Ever wondered how to start a business, or better yet, ever wondered how to start a business with no money?
In today’s competitive marketplace, it pays to be creative. Many times with no money in there pocket, businesses and savvy entrepreneurs are born. If you think you have the characteristics of an entrepreneur, but you are money poor and rich with ideas, read on. There are plenty of ways for the cash strapped to start and promote their businesses.
Here are five tips for savvy entrepreneurs:
- Make it your mission to spend as little money as possible on the things you need for your business. Take advantage of free software like OpenOffice and websites like HitTail that custom selects keyword phrases that drive traffic to you. Acquire free office equipment through Freecycle and Craigslist. Make use of free trial offers and use special discounts and rebates for business owners. This will allow you to make the most of every dollar you spend.
- Barter with other businesses. Don’t discount the power of trade. There’s so much you can do just by asking other business owners if they’re willing to barter with you. Before making a deal, put it in writing. This will protect you from any misunderstandings that come your way. It will also be a binding contract which allows you to collect agreed upon goods or services in a timely manner.
- Make the most of your advertising dollars by making them work twice as hard for you. Include advertising material in other mailings. This is a great way to promote your products and services without adding to the cost of postage. People in your target demographic are likely receiving mail from you already. Take the opportunity to introduce them to your latest marketing campaign by including materials in with mailed price quotes and invoices.
- Use testimonials to create credibility. According to Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and other social networks),”The great news about the new world of communications we live in today is that everybody has a shot. Build a great product, get the word out to a few people, make it easy for people to share with their friends, and you can win without spending a boatload.” Word-of-mouth advertising goes a long way in today’s world of business.
- Time your payments. Ask vendors if they reward customers with a discount for paying early. If they don’t, pay your invoices as late as possible without incurring fees. Money in the bank earns you a return and not someone else. This gives you more control over your finances and allows you to keep track of spending efficiently. Use spreadsheet to measure how much money is coming in and how much money is going out each month.
You don’t need a lot of money to start a business. By making use of free resources, you can reduce costs, drive customers to your business, and retain them like never before. Promote your new products and services with tools that you have on hand. It’s easy and best of all, it puts your creativity to the test.
Be sure to not forget about writing a business plan!
Author: KC Beavers
KC Beavers is a semi-retired entrepreneur. The subject of personal finance has always fascinated him. In an effort to not bore those around him with all his love of personal finance as much he has come here to bore all of you instead.
Not only is this solid advice, but it is timely as many folks are attempting to start their own business instead of look for good paying jobs that are hard to find.
Love these tips--I'm already bartering with other business owners to help get some of my projects off the ground. It's a win-win for everyone :)
These are all great tips. We've traded services before with other small businesses and it generally works out great for both sides and there is no money spent to get what the other needs.