You’ve got the perfect small business idea, but aren’t sure about how to get it off the ground? Never fear if you aren’t loaded with cash—it’s possible to make a start with limited capital.
There are countless stories of successful entrepreneurs who made it from the bottom to the top. Think of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum and Walmart store opener Sam Walton. There’s always a way to make it work, so here are five secrets to launching your startup without breaking the bank.
Did you know that 20% of small startups fail within their first year of operation? Even more than a creative business idea, you need an actual plan to put it into effect. By writing down where you see your company heading, you’re able to dream and ask others to come on board with you.
With a business plan you’ll have a better chance of receiving a bank loan or investment capital and then your startup has the potential to grow. Include financial planning in this business plan and visualize where you want to be in the future. By simply putting into words what you’d like to do and how you intend to achieve it you’ll have a clear idea of how you envisage your business’ first few years.
Building a business plan is easier than you think. There are plenty of basic and free templates at your fingertips to help you out. Once you have your business plan you’ll have the upper hand before moving on to other steps.
Do your homework properly and get to know your competition. Are there people out there already doing what you’d like to do? There’s probably a good reason why, but it helps to know what exists presently. To ensure your startup’s a cut above the rest, find out who your possible contenders or associates could be.
By making use of free online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey you can question a whole host of people—those whom you know and those you don’t—so you know what your startup needs to be a hit.
Conducting interviews in person and telephonically help you to know what potential clients consider when buying a product or service. You’ll also get feedback on what’s missing and what needs improving. Then offer those elements in your startup and attract a following!
Make sure you get your name out there. You need a visual association, so a logo is crucial. Choose something that prospective customers will grow to know, trust and remember. Try creating a connection between who you are, what you offer and what your clients need.
Designing a logo isn’t hard when you have free templates and online logo makers to get you started. Get one here to help you out. By placing your logo on your business card, brochures and anywhere your business name features, it’ll soon start to stick in clients’ minds.
If you can’t initially afford to contract the services of a web designer or content creator, start by doing it yourself. Purchase an online domain to secure your professional business name and pay for it monthly at an affordable rate.
Next, create your own web page using a free website builder such as Wix or WordPress. Maximize influence via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and other social media platforms by creating business page accounts. Through doing this you’re increasing your online presence and you’ll be on the lookout for potential customers who can ‘like’ and ‘follow’ your advertisements and posts.
One of the best favors you can do yourself is to find a business mentor. While there are plenty of books and classes on offer, nothing beats talking one on one with an experienced and successful entrepreneur. Someone in the same or similar industry who can direct, encourage and guide you is of infinite value.
You may just find someone who’s willing to do this out of the goodness of their heart because they wish someone had helped them when they were in your position. It’s useful to have regular meetings with a mentor who can hold you accountable. This gives you the freedom and space to bounce off your ideas and helps you to work towards your goals.
It only takes one person to connect you with the right opportunity at the right time, so a mentor could be your stepping stone to other business networking. It’s likely that through this you’ll be inspired to do the same and find a younger college-fresh millennial you can take under your wing.
Launching a startup is tough but it’s not impossible. You can go far by starting off well. Keep in mind these five secrets and be inspired by those who’ve gone before you to make a huge success out of small beginnings.