So you have your idea, you have opened the business and you are starting out. Starting a business can be expensive if you don’t plan it well. During the process, it is so easy to be blinded by the newest, shiniest of technology, pens, and websites. But, since owning and operating a business can be so expensive once it is up and running, there is no need to spend a lot of money in the beginning stages until you know where best your money should be spent.
Here are a few ideas on how to save money when first starting out as an entrepreneur!
1. First things first, take inventory of the tools you already have! If you already have a laptop, printer, ink, paper, etc. These are all big savings items that you might not need to invest in right away. By doing this, you are increasing the investment for a startup without much thought.
2. When looking for software, look at low cost or free items. If you don’t already have a Microsoft subscription, Google GSuites are a low-cost alternative to start out in your business. They save to the cloud and allow you to review them at any time. As your account grows, you may want to invest in a subscription, but that is something to do down the road. Also looking at tools like Wave Accounting, Adobe PDF reader, Canva, Hootsuite, Teamwork (project management tools). These are just a few programs available to you for free/low cost to implement parts of your business.
3. What about refurbished equipment? After taking stock in your inventory of equipment you discover that your laptop isn’t going to cut it? Or a piece of other equipment that you desperately need to launch – check online with your auction sites, Amazon, eBay, etc. You never know what equipment that may have come off of a corporate lease that has been professionally rebooted could save you both in time but in overall cost, for they can be large operating machines at a lower cost – then you are upcycling until you have your business ready for new equipment!
4. When starting your advertising structure – start low cost/free. You can set up a Google My Business Profile, Business page on Facebook, Business page on Twitter and Instagram. By using these tools and management tools like Hootsuite to start out, this will allow you a chance to get your name out without overspending. As the foot traffic and the return on investment (of time) starts coming in, then you can look at expanding into Google or Facebook ads, etc.
5. Bartering – this is more than just goods for goods, it could be serviced by other startups. Need a website? Maybe someone looking for testimonials would work on it for next to free. Need administrative help? Maybe an out of college student would help you while you are starting out to get workforce experience? Think outside the box, there are many opportunities to get help in starting your business without it costing a huge part of your budget.
These are just a few ways to start out on your entrepreneurial journey without blowing your limited budget. How else could you save funds without a lot of effort? This is just the tip of the iceberg!