Getting a business up and running can cost a lot of money, and in this economy, a great deal of Americans simply can’t afford the first step to achieving their very own American dream.
The majority of them give up at the first hurdle, and those that don’t aren’t in for a smooth ride either, seeing as 50% of all businesses fail within the first year.
Thankfully, the idea that you need a lot of money to start your own business is a terrible misconception that everyone seems to have accepted long ago, even though there’s little to support it.
Of course, you can’t start with absolutely nothing, and you’ll need at least some form of cash flow to get operations running, but this doesn’t imply tens of thousands of dollars on the side.
In fact, it may be for the best to start off small, as you’ll slowly be working towards your goals rather than trying to skip some very important steps.
Where to start?
If you’re planning on setting up a store to sell handmade products, there’s no need to go all out right from the start, as you can always begin by selling things to your friends and family, who will then spread the word about your product.
This will help you create a reputation for your business long before you’re even thinking about having an actual storefront, meaning that you’ll be getting customers regardless of how your business presents itself visually.
From that point on, you may begin slowly generating enough cash flow to upgrade your business and grow it one step at a time, and eventually, even branch out into online sales through e-commerce and your very own website.
Having a web presence is crucial in this day and age, and the sooner you set it up, the better of a start you’ll have.
Try getting things for free
If you ask anyone with a good head on their shoulders, they’ll tell you that the best things in life are free, and this rule applies to everything.
Every corner you can cut is an extra dollar you’ll be saving, and as long as you’re not sacrificing product or service quality, you’ll only continue to grow your wealth with time.
Oftentimes, business owners make the mistake of reducing quality for the sake of additional profits, but this tends to fire back horribly if you’ve got a dedicated customer base that was buying your product solely for the high quality you once offered.
At the end of the day, whatever it is you’re doing, a large company can probably do it for a lot less money, and if you look at things that way, the only reason small businesses are able to survive is the fact that they’re built on hard work and love for the craft they offer.
Build an emergency fund
Similar to how you’d prep your own finances for a rainy day, your business should also have a savings account that you’ll use to offset any losses or contingencies that may pop up along the way.
Ideally, you’ll want to have at least 6 months’ worth of expenses, which will let you cover employee salaries and material costs in the event of a sudden drop in revenue or anything else that may impact your sales.
COVID-19 left millions of businesses across the globe devastated, with smaller ones taking the brunt of the impact as they failed to keep up with the constant lockdowns that prevented people from buying their products.
On the other hand, everyone being shut inside their homes boosted eCommerce sales by a margin, meaning that only the businesses with an existing online storefront were able to survive and make it out of the pandemic.
As costly as it may sound, starting your own business doesn’t actually take all that much aside from a bit of dedication and patience on your part.
Expecting that things will work out perfectly from the very start is the worst way to go about things, as you’ll eventually end up being disappointed, but if you’re able to stay focused on your goals, even minimal funding can help get you through the toughest of times.
As long as you’re able to get anything for free, whether it’s building materials or services, you’re going to want to appreciate it, as that money could’ve easily slipped out of your hands if you weren’t careful.
Of course, you can always ask your friends and family to chip in for your company’s success, and you could even promise them equity in the company in exchange for their donation, but you should always be prepared for losses, even when things are looking better than ever.
Remember that it doesn’t take a lot of money to start a business, but if you’re irresponsible with your company’s funds, it won’t take a long time to lose everything you’ve worked for.