If the only thing holding you back from going after your entrepreneurial dream is the high cost of launching a startup, don’t panic. Starting a new company doesn’t require millions of dollars of seed money or a huge trust fund. If you’re willing to start small and make sacrifices when you need to, you can launch your startup on a shoestring budget. Here’s how.
Be Selective with Your Market
Even if you think you have a product that can help millions of people all around the world, you’re going to have to hone in on a particular market at first to gain traction. Figure out who your customers are and what makes them tick. What annoys about the competition? What will they compromise on and what are their deal breakers? Knowing what your competition knows is not enough. You have to go deeper and find the pain points that aren’t being addressed. By doing your research ahead of time you’ll avoid wasting time and money building products that consumers don’t want or marketing to consumers who won’t buy.
Keep Expenses Low
Limiting your overhead can go a long way toward minimizing the financial burden of launching a startup. One of the easiest ways to do this is to work from home. Don’t spend thousands of dollars renting expensive office space unless it is absolutely essential to your business. Work from your spare bedroom or consider a coworking space instead. In addition, don’t be sucked into spending thousands on branding and marketing. There are tons of free and low-cost services out there to help you make the most of your limited budget. A great example is building email lists. There are numerous inexpensive services that will help you build and maintain email lists for your customers and let you generate sales with relatively low investment.
While it can feel a little scary or weird to start a fundraising campaign for your company, crowdfunding is surging right now and there is no better time to hop on board. Whether you use an online site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo or try an in-person festival like One Spark, crowdfunding can be a great way to market your product while generating cash.
Link Up with an Incubator or Accelerator
If you’re looking for resources, financing, mentorship, and support for your startup, incubators and accelerators can be great resources. Get your business plan down cold, then start pitching. Plugging into a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and their supporters will drive your startup progress forward, plus many programs have funding available for their affiliated companies. Check out some of our favorites here.
Just Launch, Flaws and All
If you wait to launch your startup till you have every detail perfected and every question answered, you’ll never launch at all. Start small and build on your successes while learning from your mistakes. Launch your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that has only the key features you know your target consumer craves based on your market research. Even before that, take pre-orders while you’re still in the development phase to generate early revenue. In the simplest terms, just do it.
Find the Right Partners
The good news about launching a startup is that you don’t have to do it alone. Find partners you trust to help you with the complicated stuff so you can focus on what you do best. Credit card processing might not be top of mind when you first launch your business, but make finding the right payments partner a priority early. We’d love to help you with that. Give us a call or drop us a line on our website. We can’t wait to hear from you!
PS – Here’s some advice on choosing the perfect name for your brand-new startup
PPS – Turn those great ideas into profitable product – this blog will help.