As a start-up, a business doesn’t need to pull out all of the stops—at times, less can be more. The concept of ‘go big or go home’ doesn’t necessarily apply to new ventures. Sometimes, an entrepreneur doesn’t want to go big—they may want to do more with less. Start-up business owners are creating a new venture from the ground up, using low-cost and grassroots methods.
A general concern for many new business owners is its financials. How much money do you have to spend, and what are the most important things you should be spending it on? Years ago, entrepreneurs spent many dollars to hire a marketing/advertising agency to design a logo, branding strategy and website. Today, those dollars can be saved and spent elsewhere. It’s easier to find small businesses or utilize online resources that will do the same work, but for a reasonable rate, leaving you more cash in hand for future investments.
Rather than pouring your hard-earned (and saved) capital on fancy websites and unnecessary marketing, there are several ways that entrepreneurs can work smarter rather than harder (all while spending less up front).
Utilize digital resources
In today’s mobile and digital world, it’s easy to find apps and resources that can help you build a new venture (many of which are low- or no-cost). There are many websites that host freelancers and assistance with creating a logo, video and brand where designers can bid out the job—and you as the entrepreneur has the option to choose pricing and give feedback (all online!)
It’s easier than ever to find assistance with marketing, branding, web design and online sales tools that once cost a lot of time and money to outsource. Some sites to check out for various resources include 99 Designs, Elance, WordPress and Wix (to name just a few).
Effective, low-cost marketing
Similar to utilizing online tools for logo/website building and branding, you can also market your startup for little to no cost using social media tools. Generate a conversation online—learn about your potential customers and what they like and how they interact with your product/brand. You can also experiment with online advertisements (pay-per-click) which are far more affordable and easily measured in terms of effectiveness.
Strategic networking and negotiations
Some professional networking groups/organizations with a national recognition can be a bit pricey—especially for startups who are keeping track of every penny. Instead of joining every membership-based group you can find in your industry, try attending free and local networking events. Most cities and communities have ongoing networking events, put on by the chamber of commerce or social networking groups. Find a group that you feel comfortable with and get involved—chair an event or join the planning committee.
By networking, you can gain valuable connections and begin figure out what those connections need that you may be able to help out with. In return, you may want to do business with them. Networking and negotiating are all part of the lean start-up and the path to entrepreneurial success.
What are your thoughts about the ‘go big or go home’ mentality? Have you started a ‘lean’ new venture? What resources have you used that have been helpful when beginning a new venture (without breaking the bank)?
Find out more about elements to the lean startup (and why it’s OK to work smarter, not ‘bigger’), please visit the following:
Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!