If you are looking to be your own boss but don’t have the necessary
capital to invest in large start up costs, there are still ways to
achieve your dream with a bit of careful planning. It’s possible to
start a business on a budget of 100 dollars, although if you have a
few hundred dollars available then that would, of course, make it much
easier. Either way, if you are starting out on a very limited budget,
it’s best to open a business that has the capacity to start earning
income for you straight away. Next, you need to focus on minimizing
your start up costs, and there are a number of steps you can take to
help you do this.
Draw Up a Budget
If you want your new business to be a success, then you must be
realistic. Draw up a budget of income and expenditure for the first
six months and compare it to the amount you have to invest. Remember
to include a contingency plan in case you don’t meet your projected
revenue targets. Your contingency plan doesn’t have to include
spending more money, it could simply be to spend more time on your
business to increase sales or cutting your costs. Once you have the
budget, it must be monitored. Every cent can count at this stage so
remember to keep comparing your actual costs to your budget so you
stay firmly in control.
Run Your Business from Home
Office rental expenses can be one of a new business’s most costly
overheads, and taking out a lease for an office space may involve you
committing yourself to a long term contract. To avoid this, think
about whether it is possible to run your new business from home.
Ideally, try to find some available space in your home that you can
dedicate to your business, but even if this isn’t possible, do
remember that many successful businesses literally started off being
run from the kitchen table. Of course, before you do, remember to
check with your local zoning office as some towns have restrictions
which prevent or limit businesses being run from home.
Set up a Website
The beauty of setting up an online business is that you can reach a
much greater number of potential customers and your website can be
working for you 24 hours a day showcasing your goods and taking
orders. To set up a website may cost less than you think as there are
many online templates you can use, after which it’s simply a matter of
paying for your monthly internet connection and for your web hosting
company, the combined cost of which can be under 50 dollars per month.
If you don’t have the funds to make this investment, then consider
using online malls such as Etsy which are already set up for you and
to whom you only pay commission when you make a sale.
Selling on Consignment
If you are selling goods that you have purchased from a wholesaler or
manufacturer, ask them if they will offer the option to sell the goods
on consignment. This means that you do not have to pay your supplier
until a customer has ordered and paid for the goods. The downside of
this option is that your profit will usually be less as the supplier
will charge you a higher price, however it can be an excellent way to
allow your business to build up earnings until you have sufficient
capital to purchase the stock yourself.
Purchasing Office Equipment
If you need office equipment to get started in your venture, then
consider buying second hand items. This can save you a lot of money,
especially when it comes to IT equipment. Also be very firm with
yourself about what you actually need. If a piece of equipment is
something you want rather than something you need, then put it on hold
until you are up and running. It may also be a good idea to consider
leasing your equipment rather than buying it. For instance, buying a
photocopier can cost thousands of dollars but they can often be leased
for tens of dollars each month.
The key to keeping your costs downs is to always think creatively; can
you get items cheaper, could you carry out a task yourself rather than
employing someone to do it, how can you market your business cost
effectively and what deals can you make with suppliers? Finally, do
keep in mind that the success of your business will be far more likely
to rest on your efforts than on your original investment.”
Ian Wright loves helping new businesses off the ground. He recommends
looking at postage meters from Expert Market US as an additional way
to reduce your business costs.