One of the biggest challenges for many startups is having a limited budget. Business would be a lot easier if we had infinitely deep pockets. Take a second to think what you would do with your business if money wasn’t a problem.
Just think of the possibilities!
The reality of business however, is that money is an issue. Not necessarily a negative one. But in order to create a successful business, you need to make sure you have more money coming in then going out.
This is the balancing game that all businesses play. The rules of the game are made more difficult for startups. A business starting out still needs to find its feet. Testing is the name of the startup game, but testing costs money.
To improve your chances of success, you need to save money where possible. Check out these money saving tips for new businesses.
Research, research, research
I feel like I have used this exact heading in a blog post or two in the past. I thought about changing it but decided to leave it to emphasise just how important research is for your business, especially when starting out.
The absolute best way to limit the amount of tests that you have to run to discover what works for your business is…wait for it. Researching the hell out of your competitors and target audience.
Check out this blog post to understand why research is so important in business.
Target audience research
Having a deep understanding of your target audience is paramount to business, full stop! If you understand them in a way you understand your best friends and family members then you have a greater chance of successfully marketing to them.
Think about it this way. How would you get your best friend to go to the cinema with you even if you know they didn’t want to watch that film you want to see?
If you can understand your target audience in that same way, then it will be easier to persuade them to buy your products.
Check out this article for useful tips on how to research your target audience.
Your dreaded competitors. The businesses that are potentially going to take money out of your pocket. Or, the businesses whose pockets you are going to pick. (Optimism will get you far in business).
Chances are, many of your competitors have been around a while. They have been where you are now and run the tests. They have played the money balancing game before and won. They know what works and what doesn’t.
Hang on a second. If they know what works, why don’t we learn from them?
Money saving 101 here folks. Learn from your competitors. There is so much they can teach you, even if they don’t want to.
Check out this article for some great tools that you can use to learn from your competitors.
This might seem counter intuitive as freelancers usually come at a premium. But when you really think about it, they are actually a cost-effective way of getting a job done.
You can pay freelancers for an outcome and not for the time it takes them to reach that outcome. If you hire an employee, you are paying them for that time in which they may or may not produce the outcome.
It is often the case when starting a business that you only really need a finite amount of work done on a particular project. This might not be enough to warrant hiring an employee for that function.
Plus you have all the paperwork and other costs involved with hiring them.
When starting a business, really think about where there is substantial enough work to warrant hiring employees. Then use freelancers for the rest.
Check out sites like UpWork or PeoplePerHour where you will find plenty of freelance talent waiting to help you.
Seek advice from other small business owners who have been where you are now. They have made the mistakes and learnt from them to come out on top.
I love this quote from Warren Buffet that perfectly summarises this. “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”
Find these people and ask them questions. You will find that they are more than willing to help.
Seek out local networking events and conferences. Meetup is a great website to use to find networking events in your area.
Spend a few days at a co-working space where you will be surrounded by new business owners. There is a lot to learn at places like these. Coworker.com is a great resource to use to find them.
Time to save some money
Hopefully, this blog has given you some ideas on how you can save money for your new business. You might think that some of these ways take a bit of time to undertake. That’s fine as whatever time you spend doing this at the early stages of starting a business, you are going to gain back 10x later.
Trust me on this one. You will thank me later.
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