One of the biggest concerns for startup business owners is costs. This can even be a concern for business owners who don’t have to rent space for the business. There are still bills to pay for a certain period of time until the profits start rolling in. However, the profits can only start rolling in once the planned business ideas can make it off the drawing board. But implementing business ideas takes times and money. While you can implement business ideas on a budget, by maximizing every dollar you spend as we will look at below, it’s important not to be cheap. Low cost does not mean that you have to settle for low quality in any aspect of rolling out your ideas.
What is your budget?
The first step of sticking to your budget is knowing what it is, usually it’s a percentage of your startup capital. The budget can be weekly or monthly. But once you have figured it out, you should want to stick with it regardless of what happens.
You need to be flexible
When you first drew up the business plan, you had a vision of how you wanted things to be i.e. staff, equipment and private office. Many entrepreneurs hope to make their business dreams come true, but in reality when it comes time to doing business you need to make sacrifices to stick to that budget. Not being flexible can hamper your ability to stick to the plan.
Incorporate short term solutions like using a shared office space, and hiring freelancers until you can afford a permanent office and full time employees. Plus, don’t try to project a certain image of the business if you cannot afford it. So, when on a budget scratch off ‘being fancy’, from the business plan.
Have a priority list
You should have a top 10 type of list of what you want implemented first because it’s the most important aspect of doing business. Take for instance, that you’ll want to start investing in an advertising campaign to get business into the door prior to hiring an accountant, sales staff or any other employees that you can do without. A priority list can also help you keep things on track in terms of what has already been implemented and what needs to be rolled out next month or within the next few months.
Test before you invest
Many ideas in your original business plan are probably untested by yourself. Take for instance running a PPC (Pay Per Click) ad campaign. You don’t know what keywords work, what ads work and if your landing page needs to be further optimized. You probably assumed that it works but have not tested it against other forms of advertising like banner ads and YouTube advertising. So, you’d want to test first with a small budget and then invest more money in what you see working better in the short and long term.
Implement few business ideas at a time
Ideally, if you’re on a budget start with three or four business ideas at a time. Leave 10% of your budget for unforeseen expenses. This approach will ensure that you’re not spreading yourself too thin. Then once your budget increases hire people who can perform two or more functions. Take for instance, hiring an accountant who also understands how Google AdWords works, or a web master who is also a developer. This will help you save money.
The key to starting and growing any startup business with a limited budget is to make sure that your business plan takes your budget into consideration. Planning, your budget in advance will help you save a great deal of time when you need to implement what you’ve planned.