Building a company from the ground up is not easy. No matter how much experience you have in the industry, there are certain risks that you have to take one way or the other. However, if you are careful enough and avoid the pitfalls that many new startups ignore, then you can greatly increase the chances of your startup succeeding. For starters, you can avoid splurging your funds on various aspects of your business when cheaper alternatives are easily available.
Ways to Save Money while Launching Startup
The following are the top 5 things that shouldn’t do to save money when launching your startup:
1. Don’t Pay for a Professional Logo Designer
If you want to make your startup stand out from the competition and appear professional, then you can’t ignore branding. However, one of the most important elements of a brand is its logo which can be quite expensive to get if you hire a professional logo designer. The good news is- you don’t have to.
Why spend several hundred dollars for a premium-quality logo when you can create one yourself without compromising with the quality, and that too for as little as $10-$20 or even free? If you are wondering where you can create a logo for free then you will be surprised to know that there are actually many options available. Some of the best online logo makers are based on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and can deliver unbelievable results as they can understand your requirements aptly.
Not only online logo makers are easily affordable, but they can also save you a lot of time too as the designs are generated in real-time, unlike professional designers who can take days or even a full week to create a design of your liking.
2. Don’t Hire a Team
You can’t run a company unless you have a team of reliable and skilled employees. However, for a startup, writing huge cheques every month can be quite a challenge, that is if you are able to find the talent in the first place. The good news is that both of these problems can be solved easily if you turn to the Internet.
Today’s it’s all about remote working and gig economy. In fact, freelancing has become one of the best ways to earn money today and there are hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals around the world that you can easily find on websites like freelancer.com or even craigslist.com. There is an affordable remote worker for every task you have at hand. Need a secretary? Hire a virtual assistant. Want someone to set up and update your company blog? Appoint a freelance blogger.
If you hire someone for a full-time job, it can be quite expensive and you also have to interview a number of candidates which will be always be limited in number compared to online platforms for remote workers. Thus, there is no reason why you shouldn’t at least try to create your “dream team” online.
3. Don’t Rent Office Space
Acquiring office space can be quite costly and put a damper on your cash flow which is something you don’t want when you are just launching your startup. So, instead of renting a commercial facilitate exclusively for your company, you can find a decent coworking space in your area.
A coworking space is an office space that you share with other startups, freelancers, and remote workers. However, they give you a variety of customization options to suit your requirements such as reserving meeting rooms, office layouts, etc. Plus, you pay a much lower price for the same amount of space compared to traditional office spaces, especially when we consider the prices of commercial spaces in business hubs like New York and Silicon Valley.
If you think coworking space has negative connotations in the startup industry, then you will be surprised to know that some of the biggest companies that exist today including Instagram and Uber actually started in these shared offices. So, you should at the very least check out some of the best coworking spaces and see what they have to offer. You will be surprised to see the kind of features these groups offer at dirt-cheap rates.
4. Don’t Pay for a Website Developer
Gone are the days when you had to spend a fortune to build a website. This is the age of DIY in which you have all kinds of affordable online tools that allow you to build high-quality and completely customizable websites easily. For instance, you can just install WordPress on your server which is the largest CMS in the world and pick a suitable theme for your website, and that’s it! You can customize the design and add new elements via plugins for social media, comments, SEO, etc.
Even if you are building a comprehensive ecommerce store, you don’t need to hire a website developer for the same. There are a number of open source ecommerce platforms that can help you a build an online store which has everything you need- shopping card, billing module, product listing module, search engine, etc. For instance, PrestaShop is a popular ecommerce platform that’s used by over 250,000 stores around the world. Similarly, Drupal Commerce is another popular platform that you can use if you are using Drupal CMS and it comes with a “Commerce Kickstart” package that can help you get started with launching your online store.
5. Don’t Spend Money on Advertising
Do you know it’s possible to build a big brand without spending a penny on marketing? You may find it too good to be true but the truth is that a large number of startups don’t really rely on traditional marketing even if they have enough funds to cover it. Instead, they put their money into digital marketing which is cheap but highly effective.
There are a number of low-budget marketing strategies that a startup can easily afford. Some of these are:
- Social media marketing: A business irrespective of its size and scale can’t afford to ignore social media when it comes to marketing today. This is because social media allows you to do a lot more than just marketing. It allows you to engage with your customers, provide assistance and support on the go, and help build a brand that everyone loves and cares about. Besides, it’s absolutely free unless you want to pay for digital ads and influencers which, by the way, are also good options.
- Content marketing: If you are a creative person and can write interesting and/or informative blog posts, then you can attract hundreds of thousands of Internet users easily to your website. All you have to do is set up a blog and start updating it with new content on a regular basis including videos, images, infographics, etc.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is another popular form of digital marketing which is especially good for new startups as it offers an impressive ROI (as much as 400%). The good part about it is that it can be easily automated and you don’t have to spend a lot of time to get it up and running.
So many people give up on their startup ideas because they think they need money to turn their dreams into reality. That’s not true at all as some of the most amazing companies that we know about today literally started with nothing. For instance, Jan Koum who is the founder of the most famous messenger app WhatsApp built the app from scratch and without any major investment. As we know, once the app became so popular it was sold off to Facebook for a whopping $19 billion! That’s just one story of many others. So, the takeaway here is that you aren’t limited by cash but rather your own passion and imagination. Once you realize this, there is nothing stopping you. Good luck!