Launching a new business almost always requires a tremendous amount of time and money to get the job done. Even with the best products and ideas, the amount of effort and resources it takes to build brand recognition and start making sales can be overwhelming. Thankfully there are several steps you can take to lower your start-up costs and get your business off to a more successful start.
Start your company online
By starting your company online, you will be able to start establishing brand recognition and selling your products without many of the costs associated with renting or owning a physical workplace. If your product is small enough that it can be made right in your home and you can sell it online, you may not need a physical building for a while.
Lease whenever possible
When your business reaches the point where you do need a physical building, you should lease rather than buy. Leasing a building not only means you need less money upfront, but since you do not own the building, it is not counted against you as an asset your company owns. Plus, you can try out the setting and make sure it is a good fit for your company before you commit to buying.
Buy used if you can
For equipment and fixtures you cannot lease, buy used whenever possible. Check Craigslist or keep an eye out for going-out-of-business sales and you could save yourself a decent amount of money on items that are just as good as new.
Leverage social media
In the beginning, you likely will not be able to afford much advertising, and yet advertising is absolutely essential to growing your company. Solve this dilemma by leveraging social media sites until you have more money to invest in other forms of advertising. By creating a Facebook page or a Twitter account, you can build up a following as your first clients share and like your content and updates.
Put off buying extras
When you are first starting off with no income and lots of expenses, it pays to prioritize. Decide which expenses are most vital for starting and growing your business and conquer those first. Licenses and building permits are essential; shopping bags with your logo on them are not. Accept that you likely cannot have everything you want right away.
Spread payments out over time
If at all possible, make payments on the items your business needs rather than paying your expenses in one lump sum right away. Even if it costs you a little more in the long run, it is better to spend a little more than to run out of money completely and have to close up shop.
Invest in a merchant account
Collect payments inexpensively by using PayPal or Intuit payment solutions. You don’t need any additional hardware or software to use merchant accounts; just log onto their website with your merchant account, enter your customer’s credit card information and receive payment. Merchant accounts are easy to use and affordable methods of completing your business transactions.
Deduct business costs on your taxes
Don’t forget to track all your business-related expenses so you can deduct them when tax time rolls around. If you spend $50,000 or more on start-up costs and organizational expenses in your first year, for example, you can deduct up to $10,000 of those expenses on your taxes. Keep an excellent record so you do not forget any deductions you may qualify for.
While the costs of starting your own business can be large, they don’t have to be burdensome. By cutting your expenses where possible, you can move from the initial start-up period of your business to the successful period of your business more quickly.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Dell Inc.