Building a business on a budget

Got a great business idea, but don’t have any money to get it started? In some cases, you may not need as much money as you think you do. With a bit of patience and some help from others, you can build a business from virtually nothing. Here are a few tips for the budget entrepreneur.

Don’t buy a premises straight away

This may not work in all cases, but usually there needn’t be a reason to rent an office or shop from the start. You can start many business from home, requiring only a laptop and a phone. If you were hoping to get into retail, you may be able to start with an online store or alternatively a market stall. For those in the catering business, a stall or even a food truck could be a more economical way to begin. Many businesses have started this way and then gained enough business and recognition to move to a permanent premises.

Make use of free services

There are many free programmes and free services that can help you get by a start-up. For example, Quickfile.co.uk offers a free accounting programme to small businesses. Apps like AskALawyer meanwhile can deter the need to hire a solicitor. Research into these free services at first before paying for professionals.

Do your own marketing

You can save a lot of money by doing your own marketing in the beginning. Sites like WordPress.com are ideal for creating your own free website and they require no coding knowledge. Later you may want to pay for professional website development, but a WordPress site will do as a starting point. There are similarly cheap programmes out there for designing leaflets and business cards. You can also promote through social media, with the option to pay a few quid to promote your page or a post if you want to. You certainly shouldn’t be paying thousands for a marketing campaign as a start-up.

Consider borrowing

Most business owners will take out a loan. This could help to cover inventory or other necessary equipment. You can shop around for specific business loans using a broker or shopping around yourself.  Alternatively, you can use sites such as Moneyboat.co.uk for more tailor-made loan options – you can find out more about Moneyboat.co.uk online. There are also peer-to-peer lending sites that could be an option for borrowing money.

Consider seeking investors

Investors will give you a sum of money to use that is interest-free. They can also offer guidance if they are business owners themselves. Getting an investor to back you isn’t easy and requires rehearsing up a good pitch and having a solid business plan. You will also have to offer them an incentive – usually a share in your business profits. Crowdfunding may be another way of getting an investment, although it’s unlikely to be as large an amount as you would get through an official investor.

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