Many entrepreneurs start pursuing their dreams from a place of scarcity; either they’re tired of the same old 9-5 paycheck, or simply don’t want to be held down by the weight of employment any longer. Starting a business on a shoestring budget is tough; there will be plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way. However, the short answer is: yes, you can absolutely start a business on a shoestring budget in 2019. Keep reading to learn more.
Start Saving as Much as Possible
So you want to start your own business? Starting a business will require funding. That funding can start in the form of loose change put into a jar. It may not seem like much, but not only with this get you in the mindset of saving, but it’s also a visual representation of your goals to keep you on track when motivation seems low.
Start putting extra change away; a dollar here or there, twenty-five cents every day, and you’ll find that your jar fills quickly. Creating a business will require sacrifice, so give up things like cigarettes, alcohol, or any other unnecessary expenses and put that money towards your business. You’ll be amazed at how much your habits cost you every month.
Sacrifice in minor things can add up quickly into an avalanche effect. Soon, you’ll be saving a lot of money every month, investing it in your ideas and growing your business from a seed to a full-blown business entity.
Work out of Your House
Did we mention personal sacrifice? This will likely appear in the form of space as well. You’ll want somewhere to work, and since you’re on a shoestring budget, office or production spaces are out of the question. If you have an extra room, a basement, or an attic, you can turn that space into your production/testing/work area for little to no cost. Unused space is almost a crime, so turn that old attic into something useful to help you reach your goals.
The comfort of home may even help you explore new ideas and get more done. For some people, however, the home has the opposite effect. It’s best to choose one room and isolate your projects away from distractions like your TV, gaming console, or even your phone.
Social Media Means Free Marketing Platforms
Marketing is your best friend in the business, and when it comes to marketing on a budget, there’s no greater tool at your disposal than social media. Almost all social media sites allow you to create a profile for free, and from there, you can create pages for your brand, product, and services listings, and begin sharing with all of your friends.
Facebook has a useful little marketing tool where you can create an ad listing for as little as $5. The amount you spend on the campaign will determine how far it reaches and how many people see it, but it’s a great first step into marketing for those who are operating on a shoestring budget.
The secret to social media engagement with your potential customers is keeping your pages updated. If there are no updates, customers will likely forget about your brand. Remember that out of sight, out of mind, is absolutely true on social media. Keep yourself at the forefront of your customers’ minds with frequent updates on your pages.
LLC’s Cost Around $100
There are plenty of resources online to help you get an LLC for around $100, without any legal help. Filing an LLC is actually quite simple, and with sites like LegalZoom, you can easily navigate the process and be on your way to becoming a legitimate business in your state. Be sure to stay alert to any extra requirements or filing fees your state may have, and always fill out your forms in their entirety before turning them in.
If you get stuck, sites like LegalZoom will have a help center; or you can look up tutorials and other information online. The internet contains a wealth of information at your fingertips; not utilizing it to its fullest potential can only serve to hold you back from success.
Find a Partner
Finding the right partner can be a very tricky process. Not only do you need to find someone who upholds your vision for the business and supports your ideas, but they also need to be trustworthy enough to go into business with. Your first thought maybe friends and family; and while this is an option, if things go south with the business, it could very easily affect the relationship you have with those people.
It’s best to meet people in your field with skills to offer. Recruiting just anyone to be your business partner can prove fatal for the business later on when they don’t actually bring anything to the table. A partner doesn’t have to be local, either. If you use video conferencing software for work, you already have a great way to connect with people all over the world.
Be picky when choosing a partner. Don’t be afraid to say no to someone you don’t feel has the qualifications or drive you’re looking for. A partner should help bear the burden of running the business, and bring fresh ideas to the table. You don’t want to pull deadweight while trying to run a business!