Small business

Building a Business on a Shoestring Budget

calculatorThe world economy is constantly changing, thanks primarily to the fluctuating fortunes being experienced by both developed and emerging economies alike. While 2012 saw the continued emergence of developing economies such as China, India and Brazil, for example, this year has seen more established nations such as the UK and the U.S. regain their economic footing. In fact, the prevailing belief is that Britain may even develop into the largest European economy by the beginning of 2015.

Even with this in mind, it remains exceptionally hard to establish a small business venture in the existing financial climate. Even with a bank loan it is still difficult to manage your finances, and at times it can feel as though costs are still spiralling out of control. Despite this, there are thousands of business opportunities around and numerous companies that continue to enjoy considerable success. If you think you have a particular niche then you should definitely pursue this, as even entrepreneurs with minimal funds have been able to develop a profitable business concept and model. Consider the following:

Make Yourself the Focus of your Business

Your business will develop from an idea, and as the creator you should ensure that you are central to this process. As the prime innovator it is crucial that you drive your venture forward, especially if you are naturally entrepreneurial who enjoys a significant commercial challenge. In order to get people to invest in your business and buy your products you'll have to project confidence, as this will enable you to effectively sell a concept as a viable commercial proposition.

If you appear confident and knowledgeable then you'll have no problem attracting investors and customers alike, regardless of the wider economic climate.

Create an Easily Accessible Online Presence

If you can't afford a shop or an office space then you can easily work from home. One thing that you will have to do, however, is establish an online presence. Designing your own website is easy if you know the basics and things like Twitter and Facebook pages are free to set up. There's very little cost in establishing an online presence and it's a great marketing tool. While you may have a limited budget you must be sure to create a functional website, however, as research suggests that consumers will disregard websites with page loading times of more than 3 seconds.

Marketing on the Cheap

Companies such as Nike may spend billions of dollars on advertising but, for your start-up business, you can limit this significantly. You can use your own vehicle as free advertising space to begin with and there are companies which offer cheap vehicle graphics. As well as this, make sure you take advantage of introductory offers on things such as business cards and stationary to drive your idea forward.

Call in Favours from Former Colleagues and Industry Contacts

This may seem a little cheeky but I'm sure that you have numerous people who you have worked with previously. Now is the perfect time for you to call in favours and get people who are connected within your chosen industry to help you out. Whether you need someone to answer the phone or respond to emails for a brief period, do not be afraid to capitalise on cheap and innovative labour solutions.

All of these things can be implemented on a shoestring budget. When all of these pieces are in place and your business has begun to trade you can think about expanding. Once the ball is rolling it is much easier and, although the first few weeks will be hard, there's no reason that your business cannot be successful, especially if you're willing to drive it from the front.

Laura is an author at LeraBlog and researcher from the UK. She has represented British based brands including Signarama and many other.

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