by Thomas Ford, Marketing Director of www.123Print.com
Starting a new business might sound like a complicated endeavor, and many would-be entrepreneurs probably shy away from creating a company from the ground up because of the expected costs involved. However, with some careful planning and perseverance, you can start a business even if you don’t have a great deal of cash on hand.
The following tips provide guidance on ways to minimize initial start-up costs for businesses in virtually any industry:
Forgo Expensive Rent.
Put on hold your dreams of a fancy office or other physical space. Instead, save money by working from home, or transport the office (i.e., computer and cell phone) to a comfortable public space, such as a café that has free WiFi.
Delay Hiring Employees.
Although it may seem daunting to be a one-man or one-woman show at first, sometimes it’s the most cost effective way of getting a new business off the ground. Yes, you may work long hours and, yes, it may be overwhelming at first. But if you’re truly committed to this new venture, the hard work will likely be worth it. And, as the company grows, hopefully you can retain some employees to reduce your workload and expand the business.
Embrace Social Media.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can help you reach a potentially huge audience to promote your new business. Therefore, before you pay a lot of money toward marketing or advertising efforts, test the waters with free social media platforms.
Create Your Own Website.
Why pay for expensive professional web design when you can create a free website with WordPress.com or Tumblr.com? You can upgrade to a more sophisticated site once the business gets going, but your first effort shouldn’t break the bank.
As with launching a new website, don’t spend big bucks on a professional logo at first. You can design your own attractive, but inexpensive logo at sites like LogoYes.com that offer a variety of different designs, layouts, and fonts for nearly every industry and profession you can imagine. Alternatively, a DIY design option may be all you need.
Take the Law into Your Own Hands.
Rather than shelling out legal fees for something like creating a limited liability company, consider handling the corporate formation of your new business yourself. Most states have user-friendly websites through their Secretary of State’s office devoted to helping citizens with the business entity formation process. As your company grows and business matters become increasingly complex, it may then be worth the money to seek professional legal advice.
Handle Your Own Finances.
You don’t have to be an accountant to handle the basic finances for a start-up company. Build a basic knowledge by purchasing a simple accounting book, or check one out from the local library for free. You can also invest in some accounting software like Quickbooks to take some of the time and stress out of the process.
Sell Products Online.
If your new business involves selling products, get some experience under your belt before you commit to opening your own store. You can easily do that online by selling items through websites like ebay.com and Etsy.com. In addition, artists, craftsmen, and creators of a variety of products can make arrangements with existing store owners to sell their goods onsite. Also, consider selling products at local markets and retail coops. These options will enable you to gain exposure for your products while avoiding the cost of buying or renting retail space.
Ask for Favors.
Whenever professional services are needed, look to friends and family members with the relevant expertise and see if they are willing to work with you at no cost, or at least at reduced rates. If you feel uncomfortable asking for favors or don’t like the idea of feeling indebted to someone, offer an exchange of your services or products.
Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities.
Although conventional hard work is an essential part of starting a successful business, savvy entrepreneurs will take advantage of opportunities outside of work to promote their new venture. Getting involved in industry-specific professional organizations is a great way to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals and to boost your company’s profile. Regular social interaction and becoming recognized in your community will also help spread the word about your business.
Being cautious with your money when launching a new business is prudent, especially when faced with a weak economy. However, by following these tips, you can strive for your career goals without depleting your savings.
Marketing Director Thomas Ford of www.123Print.com leads a team offering high quality customizable items like business cards, letterhead, banners, yard signs and other promotional printing materials for small businesses and solo practitioners.