Think that starting a new business always requires a large upfront cash investment? Think again. In fact, even if you have available funds on hand, depleting your financial resources on a startup business may not be the best strategy. With an interesting idea and a carefully considered business plan, clever entrepreneurs can launch a new venture on a budget by adopting the following creative strategies.
1. Start Out as a One-Man or One-Woman Show.
Resist the urge to hire employees initially. While having a team of workers behind you might make your new venture feel more established and it might make things easier on the boss, having too many people on payroll is a sure way to make a young company go under. Instead, although it may be stressful at first, try to do as much as you can yourself. After all, if you learn all aspects of your business at the outset, you’ll be in a much better position to train employees as the company grows.
2. Don’t Break the Bank on Expensive Workspace.
Many young companies can operate with little more than a computer, a telephone, and an Internet connection. Therefore, rather than pouring lots of cash into unnecessary office space, consider working from home. Coffee shops are another popular place where many business success stories have started. On the other hand, if more formal office space is a must, check with friends and family members to see if anyone has additional space that you can sublease on a short-term basis while you test the waters with your new company. That way, you minimize some of the inherent risks associated with starting a new business.
3. Take Advantage of the Internet.
Having an online presence is often a critical step for new companies, but that doesn’t have to be a costly proposition. For example, services like WordPress.com and Tumblr.com provide a great resource for business owners to create a website for free.
In addition, social media has helped propel many small startups to near overnight success. Sites like Facebook and Twitter offer a free platform to promote your business to a potentially huge audience.
And, rather than paying expensive professionals to design and execute a logo to brand your new company, business owners can create their own logo at LogoYes.com.
4. Embrace a DIY Philosophy.
Setting up a corporation or limited liability company is a smart way to protect yourself from some of the pitfalls of operating a small business, but you don’t necessarily need a high priced attorney to handle that for you. For example, in some states, setting up a limited liability company is as simple as completing a one-page document and filing it with the Secretary of State.
Similarly, you probably don’t need a formal accounting background to handle your own finances initially. Whether you get tips from the Internet, a book, a friend, or from accounting software, it’s usually relatively easy to maintain financial records for a small startup business. As your business gets off the ground and you experience some financial success, then it might be appropriate to retain professional legal and financial services.
5. Accept Free Advice and Welcome Favors.
Take advantage of every available opportunity to meet other people in your industry so you can learn from one another. If someone who has started a similar business is willing to share his story with you, make note of the lessons he learned through his experiences. Thoughtful advice may be free, but it’s often priceless. Similarly, don’t be shy about asking friends and family members for help. Those individuals want to see you succeed, and you can always return the favor once your business is flourishing.
Even in a healthy economy, prudent entrepreneurs proceed somewhat cautiously when planning the financial aspects of a new business venture. However, adopting a conservative financial approach doesn’t mean you have to compromise your vision. These tips can help individuals in virtually any industry avoid some costly missteps so you can focus on making your dream a reality.
Thomas Ford, marketing director 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.