Starting A Business On A Budget
Obstacles and Misconceptions
One of the obstacles that I hear most from people who want to start their business is their budget. The mind automatically goes to “how much is it going to set me back?” “Can I afford it?” The concept alone sounds expensive and daunting. Enough to make people steer clear and put it on a bucket list. The reality is yes, it can be expensive. This isn’t one of those blogs where we make things sound easier than they actually are and put you in debt following the “5 easy steps to starting a business”. Nope… This is a be sensible and go with a crawl, walk, run approach.
Risks are necessary but let them be calculated. As in you think it through. See several ways it can pan out. If the good outweighs the bad. You’ve got yourself a viable option. If it doesn’t table that and come back to it if and when the dynamics change in your favor.
Ask The Right Questions
The right questions can lead you to the answers needed to decide on the way that would work best for you. Being honest with yourself and your situation is also vital to the process. Delusions of grandeur or self-depreciation need not participate. You need to believe in yourself and be willing to put in the work. Without believing in yourself to the point of being overly optimistic. Putting yourself in a financial bind. The happy medium is where most thriving businesses place on the spectrum.
Here are some questions to ask and answer honestly:
- What stage are you in for starting your business?
- Are you in the I have an idea phase?
- Side hustle mode?
- Do you already have a product or service that you’re selling?
- Can your current sales finance your investment in starting your business?
- Are you in a place where you can put a stipend aside each month?
Having an answer to these original set of questions. It allows you to put a plan in place. All roads point to having a thriving business. However, the paths you take to get there will be different.
The Idea Phase Of Starting Your Business On A Budget
If you’re in the idea phase. In some ways, it actually works to your advantage. You actually have more options. When planning how you want to start your business. Deciding on how to develop your brand.
Here are a couple of ways that you can start building your brand from the idea phase.
- Test out the market on social media. Asking friends and family is nice but you want feedback from people that aren't biased. Also from people who won’t be looking for a friend and family discount once you’re up and running.
- Gather feedback on products you’re considering. This will help you with deciding on pricing and the actual demand for your products/services.
- Create samples that you can share with potential customers.
- This will allow you to gather more feedback on any improvements that need to be made.
- While also working on testimonials. People are more apt to buy something when they know they’re not the first. When they see actual testimonials and feedback. It makes a difference.
- If you’re more confident and set on your product/services. Start with offering them through someone else's platform. It’s a safer way to secure feedback on your product and gauge interest. There are some common online stores to choose from 9 sites to sell your products online or you can go with someone more niche.
- Research and identify an e-Commerce/online store that has a decent-sized audience and customer base. Approach them about listing your products/services. While you will most likely have to break off a percentage of the profits. It will give you the necessary exposure to see where you are with your offering. In addition to building your confidence and your client list.
Starting Your Business On A Budget With A Plan
One of the reasons that we specifically work with smaller and midsize businesses. It is to empower entrepreneurs and business owners. Providing insights to get over and around the initial hurdles of starting a business. An important and key way to do that is by talking things through and setting a plan and pace for accomplishing their business goals. When you go in with your eyes open and make smart choices. The calculated risks tend to be worth it. They produce results and business growth.
Crawl, Walk, Run Approach To Starting A Business
As an agency Majority Media provides Brand development and marketing strategy. Establishing the crawl, walk, run approach. Identifying which path is the one of least resistance. Highlighting the path that will allow businesses to reach their goals with fewer risks and more stability. Working within budgets and making moves that will help hit milestones. Milestones that will help facilitate and fund the next set of goals. While it requires patience. The results are worth it when you start hitting those milestones. The path isn’t the same for everyone. Which is why it is important to customize the goals and milestones to your situation. The one size/method fits all tends to lengthen the process. Not shorten it.
Now that we’ve covered starting points and steps for those just starting out. Entrepreneurs in the idea phase. We will continue this as a series and walk through the additional phases and ways to navigate through starting your business on a budget.