Learning how to build your business is hard work. Not only are you starting from the ground up—creating ideas, reaching out to clients, branding, and developing a website—but as a new business owner you also have a myriad of other responsibilities, too. Running multiple social media accounts, meeting with clients, and developing partnerships with other brands are just a few of your new daily tasks, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Not to mention if you’re low on funds, struggling to make ends meet, or unable to find sponsors to back your ideas—then your challenges are even bigger!
As you begin to build your business, there are a few things to keep in mind: organizing yourself and your to-do list, finding the best ways to market your products and services, keeping up with trends and sales tactics, and, of course, keeping yourself sane (which might be harder than you anticipated!) at least at the start.
Even if you’re starting in a difficult place—face it, most beginning businesses are—you don’t have to throw your dreams out the window. There are ways to build your business, even when you’re low on funds. This list will give you the tools and tips to do so.
1. Start with your skills.
If you’re looking to build your business, you’re obviously passionate about something. Regardless of your field of expertise, or what you want to build the company around, there’s a talent you have: capitalize on it.
Are you a people person? Start calling or reaching out to people in your network to back or share about your ideas. Great with design? Create a logo and branding copy for your company. Excellent at SEO? Start creating articles that you can have on hand to share when you’re running low on content.
When you tap into your inherent skills, you’ll find it’s much easier to build your business when you start with what you know, first.
2. Collaborate and create partnerships.
So maybe you’re low on funds—that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise, market, and work with other companies and people to share about your business! One of the easiest ways to build your business is to reach out to other people and offer collaborations or co-marketing instead of paid advertising.
For example, reach out to other influencers/social media gurus in your career field and ask them to re-share a link from your website for a share on your page in return. Offer to write or create something for free that points people on your social media to theirs, with the promise of them tagging you on a social media post, etc. These are just a few examples, but there are countless ways to work your advertising angle and collaborate/co-market without spending a dime.
3. Use your network.
This is similar to collaborating, but it’s more about reaching out and connecting with people in your network than creating partnerships or co-advertising opportunities. Think of this as just tapping into people from your past to create a connection. This connection might not translate to a sale, or even anything completely beneficial, but you never know who this person might know, or recommend your services to.
Tap into people from previous jobs, schools, or even places you’ve lived. Share about your business, ask for recommendations, and even offer them a friendly discount, if applicable if they share or help you market in some way. Again, this doesn’t have to translate to a direct sale, but it’s making those simple connections that will drive your business forward.
4. Launch a discount or promo to drive sales.
When you’re low on funding, the last thing you want to do is run a sale, but it might be one of the best ideas. People get excited about discounts and opportunities where they feel like they’re getting something for less. To get people learning and connected to your new business, launch a sale or promo. You might also consider making it an exclusive deal: based on time, number of people, etc. so there’s even more of a push to purchase/sign up/get connected.
5. Search for interns or people wanting experience.
In over your head? Don’t feel like you need to hire someone and shell out your precious cash! Instead, tap into job boards or networks where people are offering services for free. Search for interns looking to build their resumes. Inquire about college students eager to put their classroom learning into work. Even consider a work-for-trade program.
6. Capitalize on what funds you do have.
If you’re thinking about investing in your business, set aside some funds that are considered ‘untouchable.’ This meaning you won’t spend them on anything other than business-related expenses, no matter what. Consider opening a business bank account, too, so that you can better manage your money. And be sure to only spend on what’s absolutely necessary, being conscious of what you can wait to purchase versus what needs to be paid for right now.
7. Reach out for sponsors.
If you think your business might be a good fit for a certain company, or if you want to advertise for a bigger brand and in turn having them sponsor you, then by all means! Research, seek out, and contact people and businesses. Sponsorships are a great way to get your feet off the ground when you’re low on funds.
8.Take out a business loan.
So maybe you’re struggling right now—but you won’t always be! If you’re in a tough place, but know you’ll eventually be able to drive enough sales to make a solid income, consider taking out a small business loan. This can help you tremendously! Just remember to keep tabs on the interest, payments, etc. so you don’t run into any issues later.
Last but not least, when you’re low on funds and want to build your business, the best advice is to simply hustle. Work hard, keep yourself motivated, and capitalize on the hours you do have. Don’t stress yourself out or wear yourself too thin, but don’t slack, either. You can do this!
Featured Image Credit: rawpixel