Savvy entrepreneurs have refuted the traditional belief that “you need money to make money.” At least not in the digital era.
In today’s world, it is your innovative and creative entrepreneurial skills that will earn you the money. For instance, look at companies using social media as their business premise, or those that have embraced the BYOD policy to cut on equipment costs. Great, right?
Your biggest task as an entrepreneur is figuring out how to work with what you have and control costs. Want to start a business on a tight budget. Here are some tips to guide you through with your little budget.
1. Have a good business strategy
No idea or business flourishes without a plan. If you think about it, it is usually the plan that results in business success. This means your business is only as good as your strategic plan.
A good strategy should ask and answer the following questions.
- What is the type and nature of your business?
- Who do you consider customers and competitors? Are there any barriers to entry and success
- How will you generate sales and promote your product?
- Will you be able to manage the business and serve customers?
- Can you make money from the idea?
2. Your product or service must be unique
Starting a new business on a tight budget is not easy. Penetrating a new product and gaining acceptance in the market is not a walk in the park either.
However, you can make this process easy by designing something unique. Unique in this sense, implies a product with unusual characteristics, solves a problem and adds value to people.
The easiest way to go about it is to work with something that you are passionate about; one that you will not have a problem talking about a thousand times.
3. Use Open Source Software
When running an upstart, the goal should be to cut costs as much as possible and stay within your budget.
Certain things like purchasing software can take a toll on your finances. Before spending a single dollar on software, try to find a free alternative. A great way of cutting costs on software is embracing the best open-source alternatives.
You will find tools that are free, secure, reliable, and can be customized. For example, if you are running on Mac, you can edit business images using free editors instead of hiring a graphic designer or using tools like Photoshop.
You can read more on the different tools you can use for photo editing using native options on Mac. The same applies to any other tool you might need in your business. You don’t have to invest a lot of inexpensive tools when you are starting out.
4. Don’t spend money unnecessarily
Did you know you can start a business with almost zero cost? One way is to simply avoid paying for office space and instead use social media as your office.
You will be surprised to know that some of the best stores in the market today started as a purely online entity. The idea is if you do not have the money, at least have the time to do most of the work.
Embrace the “Do it yourself” mantra for your small business. You will save so much by simply staying organized and doing most of the tasks.
5. Start a loyalty program
Part of starting a loyalty program is understanding the impact one good customer can have on your business. Did you know that it is 6-7 times more expensive for companies to attract new customers than to keep existing ones?
Moreover, small businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 trying to attract new customers. This is quite costly for a startup. An effective way to avoid such costs is building a loyalty program that will keep your current customers and make you more money.
You can simply run a program that rewards customers with points for each purchase and allows them to unlock when making a new purchase.
6. Try affiliate marketing
Imagine a platform that allows you to significantly scale your earnings, market, and grow your business with no risks? Sounds nice, right.
Well, that is what you get with affiliate marketing. The lucrative online stream is an online sale tactic that allows a product owner to increase sales by allowing affiliates to earn a commission by recommending the product to others.
Imagine what could happen if a celebrity shares your product? This strategy could scale your business by netting you a healthy income.
Not convinced yet? Here is what you gain by investing in affiliate marketing
- Expand your audience
- Build brand awareness
- Creates partnerships with experienced salespersons
- Boosts SEO
- Gain a high Return on Investment(ROI)
7. Social media presence will create demand
Social media is a great way to help your small business connect with prospects and customers. Some entrepreneurs have built successful businesses using social media platforms.
When done right, social media can make sales skyrocket. What is more interesting is that most of these social media sites are free. You don’t need to worry about investing money to use the platforms.
All you need to do is create accounts and use the sites to create demand for your products and services.
Key points on using social media for business
- Find out where your target audience spends their time online and dominate on that platform.
- Use photos and videos for quick engagements. People don’t like wordy content
- Social media is not a monologue platform. Connect, engage, interact and appreciate your audience
8. Use Email marketing
With over 3. 7 billion email users, email marketing has become one of the most appreciated tools of marketing. In fact, 86 percent of B2B marketers rely on email marketing campaigns to promote their businesses.
Luckily, there are a ton of email marketing service tools, of which some are completely free. As a startup business on a budget, the key things to look out for when sourcing for email marketing tools are deliverability and technicality.
Some of the best free email marketing tools include; Mailchimp, Moosend, HubSpot, Kickbox, Mailstrip, etc.
Final thoughts: Start a business with a tight budget
Most people like to sugar coat and paint entrepreneurship as this easy way of moving from your 9-5 and earning quick money.
The truth is, the journey is worthwhile, but there are no shortcuts or magic formulas to make piles of cash appear in your bank account overnight. You have to work hard, learn, and exercise patience to grow.
These tips should get you started and running even if you have a tight budget.
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