Image by: Public Domain Pictures
By Dexter Lunde
We’ve all got dreams of making it big – of becoming successful in our business endeavors. How is that possible if we don’t have anything to begin with? We hear stories of men who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, picked themselves up out of the back alley and made themselves successful. How can we achieve that?
#1) Keep Your Job
If you have a part time job or a full time job, now is not the time to quit. You’re going to need a source of income if you need to provide for yourself, a family, and your start-up. You may hate your job but consider your new start-up as motivation to keep on working. As soon as you get it up off of the ground and you start earning money, you can put in your resignation letter.
#2) Don’t Skimp On the Business Plan
Being organized and planning for as much as you can will help you save money in the long run. Business plans may seem overrated these days but it is a necessity that every business has. They just don’t talk about it. Your business plan should involve everything from your mission statement and goals to your marketing and sales plans.
#3) Life Hack Your Way to Money
Bartering is a great way to get supplies that you need for your products. Find other start-ups that you can barter with. Look for suppliers that are also start-ups and see if you can work out a deal with them. Perhaps you can both sign a contract where you will give them your business if they can cut you a deal on their supplies. That way, they are guaranteed business and you are guaranteed supplies. There are also bartering companies that specialize in handling business trades.
#5) Research, Research, Research
If you commit to keeping your costs low, you will need to do some extra research to find some great deals when it comes to supplies. After all, you’re going to need to cut back somewhere, right? Consider using freelancers, contracting work, outsourcing some jobs (instead of hiring employees), and working out of your home first. If you get ahead, it will only be for a little while anyway.
Also, research what is big in your local community. You can’t build a business and expect it to take off if there’s not a local market for it. Sure, your big goal may be to be the supplier of this product for your particular part of the continent or state but you’re going to have to start small first.
#6) Don’t Be Afraid to Work Out of Your Garage
Did you know that Bill Gates started Microsoft out of his garage? It’s much more profitable and makes more sense to start off at a location which doesn’t require rent. It may not be glamorous but it will get the job done and will save you money when you need it the most.
#7) Upfront Payments
The sooner you get paid, the quicker you can start to expand your business. That means that when you start getting clients, ask them for deposits or at least some of the money up front. If you need to offer your customers an incentive, give them a discount or cut them a deal if they can pay cash up front or buy a large quantity at once.
#8) Use Non-Profits to Get Free Advertising
One of the best approaches to cheap and easy advertising (or free advertising) is to reach out to small non-profit organizations and charities. If you help them out, they will inadvertently help you out by giving you access to potential customers have the same goals and values as you do.
If you can find a non-profit that is in the same field as your business, that’s great. Then, you know that you will be with people that care about what you and your business care about as well. For example, if you’re looking to be a local publisher, a used bookstore, an after school program, or anything in that field, consider volunteering for a local literacy foundation or association.
You can wear a t-shirt with your logo on it and give them out (or wristbands, hats, or bookmarks) to the local volunteers.
Now it’s your turn. Did you start your business from scratch? What are your tips for new businessmen? What concerns do you have if you’re thinking of starting your own business? We’d love to hear what you have to say. Write your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments section below.