Bootstrap your online business – Top tips to stretch your start up budget

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Bootstrap your Business| Bootstrap your online business - Top tips to stretch your start up budgetStarting up an online business in today’s economy is no easy feat, as you’ve already got hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of other businesses already established and have the upper hand on you. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible by any sense of the word. You just have to be clever with your process so that you don’t blow your budget, you stand out from the crowd and most importantly, you hit the ground running. Check out these top tips to stretch your start up budget.

First thing’s first, you’ll need to build your website and the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is what kind of hosting to go for. There are pros and cons with each, so here’s a handy piece on VPS hosting vs dedicated hosting. From there you can choose which will suit your needs and your budget best.

Do the marketing yourself – it will save you tonnes of money

Marketing is a huge part in raising a business from the ground. After all, how else would people know you exist?! A dedicated marketing team can really help boost the online presence of a business but unfortunately, that’s also a rather expensive option. Doing the marketing yourself will help keep back a lot of your budget.

There are a few things that you may want to consider spending a small amount of your budget on:
Marketing books to improve your knowledge and skills. Amazon is loaded with books for each platform and yes – all of them are important!

Remember to spend a little of your budget on Google Ads campaigns – Google can really help boost your reach!
Pay the monthly fee for programs such as Adobe to create graphics and mailers for your marketing – it will make a huge difference to the quality!

Outsource rather than hire

You will undoubtedly need a team of people to help lift your business from the ground, but when you don’t have a large budget it can be difficult to employ people for long periods of time. That’s where outsourcing comes in, and it can be a very effective way of having work completed without the dedication of an employee you need to pay every week/month.

You can list the jobs you need fulfilling on websites like Upwork and Fiverr, and let applicants come to you with their skills, history and also their price demand. You can then choose the right price and skillset for your budget. The beauty of outsourcing is that once the work is done, you can go your separate ways. However, that’s not to say that in the future you won’t collaborate again!

Use influencers

Influencers play a huge role in purchase decisions on the internet, and that’s why they’re so effective for new businesses like yourself to use. Think of your favourite influencer. If they were to say, talk about the latest gadget that’s well within your interests, you’d at least check it out with a possibility of buying, right?

Browse Instagram for influencers within your business niche and contact them for their price list. Sometimes, a simple quid pro quo situation is all that’s required for an influencer to promote your business. For example, if you’re selling a particular product online, why not send them a sample pack to test, review and keep? It’s an extremely effective way of getting your name out there for a minimal cost.

Work from home rather than rent an office space

Another expense that you could eliminate is the rent you’d spend on an office space. The beauty of an online business is that you have the option to work from anywhere in the world. Load up yours and your colleagues (if any) computers or laptops with all of the necessary programs you’ll need and save your business’s budget by working from home!

Working from home can be difficult as it’s easy to become distracted and neglect your working duties. Creating a space in your home dedicated to working will help eliminate this issue. Why not check out these fantastic ways of making your home office the perfect place to work.

Starting an online business with a very minimal budget is hard work but very doable! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an online business that everyone thinks of!

4 Small Business Tips To Save You Stress

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Tips for Small Business Owners|4 Small Business Tips To Save You StressOperating a small business is no easy feat and certainly not for the faint of heart. There are employees to hire, train, and keep on top of, expenses to cover, meetings to plan, clients to acquire, and so many other day-to-day aspects of the business to stay on top of. With so many different elements of your company to consider on a daily basis, it can be easy to get lost in the stress of it all and be consumed by those worries. How great would it be if you could take some of that stress off your plate and save the headaches? Here are four tips for small business owners that you might not have considered yet, which can save you time, hassle, and hours of unproductivity caused by worrying or planning.

Set up an LLC

If you haven’t done this already, the first thing you should do is keep your business finances separate from your personal self and set it up as its own taxable entity. Even if you’re a self-funded, self-employed business of one employee—yourself—this is still critical. Registering your business as an LLC involves a cost, yes, but it’s not as much as you would expect, and it will protect your business from any legal trouble that might come your way. Also, you won’t have to worry about company finances creeping into your personal finances, which is a huge plus come tax season.

Use accounting software

A good number of small businesses don’t have the capital to hire an accounting department, which is fine but can also lead to trouble if the accounting isn’t taken care of properly. If your business is looking to save money in this area, consider buying accounting software instead of hiring a team or person to take on this task until it’s necessary. There are a wide variety of software programs available at a number of price points; it wouldn’t make sense not to take advantage and utilize them fully.

Have a lawyer on retention

As much as you might not want to think about it, sometimes dealing with other companies and clients can get messy, especially when it comes to payments. If your small business relies on contracts with clients, or clients paying for work that has already been completed, or both, you might feel better knowing you have a lawyer on retention to escalate and sort out any issues. has top-rated employment lawyers who can help protect your business.

Invest in quality marketing

Many small business owners can think they can get away with cutting corners and saving costs on marketing efforts because “how hard can it possibly be?”. That is until they try to do it themselves and get little to no return. Unless you are educated in the field and stay on top of marketing trends and strategies, marketing is best left to the experts and professionals.

How small businesses can advertise is constantly changing, between Google algorithms and social media playing a huge role, it can be challenging to understand and keep re-educating yourself on successful strategies. Is that something you want to add to your to-do list when there are probably a hundred other tasks you should be worried about already? Invest in a freelancer or small marketing company (depending on the size of your business and your marketing needs) to take this off your mind and get the results you want.

3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Small Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Managing a Small Business|3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Small BusinessNot everything about business has to be complicated, you know. Sometimes, even the simplest courses of action can result in the biggest turns of profit. You should, then, stop making everything so difficult, and instead resolve to go down the easy route from time to time. If you do, you will be sure to grow and scale your small business in no time.

To find three simple ways you can improve your small business, make sure to read on.

Learn how to delegate effectively

Effective delegation is a simple yet surefire way to improve your business. By getting your workforce on board and releasing each employee’s potential, you will quickly find your business moving in the right direction.

In this instance, you need to know how to get the best out of your individual members of staff — different employees will have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s down to you to release their potential by delegating them jobs that suit their expertise. Also, you have to learn how to delegate fairly. The last thing that you want in your bid to scale and grow your business is low morale around the workplace. Make sure, then, that nobody receives special treatment for no apparent reason, and ensure that everybody is pulling their weight in their own way.

Use high-impact marketing

In this instance, you have not the time nor the money to be embarking on marketing campaigns that are anything other than high-impact. Quite simply, every campaign that you run, even those considered to be low-budget, needs to do the job that you ask of it.

When you go down the digital marketing campaigns, above all else, this means ensuring that your advertisements land on the screens of your target audience. Anything other than that, and you will make the task of driving sales online to be far more complicated than it needs to be. In this instance, it is good practice to align yourself with an expert in the field of Internet advertisement, such as Caffeine Marketing. The skills and expertise of such a company will no doubt help you to build an online presence for your business and ultimately generate more leads for yourself.

Sharpen your selling skills

If you learn how to close sales, you will find it ten times easier to make a profit and improve your business.

To sharpen your selling skills, you should:

  • Adopt a ‘people-first’ way of thinking
  • Always take timing into consideration
  • Know who, how, when, and why to reward
  • Never forget the power of the value-add
  • Always be engaging
  • Treat the first 7 seconds of any meeting seriously (this is where the money is won and lost)
  • Be willing to adapt depending on the customers you encounter
  • Treat everybody like an individual
  • Always make it clear that you opt for value over price
  • Above all else, show yourself to be genuine

Improving your business is always going to be difficult, as nothing worth having ever comes easy. You don’t have to make this all-important tasks overly complicated, though. Take the above advice, and make things simple.