on getting a commercial space. If you are a business that depends mostly on the internet, you can easily work from home.

Use online apps like Skype or Slack to stay connected with your employees. Share documents via online tools like Dropbox or cloud-based software like Google Drive. Conduct virtual meetings with clients through videoconferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom. However, ensure that you separate your office life from your personal life. So, if you have a study room at home, set it up as your office space.

4. Begin with your own technical equipment

You probably own most of the technical tools needed to start your business such as a computer system, mobile phones, and the necessary software. Transform your personal assets into technical tools for business, and they will be counted as tax-deductible. If you are still unsure about it, you can consult a professional or ask friends and acquaintances for advice.

5. Automate daily tasks with an online appointment scheduling tool

Appointments, meetings, on-time delivery of products/services, and invoicing- these are some crucial daily tasks undertaken by a business. Wouldn’t it be relieving if you could automate all these tasks? 

The solution to all these problems is online appointment scheduling & booking management software. Such online tools empower your clients to self-book appointments, and it saves you a massive chunk of time spent on manually scheduling meetings. Access a free appointment scheduler like Picktime that does not require installation. It is accessible via any web-enabled device. 

Picktime provides a free online calendar service that allows 24/7 monitoring of staff schedules and appointments at all your office locations. You can create a personalized booking page and intake form to accept more appropriate bookings. The intake form can be customized with personalized fields to let you know your client’s needs better. Get a booking button for your website and social media profiles from Picktime that will redirect to your booking form; just copy the Picktime-generated code on the HTML code of your website. Also, your clients can pay you in advance through credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, or Square. You can automatically raise invoices and email feedback forms to your clients. Before any appointments, send automated SMS and email reminders to clients and staff to reduce no-shows. You can also download auto-generated business reports from your dashboard!

6. Hire interns and freelancers

With a limited budget, you have to keep your workforce small because you cannot afford to pay well to a bunch of professionals. However, you need employees to keep the business smooth and functional. So, you can outsource jobs like content creation, graphic designing, and website designing. 

Hire interns and freelancers for such jobs. These young minds will later be valuable assets for your business. Eventually, when your business grows bigger, you can recruit these people as full-time employees.

If you are a product-based company that involves physical work like transportation, storage, and handling of goods, outsource these tasks to a shipping company, while you do the intellectual work behind your computer screen. Also, remember that product-based companies must focus on the packaging because the first impression lasts forever. So join hands with printing companies to customize your product packages.

7. Network with groups of wholesalers and vendors

While building your inventory, you can purchase products from vendors who help small businesses and would help you draft a budget plan. If you wish, you may make your first order on credit. You may also contact a wholesaler for your business needs. However, research well before contacting anybody, you need to spend every penny wisely.

Your job is to sell your business’ culture, ideology, and goal to the vendors, distributors, and wholesalers that you interact with. While you engage with these people, try to strengthen the bond and talk about your passion, interests, and the story behind your business venture. 

8. Pay your own taxes

When starting your business, it is mandatory to obtain business licenses. Make sure you do it on your own. Also, submit your taxes. Instead of relying on a tax consultant, try investing in a small business tax software package; it will save you from paying an enormous consultation fee.

For example, if you are from the United States, you can check out the requirements for starting your business on the Internal Revenue Service website. You will have to apply for an Employer Identification Number, if applicable, and then select your business structure, tax year and let your employees fill forms like I-9 and W-4. 

You may also purchase an accounting package for small businesses instead of recruiting an in-house accounting specialist to whom you will have to pay a handsome monthly salary! 

9. Determine low-cost marketing opportunities

Since you are low on budget, find out low-cost ways of marketing your products, services, and ideas. As a start-up, print advertisements or TV commercials will be too costly for you. Therefore, you should try other marketing opportunities such as digital marketing through SEO, GoogleAds, social media marketing (SMM), and content marketing. Design an appealing Google PPC ad campaign, set your budget and bidding strategy, and do not forget to include a Call To Action (CTA). Make use of the hashtag culture on Twitter, collaborate with Instagram influencers, work on running Facebook Ads. 

You should create your official YouTube channel and upload informative videos over there. Believe it or not, but YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. So make sure customers search for your business on YouTube. You can upload a lot of how-to videos, host live shows with industry experts and even advertisements regarding your services and why people should avail them.

10. Get free media exposure

You need media coverage to turn your business into a brand. If you wish to be an opinion leader in the future, you have to get in the game. Get yourself noticed by journalists on social media, so that you do not have to pay extra money in buying public relations.

You have to contact local media such as business magazines and newspapers. If your stories get published in local newspapers, chances are that a national-level journalist might notice you and be eager to delve deeper into the story behind your business. Engage with journalists on Twitter since that’s the platform where they are most active.

Follow conversation threads through hashtags, visit profiles of a few journalists, follow them, and add them to your Twitter list. You can then pitch your story to them via direct messaging on Twitter. If a journalist responds to your messages, pitch your ideas. Do not act like a hound and stalk journalists, just follow up with them to get your pitch accepted. Nurture a positive and fun relationship with journalists so that they would love to work with you. Try to be their port of call for stories on the industry. You can also draft press releases and submit them on various websites that accept press releases.

Summary

Many aspiring entrepreneurs take a step back from their dreams because of less funding. But, these above-mentioned hacks can prove them wrong. Indeed, they can start their business even with limited resources and less money. They just need to research well and keep experimenting. Ask for help from professionals, friends, and family members. It does not necessarily have to be monetary help, but this help can be unique ideas. There are many sorts of businesses you can launch with less cash. 

You just have to be dedicated and put in some hard work. If you are unsure about what sort of business to launch, you can turn your hobby into your profession. Suppose you have a passion for writing, then develop a content creation business. If you are still confused, then you can start a service-based business because they require lower overhead costs than product-based businesses.

Do not contemplate any further. Make a plan for launching your business. Remember what author Tony Robbins once said, “the only impossible journey is the one you never begin”. Dare to take a risk and let your intuition and willpower guide you!

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