Starting a business may be easier if you have lots of money behind you. But it is entirely possible to get your business off the ground without bucketfuls of cash. Not having any money is no excuse if you are confident that you have a product or service people will buy.
Success in business is often about having the drive and determination to succeed. Keep your goals in sight and be prepared to be creative, flexible and industrious. The following guidelines could help you bootstrap your way to a successful enterprise!
Before you start writing your resignation letter to answer your entrepreneurial calling – stop. If you are lucky enough to have a job, keep it, until the money starts rolling in. Starting a business often takes longer than you might imagine and making sure you can pay your personal bills has to be a priority. Having less sleep because you are working twice as hard is better than losing sleep because you don’t know how you are going to meet your mortgage repayments.
Write a business plan. If you’ve never written a business plan this can be a daunting task. Tap into free business advice. Enterprise for London have experienced business advisers and tried and tested business planning master classes to help you with this task.
If you do want to apply for funding and have been turned down by traditional methods perhaps think about crowd funding, or asking friends or family for a loan.
Your local library has a wealth of information at your fingertips. Not just from the books on the shelves but also from the access they have to market research reports and industry information. Most libraries also allow you to book time on their computers if you don’t have internet access at home.
If you need equipment you might be able to source it for free in the freebie section of Gumtree or on websites such as Freecycle. Not only is this helping your pocket but it is also helping the environment by recycling.
Keep your overheads to a minimum by doing as much as possible yourself. Taking on staff and premises is a costly business and in the early days can put too much pressure on your cash flow. Hire meeting rooms by the hour and staff by the day when necessary enabling you to avoid long term contracts. Making long term commitments at the start will put you under an enormous amount of pressure.
Utilise free technology to spread the word about your business. There are several sites that allow you to build a website for free. Social networking is an amazing resource to shout about your products or services, so update your status, tweet or blog. Anything that will get your message out there. Don’t be shy and ask your customers to endorse you online too, it spreads your message further, quicker and gives potential customers confidence in your business.
There is no easy short cut way to making a profit. You are the key into turning your business dreams into reality – even if it is on a shoestring budget!