• How To Start A Business On A Shoestring Budget

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    Approximately half of the small businesses in the US don’t survive past the five-year mark, according to the Small Business Administration. One of the main reasons why so many small businesses fail is their inability to pay mounting bills, especially in their early stages when they are not making enough profit. To make matters worse, a lot of small business owners start as financially illiterate, and since they can’t afford to hire accountants, they end up mismanaging the already limited funds they have. If you are looking to start a business or have been running one for a brief period, it’s clear that the odds are stacked against you. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. By learning ways to succeed when working with a limited budget, you can defy the odds and increase the chances of growing into a big business.

    Take advantage of free or inexpensive marketing opportunities

    Marketing is vital if you want your business to take off, but it can be extremely challenging, particularly if you’re in a competitive industry. A multichannel, highly-targeted marketing campaign is one of the most effective ways to grow your business, but it requires a significant investment that might not be worth the reward when you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are many inexpensive ways to get your business’ name in people’s minds, some of which are even free.

    You can start with word-of-mouth marketing, where you tell all your friends, family members, former colleagues, and even random people you come across who you think might be interested in the products or services you’re offering. Always have your elevator pitch ready and a bunch of business cards on you to give to prospective clients. Another cheap way to market your business is by setting up accounts on free popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. With almost everyone on social media nowadays, it has become the most powerful marketing tool, and with a little creativity, you can grow your following and land a few clients from it.

    Consider outsourcing instead of hiring full-time employees 

    Knowing when and how to invest your recruiting dollars is vital. Before hiring anyone, ask yourself if it’s really necessary: you may find that you can comfortably handle all the tasks without requiring help, especially during the early stages. This leaves you with more funds to spend on other things. But as your business grows, you may need some help handling tasks that you don’t have the time, energy, or expertise to perform well. When this time comes, try to avoid hiring full-time employees for as long as possible to save costs.

    A study by Glassdoor revealed that hiring just one full-time employee costs the average US employer about $4000 to $7000, and that does not include the salary or insurance requirements. Instead of incurring this cost, you can consider outsourcing the tasks to a freelancer or outsourcing company. Once you do hire permanent employees, however, it’s important to ensure you have the correct policies in place to protect both the business and the workers, a move Cerity notes is a necessary safeguard. Don’t sidestep this part of the process: worker’s compensation insurance will protect your assets and make your business more secure in the long run.

    Have a list of priorities 

    When you’re starting a business, there are a lot of things that you need to buy or pay for, and each of them has a different degree of urgency. Before you start shopping and signing checks, come up with a list of all your financial responsibilities and carefully analyze each to determine which ones you should pay first. First of all, make sure that you have paid for all the federal, state and local government requirements to operate. This includes licenses, permits, insurance and tax ID. Another thing that should be high up on your priorities list is your recurring costs, such as rent, electricity and stock to fulfill all the orders you get.

    Start small 

    When starting, try not to invest too much upfront if you don’t need to. It can be tempting to spend thousands on building a good website or logo, but unless it contributes to your bottom line or helps you acquire new clients, it may end up being a great investment that was done at the wrong time. You also want to keep the startup process as simple as possible. A limited liability corporation can be created in most states for around $100 without legal assistance. This is a lot cheaper and easier than the process of starting a C-Corp or S-Corp. Keep in mind that you can always make upgrades down the road when you start making money.

    Create eye-taking content about your business

    Content is like the wheels to vehicles; having robust wheels gives the vehicle the reliability to work better and smoother. The content you write will determine how influential and impressive you are, and not only that, it will show you how your business is progressing. Merely imagine you’re trying to create an attractive piece of content about your product to show it to your customers, in this case, you will try your best to select the proper words that beautifully can align with the mentality and culture of your audience. But not everyone can do that sort of job. Some can cleverly do it, and others need to learn and earn confidence before starting such things. One simple way to develop your writing skills is to depend on available anonymous blogging platforms like Doe.

    Keep your customers happy 

    If you want to grow your business rapidly, you must take good care of every customer. While a satisfied customer may not tell family or friends about your business, a dissatisfied customer will almost always want to tell someone just how unhappy they are, and you never want that, especially in today’s age of social media when that customer could be speaking to hundreds of thousands of people. As such, do everything possible to keep your customers happy and loyal, even if it means spending some money. Some of the things you can do include offers, discounts, giveaways, and listening to customer feedback. Remember to ask for referrals from all your loyal customers in exchange for various rewards.

    Starting a business on a tight budget is hard but not impossible. In fact, many of the most successful businesses we have today, including Google, Apple and Amazon, had humble beginnings in garages decades ago. If you play your cards right, you can survive the financial tumult and headwinds that blow your way, and build a successful business that will never fail.

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