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Five top tips to starting a business on a budget

There’s a real trend at the moment for people leaving the rat race of their daily working lives to branch out on their own and build their own business. The attractiveness of being your own boss and being able to grow and mould an idea of your own into a successful entity is something more and more people are being drawn to, but an idea that many people are scared of actually putting into practice because of the possible financial implications.

It’s a pretty widely accepted idea that starting a business requires thousands of pounds to help set it up and get it running, which a lot of people don’t have immediate access to. What people don’t realise is that starting up a business can be, and has been, done on a budget. We’ve asked some of our customers who have recently started their own business how they started their businesses with minimal expenditure and we’ve put together the most popular top 5 tips!

Have an online presence – When a consumer wants a certain product or service, the quickest and easiest way to find it is by looking online, so ensuring that you’re online is one of the best ways to get noticed. Having a website will make your business instantly accessible for potential customers and lets them get to know all the information they need about your business to decide to use your services. Free website building sites are available through a simple search of Google which will aid you in the creation of the website so that it can get up and running.

Network, network, network – One of the best ways to raise awareness and grow your business is by networking and building your contact base. Using social media is a completely free way of getting your business message out in to the open as well as letting you interact with potential customers and build interest in what you’re selling. You should also research in to your business area and look for networking events that will put you in front of people that will be useful in building your profile and potential customers.

Have a plan – Starting a business without a set plan or budget is not advisable. If your finances are restricted, you should ensure that you have strict control over every penny that is spent, and that it is spent wisely. If you don’t plan your expenditure and end up impulse buying or overspending it certain areas, you will restrict other areas of your business, and possibly set you back.

Work at home – This is a trend that more and more people are taking advantage off. Unless you’re setting up a café or retail shop, your home should provide the perfect environment to begin your business. Working from home allows you to be in comfortable surroundings and save yourself from spending money on extra rent, bills and travel expenses, allowing for your budget to be spent elsewhere. Working from home may not promote the most professional image to customers, but there are many ways and means around this, such as adopting a business telephone number. Taking out an 08 or 03 number which can be connected to your existing landline or mobile phone lets you take business calls from the comfort of your home.

Prioritise purchases – Starting a business may mean acquiring new equipment, but it’s important to know that everything you need doesn’t need to be bought outright. Take a look at what you think you’ll need and decide whether it’s actually worth paying full paying for and buying outright. For things that you need in the short term or things that will be used less often, it may be worth renting the equipment or trying to borrow it from one of your contacts.

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