Most entrepreneurs are well aware that it’s useful to keep costs low in the beginning. The preliminary stages of a start-up are often the riskiest, and so it’s a wise move to be cautious. Thankfully, you don’t always need to have a huge budget to see your creativity come to life. Those looking to save their start-up money would be well advised to try a few of these pointers.
1. Use Free Tools
When you’re entering the land of the start-up, free tools are your friends! Ondemandly.com can help you find all the information about on-demand services you need to save time and money. Need to fire-up a great email marketing campaign? Try Mailchimp’s free starter package to get you on your way. Looking for some good CRM software? Get Hubspot’s free package to start managing your customer relationships right. Slack is a popular free communication tool and is particularly useful for remote companies to converse about projects in real-time. It’s also easy to integrate Slack with plenty of other tools.
For project management software, Trello also has a nice free option which comes with a range of handy features to help you organise your projects. For editing and exchanging documents- don’t forget to take advantage of good-old Google Docs! There are so many more great free tools that are perfect for an entrepreneur in the making, so go and get stuck in.
2. DIY Your Marketing
Do as much of your digital marketing as you can yourself before you pay for a professional marketer to lend a hand. Teach yourself the SEO basics and make the most of social media platforms to plug your blog, your brand and grow your following. Tools like Buffer offer free plans to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Tools like this make scheduling your posts that little bit easier.
When you’ve put lots of effort into marketing, you’ll want to ensure that your website is as impressive as possible for your visitors. Stalk the content of your competitors (and make sure yours is better)! Use Google Pagespeed Insights to ensure that your page isn’t losing interest due to slow loading times.
3. Save On-Premises
If your business is the type that can be run remotely, save on-premises costs and work from home. With the use of the cloud, you can manage all of your business needs via digital software; from your payroll to your orders, content management or video conferencing. It’s not to say that you can’t make a move to business premises later on.
Yet, you’ll save yourself a large amount of money by keeping things simple in the beginning. Ensure that you create the perfect working from home space to keep yourself motivated and creative. When you run a remote operation, you need to find staff who can work via their own initiative and who adapt well to remote working and communication. It’s vital to keep this in mind during your hiring processes.
4. Apply For Grants
To save yourself investing everything that you have- it’s well worth applying for a business grant or two. There are plenty out there for aspiring entrepreneurs, and you never know what a strong application could land you! Different grants are available, depending on your country of residence or type of business, so it’s worth doing the research to see what you qualify for. Some grants require you to match the amount that the grant is paying out; others function as more of a prize or competition.
5. A Small Team
To save money as a start-up, keep your initial team as small as you can. There will be plenty that you can do yourself when your demands are few (at least initially)! Outsource one-off IT or content tasks to freelancers as opposed to hiring permanent members of staff. Doing so can ensure that you are in more of a flexible position financially, which is useful in the beginning. Once you grow as a company, of course, there will be more opportunities for your team to expand.
Using second-hand resources can be an excellent way to save yourself money. Items of factory machinery, for instance, can be very expensive to purchase new. Companies like Revelation Machinery, offer some excellent used options, while sites like ‘Want Don’t Want’ offer some great deals on used office furniture and storage.
Start networking right away as it can be beneficial to meet similar companies who you can learn from (or even perhaps collaborate with). Ensure that you ask for customer feedback even during these early stages. Feedback from those using your products and services is vital data which can help you to improve.