Hi Guys, how do you do?
I recently attended a seminar on “how to start a business for almost free,” and I would be sharing what I learnt in the post below.
Keep reading as I believe you will learn valuable lessons about starting a business with little money.
9 Steps To Starting Your Business For Almost Free
1. The big idea
This the first and the most important stage of your business. Here you ask yourself this simple question, what problem I’m I solving? And how I’m I solving it?
You need to ensure that the idea you come up with is something that has future growth potentials. It simply means you must be looking ahead to where the industry is going.
Another way to get great ideas is to find people’s frustration. This way, you’re trying to provide a solution to people’s needs and the more people you can serve, the more money you can make.
My advice is that you should always have a pen and paper with you wherever you go, so you can always jot down ideas. Better still, you can use your phone to save ideas as they pop-up during the course of the day.
2. Market Research
Step 2 is also very important. By doing some prior research to validate your idea, you get to know whether it’s viable or not.
Another reason for carrying out a Market research is that you will learn a lot about the business. You will learn so much more than you can learn sitting down on your computer or phone.
For example, when I wanted to start Filta.ng, I interviewed over 1300 business owners, and by doing that, I got to know what my customer really want, how much they will pay, my main competitors, their sentiment and so on.
I’m sure you may be thinking, is Market Research that compulsory? My advice is that, If you’re not ready to do it, then you should be ready to bare the cost, which is unnecessary loss of money at the onset of your business.
3. Have a business plan
Here, I’m not suggesting you should have everything all figured out but what I meant is that, you should pen something down. Bring out some sheet of paper and jot down how you want your business to run.
Another thing you need to know is that, the longer the better. A 5 years business plan will serve you better than a 1 year business plan. I could remember vividly that I started 9jacashflow.com with a 1 year business plan, immediately it passed a year, I lost concentration because I had no plans for 2 years and beyond.
One thing I learnt from the seminar concerning business plan is that you should always paste your business plan on the notice board. You need to see it every day, so don’t file it or put it in a shelve.
4. Free Startup Capital
It’s beyond doubt that money is very important in starting a business because it allows you to move fast and implement ideas almost immediately.
It’s always advisable that founders use their personal savings to bootstrap the business before looking for external funding. That way, you would be able to figure out how much you will make relative to your initial capital or investment.
You should also know the 2 common source of external funding: Debt and Equity.
Only go for Debt if your business has started generating revenue. And if at all you’re going for equities, never give Equity to an Employee, Founder or Investor you can’t work with. This will save you from future headaches and problems that can destroy your business.
5. Getting an Office Space
If you want to start your business for almost free, then you don’t necessarily need an Office Space. You can work from home and operate your business through your website.
If at all you need to get a workspace, try to negotiate with people that have workspaces. You should be able to manage their website, social media accounts in return for a free space. For instance, I rented an Office Space at CCHub for #17500 per month. After 8 month I eventually went broke as my business was no longer generating enough revenue. Imagine, if I had reinvested the #17500 office space into my business, things would have been much better.
For those that will use their home as office space, make sure your room or parlour is always setup for official discussion or transaction with a client. The last thing you want to do is keep a client waiting or make them uncomfortable.
6. Getting employees
Remember that you’re your biggest employees. Always keep things simple and cost free at the beginning.
This a lesson I learnt the hard way. After making huge cash in my 3rd year of running 9jacashflow.com, I immediately employed two workers and was paying #10,000 each per month. Nevertheless, immediately our revenue started reducing, I fired both workers.
You don’t necessarily need to have employees, instead, you can partner or make deals with your friends.
7 Running your office
Managing an Office can be very expensive but if you employ technology things can get much cheaper.
I always advice new business owners to do the following:
- Use mywaveapps.com for all their accounting.
- Use Paystack for receiving payment online.
- Use free live chat on website.
8. Build a free website
You can build a standard website with WordPress for almost free. Make sure the website is simple, easy to navigate and also search engine optimized.
Another thing your website needs to have is the list of your products and services. Let people know what you do.
9. Have a logo and brand identity
A nice looking logo is pertinent for a good brand identity. It speak so loud about what you do because it’s the first thing people see on your website.
If you don’t have the capital to hire a designer to create a professional logo, you should use ‘text’ to create one till you can afford a graphic designer.
We’ve come to the end of the list of the 9 steps to start your business for almost fee.
Hope you enjoyed it.
If you do, share your thoughts and opinion with me in the comment box below👇.