How to Save Money When Starting a Business
Starting a business is a bold and self-empowering move. However, there are several questions you should ask yourself before you embark on this epic journey. First, gauge your motivation. Are you going to be able to keep moving forward every single day, even when it feels like you are pushing a boulder up a mountain? Second, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Of course knowing your strengths is easier. Knowing your weaknesses takes some self-reflection. Learn when and how to delegate and you will be much more successful in the long run. Third, how can you manage your small (perhaps non-existing) budget? That’s where we can help you. When you’re just starting a business, you are not cash flow positive. So how do you start a business on a budget? Scroll through to find out.
The best way to get free PR is to think like an editor. If your network doesn’t include a strong group of writers and editors, start doing your research. First devour the media. Go spend an afternoon at a bookstore in the magazine isle and skim through the front-of-the-book pages and pay special attention to the masthead. Once you know your top 10 publications and are familiar with their style, pitch the assistant editors and editorial interns with story ideas that include your product or service. Lower level editors are always open to hearing about great pitches because that makes their jobs easier. Just make sure to personalize your outreach and ALWAYS double-check your name spelling.
Make sure your legal structure is in check before your take off on your founding mission. You have to decide if you want to form an LLC or a C Corporation. You also need to trademark your company name. Also, pay attention to how you can save money with tax breaks. Sign up for an affordable legal service like Legalzoom to avoid ghastly attorney’s fees. It’s an efficient, highly effective online platform that has the answer for everything legal.
Say you’re a front-end developer and you have a friend who is a graphic designer. Instead of charging each other for services that you both require, exchange work instead of dollars. When you’re in the beginning stages of starting a company, you want to get as much as you can without spending a time. That means a lot of exchanging favors and trading expertise.
You want to keep your overhead as low as possible at the beginning. That means avoid paying for a costly office lease when you can work from home. If your budget can afford it, consider an office sharing option like WeWork. Workspace offers start at $45/month at WeWork. You can also research business competitions in your area. They often provide free office space and start-up capital in their prize packages.
Nothing in this world is non-negotiable, no matter who says it isn’t. When you’re in the early stages of building a company, live by this truth. You want to negotiate everything from lawyer fees to Internet bills. Remember never to include the word “between” in your negotiating speak. For example, when engaging in salary and start date talks with new hires, never say I can pay between $X and $Y and you can start between September 1 and September 15. Say “I can pay you $X and you can start on September 1.” By saying the word between when you’re negotiating, you automatically concede ground. Maintain your position of strength by proposing one option.
Outsource your development, especially back-end development, to freelance workers. Companies like Toptal connect entrepreneurs with some of the best developing talent from around the world. This way you get software engineering talent on a per-hour basis as opposed to paying a full salary for an employee that you don’t have the budget for yet. When possible, use templates for your web development from companies like Wordpress and Square Space.
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Are you considering starting a business? What are you most afraid of? Share with us in the comments.