8 Ways to Start Your Business Cheaply and Quickly

 8 Ways to Start Your Business Cheaply and Quickly

Starting your own business can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure if it will succeed or how long it will take to get there. To help you get your company off the ground as quickly and cheaply as possible, here are eight strategies to help you get your business going without breaking the bank. Use them in conjunction with my other posts on how to start a business from conception to execution, and you’ll have your new company up and running in no time!

1) Choose a website platform

There are plenty of choices for website platforms; your choice will largely depend on your needs, wants, and budget. The most popular—and highly rated—are WordPress, SquareSpace, Squarespace (yes, twice), Wix, Weebly, Shopify , Jimdo and Tumblr. And don’t discount building a site from scratch; it might be cheaper than you think! When deciding which platform is best for you, consider ease of use, costs and features that align with your goals. For example, if you plan to sell products online or have e-commerce capabilities in mind at some point down the road, consider how each platform handles payments. If that isn’t an immediate concern but SEO is high on your list of priorities, look into how easy each platform makes it to optimize content so that search engines can find what they need quickly and easily.

2) Write Down Your Minimum Viable Product

Before you start working full-time on your new business, there’s one thing you need to figure out: what is your minimum viable product? The best way to do that is with pen and paper—if you need more structure, use an online tool like BuildMVP. Essentially, a minimum viable product or MVP is a version of your app or website that has just enough features for it to be viable in terms of getting people excited about it. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to work well enough for people to buy into your vision.

3) Consider outsourcing

While you don’t have a big budget, there are steps you can take to ensure your cash is well spent. By outsourcing some of your more basic functions, such as accounting or bookkeeping, you can pay a fraction of what it would cost in-house while still maintaining control over all aspects of your business. Not only will you save money on these services, but also by bringing on an expert for each function (rather than trying to do everything yourself), you will free up time that could be better spent elsewhere. For example, if you outsource accounting tasks but continue doing them yourself, they won’t really save you any time; however, if they allow you to focus on growth strategies instead of tracking expenses and revenue, then they may be worth it.

4) Spend time looking at other businesses

When I was just starting out with my own business, I spent a lot of time looking at other companies that were similar in nature. Googling their names and checking out their websites. Doing so gave me a great idea of what they were doing right, as well as what they were doing wrong. It also helped me realize that some businesses are better than others. If you’re interested in starting your own business, spend some time looking at successful businesses and try to figure out why they’re successful. If you have an existing business or know someone who does, ask them about it! What made them decide to start a company? How did they go about it? What do they wish they would have done differently? There’s no better way to learn how to start your own company than by learning from those who have already done it!

5) Grow organically through referrals

While it’s smart to spend money on marketing your business, growth that comes from referrals is free—and it can be just as effective. Creating a product or service people love will encourage your clients to recommend you, which is often much more valuable than traditional advertising. In other words, if you build it, they will come isn’t always true. Instead, be proactive about sharing what you do with colleagues who might have friends in need of your services. And don’t forget to ask for feedback along the way; customers are likely to share their thoughts when you ask them for it. Be sure to listen closely and take action accordingly. Word-of-mouth recommendations remain one of the most trusted sources of information among consumers today, so don’t neglect to cultivate relationships that help you connect with new leads. Finally, remember: Positive reviews online can go a long way toward making you look like an industry leader (which translates into big bucks). According to research by BrightLocal , 77 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So make sure yours are positive!

6) Promote your own material

The best way to get people excited about your new business is if you’re talking about it. If people know you’re passionate about what you do, they will be too. The way you can promote yourself most effectively is by producing content that solves problems for others in your field or industry. For example, if you want to start a bakery, then write a post on how to start a bakery. This shows other people in your niche that you are an expert on how to start their own businesses as well.

7) Get feedback from potential customers

Before you start investing in anything—business cards, social media marketing, website development—it’s smart to know how much of your time, money, and effort will have an impact on potential customers. Get out there and talk with people: Whether it’s a quick survey or even just chatting them up at a coffee shop, try finding out whether people are interested in your product or service. If they aren’t, you might want to rethink your business idea before moving forward. If they are, however, keep going! You’re onto something.

8) Let people know you are there.

Social media is an excellent tool for announcing your business’s new start-up. Create an account on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, or whichever social platform you think would reach your target audience. Include a brief description of what your business is about and add a link so people can learn more. You may also want to create a YouTube channel that shows how your product works. You can also use these platforms to get customer feedback and suggestions for improvement. Once you have enough followers, you could even announce special offers that are only available through social media channels!

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