If you’re looking to realize your business dreams in Syracuse, you might be searching for a way to fund your business operations. Unless you have a large amount of money in your bank account, you should have sufficient capital to start and run your own company. This is where banks and other big financial institutions come to the rescue. Continue reading
Ever since the government urged businesses to close down because of COVID-19, the unemployment rate has gone up. But did you know now is the perfect time to start a business? People need supplies and retailers are feeling overwhelmed. If you can meet the needs of those customers, they’ll become loyal to you even after the pandemic ends.
Use the following strategies to get your startup and running:
- Find Capital
The first thing you need to start your business is financing. Create a sound business plan and take it to potential investors. Some banks may still give you loans if they think your business idea is good. Do your research so that you know everything about the market and how your product will satisfy your customers. Consider the competition and make accurate financial projections. Make your business plan as detailed and as clear as possible so that investors can trust you with their money.
- Take Advantage of Government Incentives
The Federal government created a stimulus package to help small businesses that are struggling during these tough times. Find out what incentives the government has put in place to help startups. Such services can help you save money when getting your business off the ground.
- Get Insurance
Since you’re not sure when the difficult times will end, you need to shield your business from risk. Having business insurance for your startup is as important as malpractice liability insurance to a practicing physician. Protect your workers with worker’s compensation and your business from risks such as fires and theft.
Marketing helps your business reach the intended target. However, the marketing mistake that startups make is advertising to a general audience. If you want your efforts to be successful, you have to be very specific. Narrow down your target market and make it as small as possible. You’re more likely to make sales if you personalize the message for a small target market.
- Start Small
Instead of going big from the get-go, start small and build your way up. Even if you understand the market, customers are unpredictable. You may not reach your sales target during the first three months due to low traffic. To shield your business from huge expenses, you can start by operating from your garage or home office. Then, when the orders become too much to handle in such a small space, you can move to a bigger office.
- Leverage on Technology
Thanks to technology, information is everywhere. Take advantage of the resources around you to gain a competitive edge. Install software that will help you manage the business accounts and orders. Use technology to make your business more efficient – machines are better at calculations. Use online analytics to check on the effectiveness of your website. Take advantage of digital marketing platforms to reach more people.
- Have a Backup Plan
Create a backup plan of what you’ll do if you don’t meet your sales target during the first year. Make sure that you have saved enough money to keep your business running for at least half a year. Keep an eye on cash flows and consider negotiating for the best deals with suppliers. Since things are bad, try to make them understand that you may need more time to repay debts. That way, you’ll have more money to deal with more urgent business. Although it’s risky for you to start a business during these difficult times, it’s not impossible. Right now, people need essential supplies. Use the above tips to take advantage of opportunities in the market.
During these uncertain times, there is a lot to consider and you can feel overwhelmed. Please see this article on BetterHelp for further information on ways to combat any anxiety during the pandemic.
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 just $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.
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 into 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?