Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Many people think it takes a lot of money to start a business, but the truth is that some businesses can be started for very little money. In fact, most of the business ideas that I feature here are very inexpensive to start up. Still, it can be hard to walk away from a full-time job and steady paycheck for the uncertainty of owning a business.
So, how can you do it? Here are some tips and suggestions for managing your money to help finance your business start-up:
1—Review your current spending. First, take a look at all the expenses that you incur because you work. Lunches out and transportation costs are the two obvious and immediate areas you can save money on. But, you will also spend less on clothes in most cases. If you have children, you can probably save some money on daycare, too. Also, look for little expenses like the occasional $5 cup of coffee that can add up to $50 a month if you only indulge ten times. Add all these up and subtract them from the amount of money you need. You will probably find you can get by on much less.
2—Look for other ways you can be frugal. Can you curtail your dining out, movie costs, gym memberships, dry cleaning? How about driving an older, paid-for car? Canceling your cable TV can save you well over $500 a year in most cases. Visit your library instead of buying every book you want to read. (Most libraries have movies and music for much lower costs, too.)
3—Sell some stuff. You know you need to de-clutter. (Who doesn’t?) Now, you can do it with a higher goal in mind. You’re not just getting rid of the original Brady Bunch lunchbox you’ve had for thirty years, you are making money to invest in owning your own company! Old DVD’s and CD’s, books, unused furniture, your old computer, collectibles, extra appliances and dishes, even your never-worn cowboy boots can find a new home and put cash in your bank account. Try eBay, craigslist, and have a yard sale.
4—Be sensible about borrowing. If you have to borrow money to start your business, don’t run out and charge everything on your high-interest credit cards. Try family first, if possible. But, do make sure to have a written loan agreement and repayment plan! Then, talk to your bank or financial advisor about assets you might be able to use to secure lower-interest loans. Then, be diligent about paying your debt off.
5—Work part-time. If you can reduce your expenses, you might be able to pay your bills with a part-time job while building your business revenues. A part-time job is a great way to have the security of a paycheck and the time to work on starting your business. You might even be able to stay in your current job and reduce your hours.
6—Start your business part-time, on weekends and evenings while you still have a full-time job. This gives you a chance to start bringing in a little money and building up your customers while you still have a financial safety net.
7—Look for bargains when buying equipment and supplies for your business. Consider used office equipment, for instance. Shop at thrift stores and even yard sales for stuff like file cabinets and desks. You might be able to use your cell phone for your business line. And, you may not need a fax machine at all. You can get great deals on basic necessities, including free business cards, too.
8—Keep initial inventory down. While your goal might be to have the largest handbag store in your county, you can start with just a few samples on hand. Huge inventory can eat up your start up cash very fast. Look for creative ways to sell your goods and services without investing all your money on the front end.
9—Know your business. The more you know about the business you want to start, the better equipped you will be to make decisions about money. Plus, you will likely have done enough research so that you have the contacts and resources to find the great buys you need.
Other resources you might find helpful:
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