Entrepreneurship is not as easy as some people may think. Where exactly do you want to start from? In fact, running a business is like a race where you have to put in efforts to be at the forefront.
In a marathon, participants always want to put in more energy and effort to come first. However, in the business world, your energy is the available resources that you can put in the business.
For entrepreneurs, money is the most important resource in entrepreneurship. But unfortunately, most small businesses don’t always have the luxury of big budgets.
How to run your business on a shoestring budget
However important money could be in entrepreneurship, success in running a business does not necessarily depend on a fat wallet. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have got when you are starting up a new business.
This means that you will have little or no budget for your business marketing. It means you will have to be more creative to be able to take your small business to the next level.
So how do you operate your small business on a shoestring budget? You will have to focus on your shoestring budget and devise means to make the most out of the available resources.
If you’ve got a shoestring budget, this article could be a good starting point for you. Here is how to effectively use the limited resources you have.
#1]. Use freely available resources
There are thousands of valuable programmes and resources that are available to help young entrepreneurs take their startups to the next level. So, why spending a fortune when you can get something for free?
For young entrepreneurs, one of the best things to do is to ask for help from the relevant governmental agencies and charitable organisations.
In the UK, the government offers much-needed financial supports and valuable resources to start-ups and young entrepreneurs. For instance, the government-run New Enterprise Allowance Scheme gives entrepreneurs a weekly allowance of up to £1,276 for 26 weeks.
There’s also a Start-Up Loan Company powered by the UK government, which lets new businesses borrow up to £25,000 pounds at a fixed rate of 6%. You get a year off repayments to help you build the business and then have between 1-5 years to pay back the loan.
There are other government agencies that offer resources to help entrepreneurs through counseling assistance, training, and loan assistance. It’s imperative to act fast, don’t wait until it’s too late to ask for help.
#2]. Hire the best out of the rest
For an early-stage startup founder, if you want to hire employees, you need to get good at finding great and skillful people to work with you. Put your money on the best individuals that will help keep your company moving forward with these business expansion principles.
Entrepreneurs will need to figure out how to grow their startups by hiring a very small team and spending day and night applying their collective expertise in a series of product, marketing, and user-acquisition experiments.
The idea is that with the little financial resources, entrepreneurs have to ensure that they invest their money to get the best results.
At times, the best bet is to hire staff, developers, and other people who will fill key roles very quickly. You can even use freelancing sites to hire freelancers on a short-term contract and they will get the job done for you.
#3]. Invest money on profitable assets
If your startup is into manufacturing or some sort of productions, it’s imperative that you invest in tools and machinery that will bring better returns. The idea is to put your money where it will easily bear fruit.
If you are into the trading (buy and sell) business, this means you should try to put as much money as possible into valuable assets that can bear cash and sales.
You have to stock goods you can sell or turn around as quickly as possible. Also, you have to figure out how to quickly get rid of dead inventory so as to be able to create room for sellable goods.
Another thing to note is that every entrepreneur has to learn to be lean and mean.” Businesses operating on shoestring do not need any dead weight. Strive to keep your fixed costs as low as possible, and spend on items that contribute to your bottom line. Every dollar in expense should be directly tied to income.
#4]. Embrace technology and new ideas
Another great way to run a business on a shoestring budget is to embrace new technology as it comes out and become an early adopter.
However, you don’t just embrace new technology, you also need to ensure that the technology contributes positively and help you reduce running cost.
Small businesses that make a sizeable income need to devise means to which technology can be a valuable asset. For instance, having a computer could turn out to be a valuable asset for your business.
You can use a computer to document customer data and send emails. You can also use it to prepare and print important documents and for other purposes.
#5]. Use and master the financial tools
As the business owner, you are responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, and the life and growth of the business depend on your capability.
Entrepreneurs will need to have a total understanding of business finance. This is the only way you can be able to get control over the direction of the business.
An entrepreneur is like a “jack-of-all-skill” because he must be able to effectively manage all elements of the business.
It is critically important to understand your cash flow, income, profit, and loss as well as the overall bookkeeping system. There are quite good online business finance tools such as invoicing tools as well as billing tools you can use to track bills and invoices.
The fact is that an entrepreneur with a proper understanding of the business finances will be able to know how well the business is performing. You also be able to know where the business is going and how you can be able to get there.
#6]. Market to the right audience
Every small business owner aims to get people to buy from them. So, how do you market your business on a shoestring budget? How do you get your business in front of your potential customers? As an entrepreneur, you have to make sure you have a good plan in place; a good marketing strategy that will not take much of your budget.
Thanks to the Internet, you can easily market your business nowadays without spending much much of your marketing budget. You can make use of the Internet to reach millions of potential customers.
From social media marketing to email marketing as well as search engine marketing, there is ample opportunity for businesses online. You should learn how to leverage social media for business marketing.
However, it’s not just about using the internet to market your business, you will have to dedicate time each day to market your business to make it work.
Remember that business marketing is a continuous process, so don’t attempt to relax or stop having recorded little success. To effectively market your business, you will have to constantly look for means to promote your business.