A lot of people assume starting a business is expensive. Not only do some folks consider it costly, but they also look at it as an incredibly challenging process. However, with the right base and knowledge, you can start a business for cheap and become profitable with it, too. Here’s how:
Plan Out Your Budget
If you’re going to be launching a business, then one of the first things you need to consider is the budget and how much you’re going to be able to save each month. As noted by the SBA, the average small business cost between $1,000 to $5,000 to start; while that’s not astronomically high, it is something that could be hindering. That’s why establishing a budget of what you can afford is so crucial.
To begin, start mapping out as many needs as you can think of for your small business, no matter how significant. The mission is to get as much on paper to start estimating costs; even if you end up going more conservative routes, it will still be useful to ensure you’re well within budget. One important piece here is analyzing how much runway you’ll need to live off of, which depends on if you’re making this your full-time gig and how long it’ll take to gain traction and funding. Take your time with budget planning — you’ll be thanking yourself later for putting in the work now.
Utilize Free Resources
Another useful factor in trying to save money while starting a business is utilizing all the free resources you can. While this might sound cheap, it’s something that could generate significant savings from day one. No matter if it’s a free logo maker or utilizing a website builder, what you can do on the cheap early in the game might make a world of difference in the long run.
If you haven’t already, start seeking free or cheap resources that match your list of needs. Believe it or not, a lot of this stuff can produce quality goods for your business, especially if you’ve done your homework. For example, according to Impact Bound, people make up their minds about a website within 0.05 seconds, which goes to show that while it’s acceptable to use a builder, it’s also something that needs to be on-brand. Although it’s great to save money by going after free or inexpensive items, these will still need a bit of fine tuning to get it right.
A big part of the resources you use is asking how they strengthen and add value to your brand. Remember, your branding is something that can be relatively cheap to produce, but it is still an investment in your brand’s authority. Branding is no easy task, so take your time with the execution and hone in on something that feels right.
Get On Your Digital Strategy Early
Finally, as you work towards launch, getting down your digital strategy will help tremendously in gaining an audience and building a community. As cliche as it sounds, community-building is how you’re going to generate your core fans — the ones willing to spend the most on your business. To do that, you not only need to figure out which point of contact people will use to reach you but also how to engage with them there.
In regards to establishing channels for traffic, you first have to look at which point people are getting in touch with your business. For example, according to Search Engine Journal, 93 percent of online experiences begin with search, which leads the questions: how does someone get to that point? And, from there, what action can they take to record a transaction? For the former, the inbound would come with keyword work and SEO, as well as having an actionable solution such as signing up for an email blast.
Another key strategy to consider for cultivating an audience is social media, which the metric of success that falls under engagement. This usually involves a mix of commenting, liking, and messaging that occurs between your business and users, which should be a goal for you to hit across multiple platforms consistently. Because as noted by Pew Internet, with 35 percent of US adults currently on Instagram alone, it’s unproven where your business could thrive online. But if there’s one thing for sure, with the right engagement strategy, you’ll be generating an audience to sell to in no time.
What are you most excited about in starting your first business? Comment with your answers below!