It may surprise you to know that you don’t need a huge sum of money or a significant investor to start up a successful business. While a lot can be said about having a solid starting point in terms of capital, there are plenty of other elements that play their part in the success of any business.
So, if you’re hoping to make your big business idea work without much in the way of funds, these tips can help you make it happen.
1. Research and plan
A business idea has little potential without the research that will back up its likely success. Make sure there is somewhat of a gap in the market before you plan out your entire business venture, and that your target market is well defined, too – you will thank yourself down the line when you begin to map out your customer journeys and optimise your website for user experience.
Once you have set out the basics, take a look at your top competitors, as well as some competitors who are newer to the industry. Consider what they are doing well, what they are perhaps not doing so well, and how you can differentiate yourself with your own USPs.
2. Utilise free technologies
Not everything you do online has to be paid for. There are a number of fantastic free tools out there for almost anything – whether you want to track key metrics, monitor your finances, hire freelancers… you name it, and there will likely be a free tool (or a free version of a similar expensive tool) online. All you need to do is find it.
3. Manage your expectations
Many startup owners go into business development assuming that they will see significant growth within a year or two. However, this is not always the case, and it may be that you need several years’ experience, and possibly more time establishing your service offering, building your website, setting up your plan and KPIs than you may have planned for. As mentioned, there are so many elements to business development and growth, so managing your expectations in terms of how long it might take to see significant profits is key.
4. Apply for business financing
Having limited funds doesn’t necessarily mean there is no funding available for your business. Many lenders, such as Aurora Capital, can provide business financing to startups who have a clear growth plan in place, and you can also find good interest rates and helpful terms that will make sure you aren’t left paying enormous lump sums before your business is even off the ground. Whatever your business model, there will likely be a lender for you, so start early and find out what you need in order to start the application process.
5. Work towards your strengths; get support for your weaknesses
As a startup, it can be easy to get caught up in business circles you may not have had previous experience in. While it can be useful to expand your knowledge around different types of marketing strategies and business development approaches, it is also important to play to your strengths – especially when you are just starting out. Trying to branch out too soon can cost you both time and money in the long-run, so identifying where you are strongest and potentially planning to outsource some of the other elements of your business strategy can be extremely helpful.
For example, if you decide you want to invest in paid advertising for your website, instead of trying to learn the basics yourself on top of everything else, it is probably more beneficial for you to outsource this to an expert. This doesn’t mean you have to fork out a huge chunk of your budget – just setting up your campaigns can take time if you’re a beginner, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
6. Keep ploughing on
Unfortunately, your business will not build itself, and it takes a great deal of patience and perseverance to set up a business well, especially if you are working with limited funds. A key part of making your new business work when you don’t have access to funds is to maintain a positive mindset and keep ploughing on with your development plan and marketing activities to give yourself the best chance at success.
|About the Author: George Holmes is a Business Funding Specialist and Managing Director at Aurora Capital, a team of independent finance owners who help businesses thrive and achieve their long-term goals.|