Small business owners and solopreneurs can be on a pretty tight budget for the first year of business. Your income varies as you find your footing, and even low overhead businesses require some start-up cash. You can stretch a tight budget with a little bit of creativity.
Tap Into Your Network
When you first start out your network is crucial. It can make or break you. Ask friends and family to help you out at the store or at your company events. Rope your partner into helping you package things. People who care about either you or your business will be willing to help for free. Once you’re making a profit you can pay them back, or hire people to help moving forward.
If you have a small network, offer people something besides cash to help you out. Free attendance to events for people who volunteer, or an hour of your services for those who donate goods. Try trading your time or skills for what you need instead of money.
Promotion Goes a Long Way
When you’re trying to partner with new people, offers of promotion go a long way. Companies are always trying to expand their reach. Offering to promote them to your audience is a great way to entice new partners when you’re on a tight budget.
Start by getting on a few different social media platforms that your audience frequents. (Photographers will want to use Pinterest and Instagram, while writers will find Twitter better suited to their needs.) Grow your following there before you reach out to companies. Once you’ve got a substantial number, you’ve got a bargaining chip. Rather than pay for services, goods or sponsorships, you might be able to get people to donate things to you in exchange for promotion to your followers.
Doing it yourself is the mantra of the small business owner. It save you money, teaches you skills, and moves you forward. Those tight budgets feel a little looser when you can do a lot of the work yourself. Take on the challenge of designing your new website, or doing the cleaning at your restaurant for awhile. It’ll put money back in your pocket and help keep business running.
Not having a lot of money to get your business up shouldn’t be the only thing holding you back. Tight budgets are not a guaranteed death sentence. How have you made your dollar go further in your business?