Many entrepreneurs start out on a shoestring, hoping that they can make some money, even though they don't have a whole lot of it to begin with. A startup needs to cut costs where it can, and channel its meager funds toward building a successful business.
If you are looking for ways to boost your business without breaking the bank, here are 4 ways to save money on your entrepreneurial startup:
1. Avoid Setting Up a “Real” Office as Long as Possible
One of the biggest costs that you will have as an entrepreneur is paying for facilities. The lease payment, as well as the cost of utilities and equipment, can add up fast. In order to avoid these costs, try to avoid setting up a “real” office for as long as you can.
Start out with a home office. If you have the space, you can set up a workshop in your garage if you need to. Think about different ways that you can use the space in your home, and create a home business schedule that makes sense for you.
At some point, you might need to move, but if you can start out with your production at home, you can save a lot of money in the beginning.
2. Look for Low-Cost Helpers
To start, you might have to do a lot on your own. As your business grows and expands, you can eventually start hiring others. But, if you need helpers in the early stage of your home business, consider these ways to find low-cost workers:
- Interns: There are plenty of students looking for real world experience. Find out how you can sign up with a local college's intern program. The student is usually happy to have an internship, and gets college credit out of it, and you get a qualified worker at a low cost.
- Fiverr: One site growing in popularity is Fiverr. You can find some good values for $5, asking for help with specific tasks. As long as you are careful, you can do well with Fiverr. Another site that can help you find help for low-skill tasks is Amazon's Mechanical Turk.
- Family: If there are some small tasks that your children and other family members can help with, this can save you money as you get started.
3. Barter Your Services and Products
Sometimes, you need something that someone else is selling. Consider setting up a barter system if you aren't sure that you can pay for it. There are business barter networks that can connect you with others willing to barter, or you can look for partners on your own.
It can also help to check places like Freecycle for free items that might help with your business, or for chances to exchange with others.
4. Free and Low-Cost Resources
Don't forget to take advantage of the resources available to you. There are ways to get low-cost — or even limited quantities of free — business cards. You can look for business discounts offered in your local area, and take advantage of community business resources, as well as resources offered by the SBA and other organizations. You might be surprised, when you look around, at what's available for free or at a low-cost.