How to Start a Business on a Budget?

Are you one of the many people who spent the various COVID-19 lockdowns dreaming up a new business idea? Are your dreams bigger than your budget? Fear not! These tips will save you a few precious bucks as you embark on your new business venture.

Set Up Some Skill Swaps

Do you need a website for your company but lack the budget to hire a web designer? Perhaps your neighbor, your cousin’s friend, or your hairdresser’s wife just happens to be one. Find someone in your community who has the skill you require and ask them if they would be interested in a skill swap—a type of barter where instead of or in addition to exchanging goods, you exchange services. It might be that your new venture is a printing shop and your web designer needs some business cards.  You could both agree on how many wholesale business cards would be of roughly equal value to the work of designing your website, and there you go—you have a perfectly legitimate and equitable non-monetary exchange that benefits both parties.

Equity and fairness are, of course, the key here. If one party feels pressured into entering the agreement or is providing more work than their counterpart, a skill swap can easily become an exploitative practice. To avoid this risk, don’t be afraid to propose a written agreement to be drawn and signed by both parties prior to the skill swap. This agreement should outline exactly what service or product each party is going to provide and when.

If you can’t find anyone willing to set up a skill swap with you via word of mouth, don’t worry, there are websites, such as Simbi, dedicated to putting would-be skill-swappers in touch with each other. If your professional skills are too niche to be in high demand, consider offering non-work-related help. For example, helping to paint someone’s walls or doing their cleaning. The worst anyone can say is ‘no’!

Grab Yourself Some Coupons

For the business owner on a shoestring, coupons can make a huge difference. You can buy anything from computers to work-appropriate clothing at a discount. Even if at first, it doesn’t feel like you are saving that much money, be assured that all those ten or fifteen percent discounts will add up to considerable savings over time. To make the most of coupons, you should go back and check the relevant websites often. It is because most coupon offers are time-limited and get refreshed very often. If you don’t immediately find coupons for what you need to buy, don’t worry! Unless you are in a rush, you can simply try again every few days until you get lucky!

Minimize Your Spending

This one may seem obvious, but as a new business owner, it is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need products or services which, quite simply, you don’t. From stationery to insurance add-ons, train yourself to ask the question, ‘Is this really necessary?’ before agreeing to buy something for your business. Again, you’ll be surprised how much your savings add up by the end of the financial year.

Happy saving and good luck with your new ventures!