Starting a business needs capital no matter how many people try to lead you into believing that you can start a business with no money. There is a big difference between starting a business with a shoestring budget and starting with nothing.
I will not sugar-coat it, starting a business requires time, effort and money. I also believe that anyone with the right mindset, skills, and motivation can start a business with a shoestring budget.
To me, shoestring budget does not only mean “limited” budget, but it also means keeping track of your business expenses so you don’t go over budget.
Behind all the joys and celebration that you feel when you start a business, don’t lose track of what you are spending on.
For starters, here are 10 ways to save money when starting your business.
1. Start Small
a. Choose a business with low overhead; meaning one that doesn’t require a lot of capital. Starting an online business is way cheaper than opening a brick and mortar business mostly because of the added overhead costs of a physical location.
b. Don’t spend money on a lavish website. Unless you know web design, you can end up spending several hundred to several thousand dollars for a web designer to create a luxurious website for you. For someone just starting out, all you need to spend is approximately $100 per month, which includes web hosting.
2. Hold off on ordering logos, business cards or stationeries
Wait until you are sure (and have proven) that the business you just started is the right one for you. You might find out that you need to “pivot” or change your business path or model, which might make all those items you ordered no longer useful and were a waste of money.
3. Find unnecessary expenses by auditing your credit card
One you find those unnecessary expenses, which are usually your wants not your needs, make a sincere effort to avoid them.
4. Keep your business as a side gig for a while
Until your business becomes profitable enough to support both you and your business, keep a “safety net” – the income you get from your job. It would be less stressful running a business if you know that you have income coming from another source. Though this might not be saving you money, per se, it is saving your sanity and allowing you to focus on your business instead of worrying if you have enough money to put food on the table.
Some people just quit their job and start a business in the hope that they, too, will hit it big a few months or so after launching their online businesses. Sure there are some who did just that and successfully earned thousands of dollars on their first launch. But those are few and far between.
5. Resist the lure of the shiny object
Shiny objects could be eBooks, courses, group coaching programs, and the likes – that usually end up on your computer drive and never implemented.
Be honest now, how many shiny objects do you have that you never finished reading or worse, never even started. I suffered from that, too. I am a sucker for Udemy courses. I have a lot of them (free ones and those I bought when they were on sale at super cheap prices) that I have not even started. I now delete any updates of available courses that end up in my inbox to avoid temptations.
6. Distinguish needs from wants.
Many of us try to convince ourselves when we want something that we need it, especially shiny objects for fear of missing out.
7. Don’t buy any business ‘tools’ if there’s one that cost less or even free.
Use software or business “tools” that offer free trial period. This will give you a hands-on experience whether you’d like or need the tool enough to warrant buying it.
8.Keep your personal expenses to a minimum.
It is not the time to take out big loans such as the purchase of a house or a new car, nor should you take on new personal debt. Some business coaches tell their prospective clients to borrow from their retirement fund or skip a month of mortgage payment to pay for their courses. I don’t agree with that advice, and you’ll never hear me even hint such a notion to you.
9. Create a budget.
When you keep track of your budget areas, you will find it is easier to stick to it.
10. Keep a watchful eye on your advertising budget.
Calculate your return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spent on advertising. If you are spending too much or if it is not giving you the results that you were expecting, find out why and regroup.
Hope you find this article helpful. I am a business and life coach with a mission to help midlife or older women to create a business that is true to who they are. Subscribe to my website to receive the tools I use in my business and never miss my forthcoming posts that deal with creating and growing your online business.