For the final installment in our series on ‘Becoming an Entrepreneur’, I’d like to leave you with some tips on getting your business up and running quickly and inexpensively, since one of the biggest problems for new enterprises is handling (lack of) cash flow.
Don’t pay more than you have to
Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to do everything from making phone calls to purchasing a home more cheaply and efficiently than ever before. Thus, don’t spend more money in your start-up phase than you have to. Do marketing research through free survey websites, use social network sites to market your product/ service, analyze customer data through Google Analytics, find web or software developers in other countries through search engines and chat forums to develop your website or app , and look on Ebay or Etsy for people to manufacture your product. There are plenty of free or low-cost resources available to you if you seek them out- save your cash for the things that you can’t get cheaply or for free.
Stay at home for as long as possible
All in one printers, Photoshop, Google Voice, free phone conferencing or phone answering services- there are so many options today to run a quality business out of your home office. Need to host a business meeting? Rent an office for as short as one day or longer through companies like iStopOver. The goal here is to keep your overhead as low as possible for as long as possible, so that you can use your revenue (if any!) to reinvest in your business rather than pay for pricey real estate.
How did people pay for goods and services centuries (millenium?) ago without access to cash? They bartered, or traded what they possessed for what they wanted to possess. You can still take advantage of this practice in the 21st century, by trading your business service or product for another rather than purchasing. Try posting ads on Craigslist or a bartering website like Swapace, listing the service you need and what you will provide in return for it. Once again, think twice before putting out an extensive outlay of cash for any item, by seeing if you can find a creative way to get these items instead.
So now you hopefully have enough tips at your disposal to not only develop a new business idea, but also to establish it using as few cash resources as possible. If you have other ideas on starting a business big on ideas and low on funds, please include them below.