If you have a little gem of an idea you’ve been sitting on for a while, a home or lifestyle business that’s something you’ve always wanted to do, then there’s no better time than now to spend a little time honing your plans for it. But you don’t necessarily want to start investing your own cash into an idea just yet. So what are some cost-effective ways you can get up and running? Read on for some top tips on how to get started.
1# Social media and online shops
You probably have your own social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. But you need to make sure you’re using these to their fullest potential for your business. Facebook in particular is geared towards helping online businesses run efficiently. Look into how to manage Facebook for your business.
It’s a free way you can connect with customers, share your product or service and advertise. With the direct messaging features as well, potential customers can get in touch with you there before you’ve spent a penny on setting up a website or registering a domain name. This is an ideal first step for you to see if there is actually any potential interest in your business and gauge the market for it as well as get feedback to move forwards in the best possible way.
2# Seed money
However hard you try to start your business in a frugal fashion, we do appreciate that some things do just cost a bit of money upfront. You might need materials, or to pay for your time when you’re getting set up. Whatever it is, it’s always good to have some petty cash floating around.
However, rather than spend your hard-earned income, instead try making a little ready cash from other means. Do you have anything you can sell on eBay, for example? This is a great way to get a little extra money coming in with minimal effort from you, and then you’ve got some income that you weren’t expecting to spend on additional business expenditures.
3# Free resources
You’d be amazed at what you can get for free from the internet. There are so many resources available for free, and you can often get expert advice from professionals who have been in exactly the same boat as you and made it work.
You should be starting to think about drawing up a business proposal, so have a look for a free proposal template, which will allow you to format and arrange your plan to look appealing and, more importantly, inform potential investors down the line.
Before you begin putting together a Facebook page or setting up an eBay account, make sure you’ve done your homework. Look into the type of business you want to set up. Does it already exist? What do other, similar businesses look like?
Make sure you spend a few weeks researching and thinking about how you can best shape your business. Remember, the more work you do now, the greater your chance of success later on.
This is a collaborative post.