How to Start a Business Even If You’re Cash-strapped

Thanks to the accessibility of the internet, more of us than ever are able to escape the rat race and create businesses of our own. An opportunity to use our skills, something we can put our heart and soul into — there’s no better way to earn money than by doing something with love. But getting started in business is difficult, many fail early on and even those with potential can struggle getting past their first year. But don’t let it put you off, if you have a fantastic business idea here’s how you can make it work without much cash.

Start from Home

Even if you have grand plans of setting up a huge, multi-million dollar company in the long run — it doesn’t mean you must have to start that way. In fact some of the world’s most successful companies were started from home, and you can too. This gives you chance to put the wheels in motion, iron out the kinks and be sure that you’re turning a profit before splashing out on expensive premises and lots of staff.

Start small, put your business plan into motion on a small-scale and make sure it works. As you begin to grow and make more money you can naturally expand from there. It saves you spending a lot of money and losing it all if things don’t work, or there’s something important that you overlooked.

Image Credit: Pexels

Save Money on Equipment

On the subject of keeping your business small in the beginning, rather than going out and buying lots of new equipment look for good deals. Often businesses that go bankrupt sell off what they own cheaply bad news for them but good news for you. You could scour classified sites and eBay for good deals, if you don’t have the money for even these kinds of purchases then small business loans can offer this.

Alternatively you could hire equipment. Rather than spending money up front you get to use the equipment you need but pay each week. Once you’re making enough you could purchase your own. But it doesn’t have to be right away and something like this allows you to start-up your business without spending a fortune up front.

Search for Investors, Grants and Schemes

If you have a great business idea but are lacking the cash to get started, help may be out there. It could be in the form of an investor, where they give you a cash injection in return for a percentage share in your business. It could be in the form of a grant or scheme, these are sometimes available in certain areas if you meet the criteria.

For example, some are for youths others are for people in disadvantaged areas. It’s worth spending some time searching and seeing if there is any help out there for new up and coming businesses. Whether it’s in the form of money or business advice.

Are you a bootstrapped business looking to get off the ground?

3 Ways Your Business Can Help People in Their Everyday Lives

Above all, you should aim to start a business that is really going to help people in a positive and engaging way. This can be difficult to get right quickly, but it is vital if you want to draw in as many customers as possible and get your business off to a really strong start. Fortunately, there are many industries and types of business which you can go to if you want to help people as much as possible, and that is what we are going to look at today. What are some of the ways that your business can help others in their everyday lives?

Image Credit: Pexels

By Helping in a Time of Crisis

Sometimes, just about the worst thing you can imagine happens, and when that is the case you might need the help of someone professional. If you can place your business in the gap that is created in that situation, you might be able to ensure a much stronger future for your business on the whole.

It might be that you use flood damage leads to find customers who are in real dire need of some immediate assistance. Or maybe you are going to go out of your way to start a charity business that helps those in famine, or in areas of constant warfare. However you do it, this can be one of the more noble approaches to business, so it is well worth considering if you are thinking of how to start your next business.

By Offering Something New

Often, the most successful businesses are those which offer something entirely new, something which solves a problem which has existed for a long time. Sometimes, the problem was so ubiquitous that hardly anyone even noticed it, until a business came along to show everyone a better way. If you think you would like to start a business of this kind, then you will need to have a strong head for new and bold creative ideas.

It is extremely difficult to solve a long-existing problem, but if you can manage it you can probably be certain of a long-running and extremely successful business. With that in mind, you might decide that it is actually worth the effort, and the risk, involved in starting such a business. Offer something new, and you are bound to do fairly well at least.

Image Credit: Pexels

By Replacing an Old Service with a Better One

It’s not always about coming up with a solution to an old problem, however. It might be that there is already some kind of service out there, but you believe that you could reasonably do better in offering a completely different kind of service towards the same ends.

This can be remarkably effective, especially if you genuinely believe that you are able to do much better than the pre-existing services which are out there. With this, you do want to be a little careful not to tread on any toes. By all means provoke some competition, but try not to get into any legal trouble.

Starting a Business by Brainstorming Ideas When You Don’t Know What Business to Create

Starting a business is quite possibly one of the most nerve-wracking, exciting, stressful, uncertain times in a person’s life. However, thanks to the internet and the many success stories we hear these days, we know that it’s possible for just about anybody to start a business and enjoy some level of success with it. Maybe you have your very own dream of starting a business. That’s incredible! But do you know what business to start?

You’re not alone if, like many others, you dream of being a successful entrepreneur but have no idea what your business is going to be. It’s possibly the most important thing you’ll ever make a decision on, so you need to get it right. This guide will help you if you’re going back and forth with ideas and seemingly getting nowhere.

Entrepreneur, Startup, Start-Up, Man, Planing, Business
Image Credit: Pixabay

Get to Know Yourself

The first step is to know as much about yourself as possible. Grab a piece of paper and a pen — go on, do it now. Then, write ‘things about me’ at the top. Do it in big bubble writing if you want. Add a few doodles. Okay, that’s enough. Now it’s time to write about the things you love, the things you like to do, and the things you’re interested in. Write down anything that comes into your mind. Leave a little room though, as you also need to write down the things you’re not so confident with. What don’t you like doing? What aren’t you as good at? Make sure you don’t overthink anything.

Using your new list, think of around five (5) things that could make your personal life better. This could be your life as a pet owner, a parent, or an avid sports fan. Also take this time to figure out why you want to start a business, and what it is about what you’re doing now that you do not like. Use this to come up with as many ideas as you can. It’s up to you to figure out which one has the most momentum, and which one you’ll likely want to see through to completion.

Everything was once just a simple idea, and many entrepreneurs felt exactly the way you do now. Lost. Confused. Wondering whether it can really work. But you know what? They just went ahead and did it anyway! You need to do the same. Remember, it’s about starting something, and not necessarily ‘the right thing’. Want to know a secret? You probably won’t get it right the first time. But starting is the key to any kind of success.

Write, Plan, Business, Startup, Start-Up, Notebooks

When You’ve Landed on an Idea

Once you’ve come up with an idea that you have an interest in and you feel fairly excited about, it’s time to get things moving. You can accelerate your project development with a start up app designed to fast track your idea. It’s also going to be a good idea to look into things like funding. Will you use peer to peer lending, angel investors, or your own cash? Take small steps each day and you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.

Remember, once you have your business idea, there’s no real ‘bad time’ to start a business. People have money and they want to spend it, and if you have a good idea, your target audience will want to give it to you. Get started; take a leap!

The Handbook for Millennial Entrepreneurs

There are more self-employed people now than ever before, which means there are more entrepreneurs than ever before too. That is partly because millennials don’t want to work there way up a corporate ladder for 40 years and then retire, and partly because the technological age we live in has allowed people to take advantage of their ideas in a way that was never before achievable.

However, before you start working toward your first solo business success, there are few things that every young entrepreneur should know about first.

Image Credit: Pexels

Don’t Launch Too Early, Or Too Late

This is such a common error among both young entrepreneurs and young creatives. Go and speak to any successful writer about the mistakes they made when they were starting out and they will all tell you about perfection. They will tell you that perfection doesn’t exist and that your focus should simply be with finishing something. As a rule, as long as your product is capable of offering value to your customers then it is ready to launch. That is the benchmark you should be working with. Get your business up and running – get your product or service out there – and improve along the way.

Image Credit: Pexels

Make Yourself Seen

If there is one thing the technological world has brought with it, it is white noise. There is so much information out there that it is almost impossible to make any sense of it. There is also so much information out there that never gets seen. A question that the experts at SEOJet.net often ask their clients to ask themselves is, when was the last time they went past the first page of Google? Exactly. That is why it is important you understand how to maximize your SEO strategy, and knowing how to integrate it within your other methods to get the most out of it and ensure your business is seen. Invisibility in not an attractive superpower for any business.

Business Plans Aren’t The Be All And End All

Yes, there was once an age where businesses couldn’t succeed without a 200-page business plan and a rigid on at that. But these days are gone, and the age of running with a small idea is here. That doesn’t mean you should go with the wind and just hope for the best, it just means you should be prepared to be flexible. Have an idea of where you want your business to get to and how. Have an understanding of how you want to function, what brand image you would like to give off, what you will need help with, what you don’t understand and what you don’t want to be bogged down with. These are not specifics, these are broad guidelines, but important ones to consider.

Image Credit: Pexels

Reinvest In Yourself ASAP

The first few months to a year require you to be seriously money-savvy and lean. That is because you will need to have enough money to keep your business going and enough money to support yourself. That is where reinvesting in your business comes in, because reinvesting allows growth, and that growth will be the thing that supports a healthy level of self-sufficiency. It doesn’t mean growing as quick as possible. According to Entrepreneur.com, it just means investing half of what you earn as a means to grow where you see a need for it, such as your marketing strategies, employee engagement, the need to outsource, developing your business operations or even expanding your product line.

Here’s Why The Hotel Industry Should Be Your Next Business Focus

Are you beginning to think about your next business venture? There are lots of different industries you could move into, such as tech, finance, or media. But have you ever thought about going into the hotel industry? Even considering the various financial and market crashes that have occurred over the past few years, the hotel industry is still proving to be a lucrative area for entrepreneurs.

Image Credit: Pexels

Still wondering whether setting up your next business in the hotel industry is really for you? Hopefully, these compelling reasons will sway your decision for you.

New Tech Makes It Easy For Hotel Newbies

New technology is making business easier for so many people. These days there are many people embarking on a career in entrepreneurship who probably never dreamed that they would. But thanks to tech and Internet advances and developments, anyone can set up a successful company. And all of this tech is perfect for those wanting to break into the hotel industry. For instance, various software and programs now make hotel management and booking management a lot easier than what they once were. And the Internet is now a great source of help and information. If new hotel entrepreneurs ever run into a sticky situation, they just have to do a quick Google search to find answers.

It’s A Highly Innovative Industry

I’m sure you will have heard about new booking websites, such as Airbnb and Wimdu. These are innovative new sites that allow regular people to rent out their spare rooms and apartments to travelers. Thanks to these sites giving people the chance to make money through hospitality, lots of people are taking their Airbnb rooms seriously and turning them into a full-time income. The hotel industry is constantly changing and developing, making it ever easier for people to launch their cool new business idea.

Image Credit: Pexels

It’s Easy To Get Funding

One of the reasons the hotel industry managed to survive the financial crash a few years ago was because it is a very easy sector in which to get funding. If you do decide to launch a new hotel or travel business, you certainly won’t have any trouble finding grants and other types of funding. Governments are very keen to attract tourism to their company so if you set up a business which promotes a certain country’s travel hotspots, it could be very easy to get some funding from their government. Similarly, it can also be very easy to find funding from private equity sources.

There Is A Strong Workforce

You won’t find it too hard to find staff for your business either. Whether you set up a hotel or guesthouse or create a new online booking site, there will always be people fighting to bag a job with you. Travel and tourism is a very attractive industry, something which is all down to the current boom in travel blogging.

If you already work in the hotel industry, I’d love to hear some of your reasons why it’s such a fantastic sector!

Help Your Small Business Expand With These Essentials

When you are in the process of setting up a business, you need to be sure that you have an idea which will stand the test of time. There is no such thing as a dead certainty in the world of business, however, so there is always a risk. Nonetheless, there are some ways that you can make sure your business is more likely to succeed. If you are currently setting up a business then there are some essential things you need to get right. To give you a helping hand, we have put some of those together here.

Market Well

No business is going to get very far without a strong customer base. It can be difficult to attract significant numbers of people, but this is an essential part of ensuring your business expands and grows. Marketing is something of a subtle art, and to really get it right takes no small amount of practice. One of the major considerations regarding marketing is that you should try to define your brand first and foremost. As long as you have a strong brand to work with, you can be sure that your marketing will be much more effective. When you are developing your brand image, it might help to think of it as an individual with a personality. It is really just about thinking how to describe that personality to your potential customers. With enough practice, your marketing can soon take on a life of its own. After this point, it will likely draw in larger numbers.

marketing-board-strategy-large
Image Credit: Pexels
Look After Your Stock and Supplies

One of the most important aspects of running a business is ensuring that you protect the financial side of things. There are many ways that you can do this. In a manner of speaking, this is the basic influence behind everything that you do in your business. One of the main ways, however, is to make sure that you are taking proper care of your stock and supplies. A large amount of your business’ money is tied up in the stock which you hold at any one time. You need to do everything in your power to protect it from potential damages and other issues. Using protective trade paint from Paints4Trade or similar is a good place to start. It also helps to have a member of management in control of looking after your stock.

Diversify and Grow

No matter what your target market is, there will come a point where you saturate it. That in itself is a very good sign, as it means that your business is doing what it is meant to do. However, the glory from this won’t last for long. It is likely that you will want to grow your business at some point or another. When you do decide to do that, the first step is to find something which you can starting trading in. You should aim for diversity in order to allow your business to properly grow. You know you have done this right if you notice a sudden influx of sales in a short space of time.

Featured Image: Pexels

A Bunch of Random Insight, Advice, and Inspiration For Budding Entrepreneurs

This past October, I gave myself the challenge to write and publish an eBook in just two to three weeks. I’ve always wanted to take my writing further and publish a book and I’m happy to report that I pulled it off. It’s now available via Amazon.com and Lulu.com as we speak for a “whopping”… $4.99!

In all honesty, the real purpose was to share some of the lessons and experiences I’ve had since I started my own graphic design business. I’ve pretty much been a one-man band since October 2010, but I’ve managed to generate some substantial revenue as a freelancer.

I’ve met some remarkable people who were initially my clients, who have now evolved into really good friends. As a freelance graphic designer, I’ve also met some bad clients and in those experiences you learn some of the best lessons the hard way.

Cover 04 copy
Dedicated to the budding entrepreneurs

However, this eBook explores the journey involved in starting a business from scratch and highlights successful entrepreneurs (Richard Branson and James Dyson) with their own individual stories. It also shares a little bit of inspiration that’s needed to keep our spirits and our dreams alive.

I wanted you all to have the opportunity to read it this Christmas, so consider this my gift to you for supporting my blog this entire year. I’ve been overwhelmed by just how many visitors stopped by and read my posts. They were all written to share knowledge and I’m glad they were so well received.

Also, leave me a comment below or send me an email and let me know what you thought of the eBook. If you feel like purchasing it for your Kindle or iPad, here’s the link:

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017HXEBK2

Lulu Bookstore

http://www.lulu.com/shop/phil-rodriques/a-bunch-of-random-insight-advice-and-inspiration-for-budding-entrepreneurs/ebook/product-22510625.html

Thanks again.

 

Editor’s Note: Updated on January 3, 2016

My Top 10 Most Popular Blogs!

Image

In honour of hitting another major milestone for my blog site of 5,000 views, I thought it would be appropriate particularly on Throwback Thursday to showcase my 10 most popular posts.

Here they are as they rank in views. Enjoy.

  1. What Should You Charge for a Logo Design?
  2. On Pricing Your Work: Be Fair to Yourself.
  3. How Commercial Artists Evolved Into Graphic Designers: Paul Rand
  4. When Betting on a Winner Goes Wrong.‏
  5. Here’s a Quick Way to Name a Graphic Design Business.
  6. How to Make a Movie Poster Just as “golden” as an Oscar!
  7. Drawing is More Than Just Child’s Play… Sort Of!
  8. Working Pro Bono? Never Miss an Opportunity to Market Yourself.
  9. Arby’s New Logo Gets Lassoed! A “Phresh” Perspective.
  10. Look Up From Your Phone! Poem Shatters Everything Social Media Claims to Be!

Follow me via Twitter @phresh_ID

Here’s a Quick Way to Name a Graphic Design Business or Any Other

The other day I responded to a question via LinkedIn on “What is a better strategy, using your name as a solitary (graphic) designer, or using a company name like (such and such designs) how does this impact on getting new clients?”

Here was my response written below:

Personally I think using either your name or using a graphic design company name works well. I suppose what you have to look at is where you want to take your company in the short, medium and long-term and make your choice based on your goals and aspirations. I think too that you can bring in your personality into your (graphic design) business name by using your name as the inspiration.

Read: 7 Valuable Tips to Perfectly Name Your New Startup

In my case, by using my initials ‘P.H.R.’ as the inspiration, I was able to create a name that said what my company did and what it was about, so in the end I came up with ‘phresh Ideas & Designs’. The first three letters in ‘phresh’ are my initials.

Image

Though the response was to a graphic designer, the approach is still applicable in naming any startup or company. Good luck!