Many entrepreneurs feel they cannot start a business because of lack of capital. Of course, capital is necessary, and sometimes difficult to come by. But, what many don’t realize is that today it is possible to build a successful small business on a shoestring budget. Bootstrapping is absolutely doable, and many businesses have been very successful doing it.
Although no two companies are the same, we’ve highlighted six ways anyone starting their own business can cut costs, without cutting any corners.
1. Stick to your skillset.
Sticking closely to what you know not only means you will avoid investing time or money upskilling, but you also won’t have to spend any of your startup savings paying for high cost consultant fees or any other external assistance. By understanding the industry you are venturing into, you will already know the resources you need, cutting organization costs and allowing you to produce revenue quickly.
2. Work from home.
I see this too often: startups think they need an office right away to be legitimate. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Unless you need a storefront to get started, working from the comforts of your home will save you huge amounts of money. Aside from saving you money in rent, working from home means you do not have to pay for a commute and you could even claim some of your house rent as tax deductible.
If you can’t work at home, look for co-working spaces in your area.
Related: 12 Tips to Stay Healthy While Working From Home
3. Look for effective hiring alternatives.
If you need to create a team for your startup, hiring remote workers will save you money. Virtual assistants (VAs) are a great way to fill in the gaps in your business. For needs like bookkeeping, data entry, and even marketing and sales, websites such as People Per Hour, Fiverr, and Upwork connect businesses to capable freelancers. Be cautions, however, and be sure to check their success rates and reviews in order to hire the right person for the job.
4. Use the cloud for your computing needs.
IT costs can use up a good chunk of your capital, but managing and sharing all your folders using cloud-based tech will save you a substantial amount of money. Google Drive and Mozy are just two of the cloud computing services that offer free plans with options to upgrade to larger storage capacity. The business plans on both these platforms offer enough storage to save every single aspect of your company in one place, and some have auto backup so you never lose a file. In addition to this, you can use online CRM platforms that help you coordinate all your efforts without running costly servers of your own.
Related: Bootstrapping Is Much More Fun Than Investors
5. Use free website builders.
All businesses need a good website if they are going thrive. Although many spend weeks — and even months — outsourcing web development and design, there are many free, great options when it comes to website building software. We’ve all heard of DIY website builder Wix, but innovative tools like personal webpage creator Wiseintro and Duda, a website builder for pros, focus on two elements the future web is made of: mobile and personalization.
New tools make web creation easy with a variety of features such as online stores, analytics and much more. You can even learn basic design using tools such as Visme to tailor your website to meet all your requirements without spending extra money.
Related: 6 Types of Businesses You Can Start With Almost No Cash
6. Learn low-cost marketing techniques.
Startups today don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on marketing and promotion. Search engine optimization (SEO), writing fresh content for your blog and social media management are now made easier thanks to tools like SEMrush, Google Adwords, and Buffer. All of these offer free tools like keyword search volumes, competitive analysis, scheduling, and analytical features to not only plan ahead but ensure content is valuable to your target audience.
Building a business on a shoestring budget can be the difference between a successful startup and a failed one. You have thousands of free tech tools and tons of advice from blogs and other entrepreneurs at your disposal now when starting a company. Paying attention to where you’re spending your money can make a huge difference, and using innovative hacks to help your business grow faster will make a solid foundation for your new business to flourish.