Easy and affordable ways to start a small business
Businesses are born every moment and if you are passionate enough you can start yours too. Just be attentive to all that is going around and I bet, you can easily spot at least one unaddressed problem a day that begs for an answer or a solution, add some enthusiasm, seriousness and focus to it and voila, you are ready to get going.
Most people get to this point and often fail to take-off from here, reasons:
- They feel business is not their genre
- They do not have the required finances and lack experience
- It's just an idea, don't know whether it will work or not
- Let's get a job first....
Did you feel the same way too?
In business, you have TWO KEY aspects, the product/service and the sale; all other activities just support these two. So to start with, just focus and worry about creating a product or service and a way to sell it.
Remember; do not start by focusing on acquiring office premises, recruiting employees, putting up the office furniture, designing a sales process, marketing and so on. It is not that they are not important, but at least, for now a single point undivided focus on developing your product or service and then finding your first customer is most important. Believe me; the rest will happen, check out how.
Look to rent, part of an existing office premises. You can easily locate someone who will be willing to part their office premises for a share of rent. You can also consider your backyard, garage or your uncle's workshop to start with if you have an absolute crunch for money. You can always use business centers available for hourly rent for official meetings.
- Dell started his business from his dorm room
- Apple and Google started in their respective garages
Save your pocket money/disposable income, take small bank loans, pool up as much as you can and invest smartly. Also constantly be on the lookout for someone who may be interested in investing in your stuff. You can also look for a part time job to meet your running expenses.
To start with look for freelancers who work from home or recruit apprentices. This will save you, office space, money, and all the issues related to maintaining regular staff. If you need professionals, then hire them on contractual basis either weekly or monthly and get your product or service out as quickly as possible. Virtual assistant outsourcing a new and cost-effective way of getting professional manpower for your business. Even though you are starting small, there is stuff that needs to be done professionally like managing documents, answering and forwarding calls, offering customer support, website development, social media management, accounting, and so on. You can hire a VA for all these activities and focus on your core, which is extremely important while running a small business.
Instead of hiring marketers, start with your own PR skills, talk about your product or service at all public gatherings, events, and family get-togethers. I am sure you will find your first customer through your own marketing skills. You can also spend at least an hour or two visiting your business acquaintances to present your stuff. Just wait for the word of mouth marketing to catch on. Think about KFC, it all began with a door-to-door campaign.
Another potent and affordable marketing tool is emails. Rent database of your target group, get your sales copy done and start pushing emails. This by far is the cheapest and most effective way to push your product. Use social media to spread the word easily and frugally.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, there are innumerable tools available on the Internet, which can instantly boost your business efficiency at the lowest affordable cost. For instance, there are many useful tools like task managers, instant messengers, personalized email services, mass communication tools, bookkeeping software, etc., that will accelerate your business growth.
Hire female agents who prefer to work from home. The benefits are you can save on their travel time and money, as females have more patience they are more suited for customer support jobs. They will also feel happy as it gives them ample time with their families, especially if they have children to take care of. This way all your phone calls will be answered and forwarded to you, even if you are busy.
One final word
Just imagine, how a 16-year-old Swedish boy, who left home, came to America with just $5 dollars in his pocket unable to speak a word in English went on to build a multi-million dollar retail empire called Nordstrom.