Starting up a business on your own look like a big deal or something you need to break the bank for, but with little or no capital your whole story can change in a twinkling of an eye.
Some of the basic tips include:
Build your business around your area of expertise.
Instead of venturing off into uncharted territory, make sure that you build your business around your skills and knowledge. The less you have to rely on outside sources the better. When your business is built around your own personal expertise you can eliminate consultants and outside assistance. Also, having that knowledge is sometimes all that is need in making a mark as an entrepreneur.
Create awareness, inform everyone about what you are doing.
Inform your family, friends, business contacts and past colleagues about your new business. Call, send emails and make your new venture known on your social-media profiles. Your friends and family members can help you spread the word, and past business contacts can introduce your brand to their professional contacts as well. This type of grassroots marketing can help introduce your company to a much larger audience.
Avoid unnecessary expenses.
You are going to have plenty of expenses, and there are some that just can’t be avoided. What you can avoid though is overspending. For example, in the aspect of advertising, you can use several hundreds of dollars to advertise on billboards for a start and you can make use of all your old contacts including family and friends to create awareness or take something as simple as business cards. You could drop up to a thousand dollars on 500 metal business cards that give off the “cool” factor, or you could spend as low as $10 on 500 traditional business cards. Being frugal in the beginning can be the difference between success and a failed business.
Don’t start as a debtor
There is a smart way and a suicidal way to use credit when starting a business. New computers, office furniture, phones and supplies can all quickly add up. Instead of purchasing everything at once and throwing it all on a credit card, use your company’s revenue to finance your expenses. Eliminating the stress and burden of debt will greatly increase the chances of creating a successful business.
Make sure your receivables policy won’t sink you.
If your business is a retail operation then this isn’t going to apply, but if you are providing services such as consulting or products to retailers you need to make sure that your payment policy is well thought out. Can you remain above water with net-15 or net-30 terms? Don’t base your receivables on what you think your customers will want. Base them on what is going to make your business operate successfully.
Be ready to work hard
When you start up your business, you will work round the clock, handling every aspect of the business as well as the marketing and growth. All of the hard work and long days that you put in isn’t for nothing. You are building a brand and your hard work is essentially increasing the value of your business. Your sweat equity will come into play if you ever decide to sell off a piece of your company or take on a partner.
Take advantage of free advertising and marketing
There are several ways to generate a buzz for your business without breaking the bank. Social media is a great way to gain exposure and interact with potential customers. You can also reach out to local media and offer your expertise.
Make as many local media contacts as you can and be extremely responsive with their requests. This can lead to them to branding you as the local authority, generating plenty of free press for your business.
Get ready to hustle (reach your breaking point)
Hard work is an absolute necessity, but when you are starting a business with little to no capital then you must be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the business a success. This might mean cold calling, handling customer support, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will wear many hats and it will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.
Don’t let limited or no capital discourage you from pursuing that dream of an entrepreneur and running with it. It will be difficult and you willhave some stressful situations, but that is part of entrepreneurship. Do not give up, just one more stride and you are there.