Starting Your Own Business on a Budget: Tips & Tricks

starting your own business on a budget

Starting your own business can seem unattainable, especially when you have limited funds to work with. When thinking about launching, you might feel as though you need a large sum of money in order to even begin. But, I have good news; this is not always the case. In fact, I was able to start my own business for roughly $650, including the paperwork to register as a limited liability company (LLC). I still have yet to take out a business loan. So, fret not; starting your own business on a budget (and without a loan) is possible, and the following are some tricks and tips to help you launch:

Starting Your Own Business On a Budget

Don’t quit your day job:

Normally, “don’t quit your day job” implies you should not pursue anything more than what you are currently doing for money. But, when I say this, I mean maintain your full-time job as you develop your dream. Spend a few hours every night after work (or at your leisure, depending on your level of motivation to start) developing your business plan. Know that you want to start a business but unsure where to begin? Pick something you are passionate about or very knowledgeable in.

As you start the process, plug away some money from your full-time job each month for your business. Even if it is jus $20 a month, every little bit helps and will make launching more of a reality.

Reach out to friends:

Assuming you have already done your market research and developed a business plan, you can reach out to supportive friends who may be willing to help you with certain services you may need to move forward.

For example, if you are a copywriter needing a logo, see if one of your friends in graphic design would be willing to do a trade for service and/or a discounted rate to create your identity. Most of the time, you will most likely find someone willing to help. Even your friends with a background in law may be available to provide some tips on getting started with paperwork or offer a lower rate to help. You can also use the money you’ve been saying from your full-time job to pay for these services up front. Never assume your friends will do it for free; they are, after all, also in business and need to make money too. Also, don’t forget to refer them and spread the love! They will appreciate your word of mouth referral more than you know.

Start online:

The internet is full of amazing opportunities. You can easily start your business online through the creation of a website. Sites like Weebly, Wix, and even WordPress.com all are great platforms to begin on a budget as they all offer templates you can work off of with zero web design skills. With these, you’ll also need to purchase a domain name (AKA your business web address), a process they each walk you through when you sign up. When using WordPress, you will also need a hosting site, which is basically a home for your domain name. Weebly and Wix have theirs built in to their platforms, but their customization is not as advanced as WordPress. Bluehost or GoDaddy.com are both examples of where you can find hosting sites. Again, you may want to reach out to a friend or use a consultation with a marketing company to help you get started with this particular process, as it can sometimes be complicated.

In addition to a website, you can now sell items on Facebook. If you do not want to upgrade your site to be secure enough to sell items (all websites need to have what is known as an SSL certificate when selling items or even collecting emails, which protects private information of site visitors), you can create an account at Shopify.com and connect it to your Facebook page or use Facebook as your store. You will need, however, a PayPal or Square account in order to move forward.

Starting online allows you to save on initial overhead costs (other than your website) on a brick-and-mortar. But, you can surely invest in a physical location after getting your feet wet. This all depends on whether your business would benefit on a physical address or if you can survive solely online.

Make it a side hustle and have supplementary income:

Starting your own business on a budget does not mean you have to wait until you are no longer at your full-time job to begin. You can start with it as a side hustle and continue to grow it until you are ready to be full-time. By all means, you can also make it your primary focus and help your financial situation with a supplementary income until you start seeing a profit in your business. House sitting, dog walking, and freelancing are all examples of easy ways to get this going. You could also use the money from your supplementary income to invest into your business if you needed the extra funding for a special project.

Grow through networking:

Networking is an especially cost-effective way to grow your business. No matter what industry you are in, everyone can benefit from networking. Check your local events calendar to see where opportunities may be for you to meet prospects. You can also utilize your existing connections or memberships to grow. For instance, if you have a gym membership, and you are starting a catering business, you can reach out to the gym manager or members who work at local businesses to see if they would be interested in your services.

All in all, know that starting your own business on a budget can be done. No matter what, though, it always takes consistency and a lot of work in order to make it happen.

Have you been dreaming of starting your own business or have you already? What tips would you add to the list? 

You Really Have to Invest in Digital Marketing and Here’s Why

tips for job huntersGetting your business going requires a lot of planning and work. For instance, starting up would mean not being able to afford a physical location just yet. So you put off plans to make sure you have secured enough money to rent a vacant lot and start operating. But holding up your operations might mean losing the opportunity to target a market that could have benefitted from your product or service when it was a still problem. Now that you are open for business, it would seem another company has taken your place.

We do not want to lose even before we started playing the game, so how are we going to do this if we do not have the funds for a physical location? Well, there is always the Internet and the efforts geared towards raking in customers from it. We are talking about digital marketing, of course. You can find a company that will help you understand online marketing techniques and maximising business content services; and you will see that it is a tried and tested technique that will give positive results.

A lot of small businesses have seen the advantages of investing in digital marketing and having a solid online presence. It would be wise to start looking into it and studying how you can make use of the Internet to your benefit. But to help you understand it more, we have listed down ways on how you can make use of digital marketing to improve your business.

Make sure you have a website

Not a lot of people realise that websites are a very powerful Internet tool. They think having a Facebook or a Twitter is enough to have an online presence. But a well-designed website is what will rank on search engines, one you can manipulate however you can to make sure potential customers can discover you. It should be a treasure trove of information that any social media would not be able to house. You can have a blog on your website along with video demos and company background.

However, content is pretty useless if the design is very meek. Make sure that the design compliments the content, and that navigating the website is intuitive.

Learn about SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an online marketing technique that will help you rank on Google or any other search engine. Involved in this would be optimising your website content by making use of keywords that people would type in a search bar to inquire. If your optimisation techniques are aligned with the best practices, your website will be one of the first ones to appear on the results page.

Have a dialogue with customers

Being active on social media is one way to keep customers interested. But if you really want to retain them and attract more, you will have to engage with them. Discuss with them about the problems or concerns they might be facing that your product or service can help them with. You can ask how you can improve your business, or you can even just choose to say, “Hi”.

Consider email marketing efforts

Contrary to what we believe, people still open their emails. In fact, many opportunities have opened for businesses who continue sending out newsletters and email marketing promos. What you can do is to build an email list through a subscription form that will be available on your website. You can send them weekly updates about your product, or even about the industry. Send them promos and discount deals, and so on.

What we have listed above are sure fire ways to attract and maintain customers. Of course, you have to be proactive when it comes to the Internet because trends can easily come and go. But once you have the hang of it, digital marketing will be a breeze.

Can You Really Make A Living From LuLaRoe?

smile-1485850_1920LuLaRoe began with the stay-at-home mom in mind. But, can you really make a living from it?

Multi-level marketing (MLM) has been around for quite some time and is met with different criticisms and feelings. Many view this type of work as controversial, stating it is a borderline pyramid scheme. Despite this, new MLM companies regularly emerge; some successful, some not so much; some ethical, some also not so much. However, this form of direct selling shows no signs of stopping any time soon.



How does MLM work?

Multi-level marketing relies on word of mouth marketing as a primary source of sales. Those with MLMs can sell directly to consumers and recruit associates to be what is known as their downline, who then follow the same process. A multi-level compensation plan is typically also put into place. Examples of MLM businesses include Avon, Nutrilite, Tupperware, and, of course, LuLaRoe.

What is LuLaRoe?

LuLaRoe (LLR) is one of those MLM companies that began when founder DeAnne Stidham decided to finally start her dream of launching her own clothing line, following previous favorable outcomes in network marketing. According to the LuLaRoe website, DeAnne wanted to share her success with others, while simultaneously uplifting individuals to help them be successful as well. It is this mindset that is attributed to helping the business grow so quickly in such a short amount of time.

You’ve probably seen your Facebook newsfeed filled with women sporting their “LLR,” along with invitations to multiple pop-up sales events. As more of your friends start to dive into LLR as a career, which is roughly an initial investment of $5,000, you might wonder, “Can this really work as an income? With so many people doing it, won’t the market become over-saturated?”

Many argue yes, you can still be successful with this company regardless of the amount of consultants in one area. The main reason LuLaRoe is able to make this work is by providing distributors with different patterns and styles to help draw and maintain sales.

So, does it really work?

In order to see if you really can do this as a source of a full-time income successfully, though, I spoke with a few LLR sellers over the Labor Day weekend. One woman I spoke with just became an associate and sold $500 worth of clothes in her first night. And, two other women in particular, whom I’d like to highlight, turned LuLaRoe into a very lucrative career in less than a year.

In October 2015, neighbors and friends Ashley Adams and Kerrie Butler from Royal Palm Beach, Florida, started their LuLaRoe journey and poured their heart and souls into their new business from day one.

“It was not easy working full-time at our day jobs and then coming home to another full-time shift, but it was certainly worth the return,” Kerrie said. “In a matter of 4 months, I was able to replace my full-time income as a medical professional, a position which I held for 13 years. Ashley was also able to retire from her position as an office manager in the same time frame.”

In addition to this impressive step, the ladies also obtained the title as “coach” in the company, one position away from the top rank of “mentor.”

“We are happy and proud to say that we are both officially full-time LuLaRoe Fashion Consultants.”

The added benefits?

Prior to diving in fully to LLR, both women had set out some big goals for themselves. Along with wanting to replace their income, they wanted to put their children in private schools. Thanks to LuLaRoe, they did both. Not just that, but they were able to pay for their first year in full.

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Ashley and Kerrie weaing LuLaRoe. Photo credit: Laurel Serra Photography

“The financial gains have been nothing short of incredible,” Kerrie said.

As for those who may be doubtful, the girls pay no attention to the negativity.

“There will always be naysayers in all aspects of life,” Kerrie added. “The LuLaRoe culture is all about blessing and strengthening families, and that is what we try to share with others.”

The best part about this job? There are so many, they say. These include but not are limited to: Empowering women, bringing mommies home to raise their children, and, one of their favorites, making women feel beautiful and confident in their own skin.

For those interested in getting started with the business, the ladies are more than willing to talk to anyone to determine if it is a good fit for them. For Ashley and Kerrie, they state that it has blessed their families beyond measure. You can visit their group and become part of their LLR family here.

So, is LuLaRoe for you?

With any opportunity comes risks. And, with any new business venture, hard work and dedication is necessary in order to succeed. Companies like LuLaRoe boast of enabling stay-at-home moms enjoy being a full-time parent, create a stream of revenue and help other women feel beautiful. When looking to become involved in any MLM, however, remember to always do your research on the company, its history and its policies to make sure it is right for you and is ethical. One like LuLaRoe has a mission that goes beyond the income; it is part of a movement.

There have been many entrepreneurs who have started out with MLM, then branched off on their own. Regardless of whether or not you plan to start your own company one day, LuLaRoe seems to be a great way to develop professional skills and make a living, especially if you love fashion.

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Tara Covert, LLR distributor, sporting LLR’s “Irma” top.