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How can you start and grow your business on a budget?

You've got a great idea for starting a business and know that you can take it far. But, how can you actually start and grow your business on a budget?

You will learn

  • How to keep your costs down when starting your business
  • Where to go to find things for cheap
  • Free resources for promoting your business

So many people wants to start their own business these days, but do not have the finances available to invest.

Banks can be reluctant to lend to start up businesses, borrowing from friends and family can add pressure to relationships, and funding it on your credit card is risky if the business does not progress as you think. If you do need cash, there are government-backed Start-up loans schemes which offer mentoring and support giving you a greater chance of building a sustainable business.

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However let's think how you can start and grow you business without any funding or a much lower level than you may think. In difficult financial times money, or the lack of it, can be the one of the greatest sources of stress, by applying some basic business thinking you can free yourself from some of the pressure. Here’s some tips on how you can help yourself:

1. Use resources already available to you

Do you need an office or can you work from home? If you need to meet clients arrange to meet them in hotels, cafes or at their premises (making sure you are in a public place is important for safety reasons).

2. Get customers to pay you upfront

Or at worse, take a deposit so that your costs are always covered.

3. Have a credit control procedure in place

Invoice promptly upon completion of works and make it easy for your customer to pay you by detailing exact amount, what the payment is for, how you want payment to be made and when it is due, then follow up immediately if payment is late. If that does happen to you, check out our guidance on handling a late payment.

4. Tap into free advice

Use Enterprise Agencies, Local Enterprise Partnerships, free initial consultations from solicitors and accountants, you will be amazed at the amount of advice and support there is for your venture.

5. Equipment can be found through Freecycle:

Freecycle is a community website where people can recycle unwanted items, or the freebie section of listings sites such as Gumtree. Buy what you need as opposed to what you want.

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6. Do as much as possible yourself

This will enable you to build up enough cash reserves to invest in your business and therefore achieve your goals and objectives.

7. Try to hold onto your job

You work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and your business is then 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. yes, hard work but only give up your day job once your venture is able to pay you a wage. If the venture doesn’t work out, you still have your job. If it does, the transition to being your own boss will be a lot less risky. However, make sure you are not in conflict with your employer under your employment terms and conditions.

8. Buy what you need when you need it

Buy in services from freelancers by using sites like peopleperhour.com

9. Use free technology to promote your business

Social networking is free, it’s easy, and it’s an amazing way of promoting your business without spending money. Sign up to Twitter, create a Facebook page, and join Linkedin. Think about your website, you can build them for free or very little using an online website builder such as moonfruit.com or wix.com.

10. Apply the essential rules of housekeeping

Money comes in, costs go out and you are left with a profit or loss. Adjust your costs to budget.

With finance keep it simple, keep calm and you will then start to keep in control.

Are you thinking about starting a business?

Then download this free start-up guide to help give you a solid place to start

Written by:

Heidi Green

Senior Business Adviser

Email Address: hgreen@selby.gov.uk

Telephone:

Website: http://www.selby.gov.uk