Budget Business: How to start a Business on a Tight Budget
A lot of people will tell you that starting a business is expensive and it can be. It doesn’t have to be however and there are many ways you can start a business when it looks like you have no spare money to invest and no chance of sourcing any from elsewhere. There are of course risks of starting a business on a tight budget but as many work at home mums and dads know, sometimes life is more important than your bank balance.
Trying to start a business with absolutely zero capital is almost impossible but with a tight budget there’s no reason you can’t begin a work from home business that is perfectly functional and profitable in time. If you have no budget immediately available, despite a definite business idea then here are a couple of initial ideas for you.
1. Keep your expenses low
Starting a business can be quick and cheap if you take advantage of the free resources available. Start simply with a wordpress.com website for example and you don’t have to spend any money at all and when money starts rolling in, you can look at working with a professional to develop your site. Alternatively consider skill swaps with other work at home mums and dads who may be able to provide design or marketing services in exchange for your service or product.
2. Stay at work
This is not a popular option amongst wannabe work at home mums and dads but if you can make it work, it’s one way of ensuring you maintain an income whilst working towards your dream. Start your business in the little spare time you have and if it takes off, then is the time to say goodbye to the day job.
3. Put every Penny back in
It may sound hard but if you commit to putting any money earned straight back into the business you’ll soon see it grow. Even if you earn £50 for something, invest it straight back in and your business will naturally grow more quickly than those where all cash is used for other purposes.
Freelancing is described as a way of being your own boss and working as much or as little as you want or need to. Freelance work can be long-term or short and it could be something as simple as data entry or catalogue delivery, or it could be something more technical such as copywriting or website development. Casual freelancing is a step towards a career as a virtual assistant without going the whole hog.
5. Choose a Low Cost Start-up
There are some small businesses which naturally involve more investment than others. Choose a low cost start-up such as running an online store or a service business based on your existing skills and the costs will be much lower than if you’re trying to develop and market a new product or trying to setup a business with employees or premises requirements.
6. Make a Claim
Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to and also ensure that you have paid the right tax on any self-employed or business income, as in many cases people find they have overpaid and can claim come back, freeing up cash for the family budget.
Many renowned businesspeople have been loud and proud about how they start their first business with pennies or no cash at all but as a parent it isn’t as easy to just decide to change the life you have setup for your family as well as yourself. There is no reason you can’t start a business on a small budget but it’s worth keeping the below pitfalls in mind as you begin your journey.
One Man Band
Committing to a business on a small budget means it’s all down to you. Hiring employees and even enlisting outsourced support is probably beyond your means and therefore you need to be ready to learn all about a wide range of different facets of your business. You’ll need to learn about more than just your business area including the basics accounting and marketing if you want to be a success.
Scout the Competition
It’s very likely that there will be other businesses in your sector with money to burn. You can monitor their practices and be aware of what they’re doing but the chances of being able to replicate it are small, so instead, you will need to get inventive. Look at your competitors but use them as a benchmark from which you can develop and grow your business in a different direction, utilising all the free resources available to you from social media to talented friends.
It is very easy to get drawn into a vicious circle of not having enough. You can spend your days bemoaning the fact you don’t have enough money and therefore, you don’t have enough work, or you can dedicate your time to changing both these things. Falling into the trap of undercharging just to get work through the door can be the death knell of your business and so you need to be confident in what you can do and stick to your guns.
Money isn’t everything, even in business. If you start small there is no reason you can’t grow your business organically. Investing what you earn back into the business to make it bigger and better will soon result in profits which you can claim as your own. People may tell you that starting your budget business is irresponsible and risky but only you know what it right for you and your family.