How do I get my business started with a limited budget?
I have incorporated a business name legally in my country with the government agency that handles business registration and have procured the basic documents and tools to kick-start the business of selling cement and handle general contracts, but I do not have financing. What's the best way to get started on a low budget? Should I focus on getting funding? If so, what's the best source of funding for a business like mine?
Mfon, I would start by drafting a business plan. With this plan, you will be able to define your market, labor and budget requirements.
Congrats on the new business! There are 3 ways to get started on a low budget.
1. Take a look at who your "Ideal Client" is - what are their frustrations, their desires, who do they buy from now, what do your competitors do well or not well. Compile as much information as you can.
2. Make connections with as many ideal clients as possible. Have conversations with them and clarify the information you have already found. Then find out what is most important to them when purchasing cement. Then find out what it will take for a company to exceed their expectations. Once you have built those relationships, then sell your product and services to them - verbal or written commitments. Purchase orders are best.
3. Then take those commitments you have received and get funding. Your pre-orders will virtually guarantee that you can get funding to get supplies, distribution and manufacturing done to complete your orders.
Hope this helps!
For more information feel free to reach out to me:
Business Strategist, Consultant and Autor
DavidBrownlee dot com
Congratulations, you've taken the first step, Mfon!
I am not sure what your business is (it appears its retail); however, if that's the case, you definitely want to secure some funding and build stock. As a marketing practitioner, I would suggest starting to build a buzz about your business, online and off. Start talking about it in professional circles, seek out referral sources, and start some online promotion as well (social media and Web site). These are inexpensive (or free) options; as your revenues grow, you can add more promotional opportunities (including events to drive traffic to your store), and more costly advertising and awareness campaigns. Consider reading up on concepts like "bootstrapping" and "lean startup," concepts I talk about with my small business and entrepreneur clients regularly.
Wish you the best in your endeavor!
Surely Mfon, if you have no finance to commence you don’t actually have a business with which to start trading. What facilities, capabilities and markets are you considering targeting? What competitive advantages are you positioned to exploit? Have you a business plan? That would be so much more valuable than any name!
Bootstrapping is an art and science.
Have a a complete course on technqiues at: http://startupplanet.com/CD_bootstrapping.htm
You need a market entry strategy and well define target niche (including ideal customer profile). I recommend no less than 6 months personal living expenses in the bank when you start and 1 year is better. Service businesses can rent their time (not a real business just a contracting) to help bootstrap. I call this a "Service to product flip" because you get the first customers to finance your start-up costs to some degree and own what you develop along the way.
You will find a full CEO Boot Camp 14 DVD set on this web site too. All timeless information on what may be the most expensive and riskiest endeavor you will ever take. Get advice from real experts. You likely need an experienced CEO and busness advisor to guide you.
It sounds like your business is a capital intensive one that would require some sizeable upfront investment. If so, I would agree with the others who suggest searching out government /private financing sources. But develop a written business plan first, so you know what funding you need and can demonstrate to potential funding sources that your business idea is a viable one. Good luck to you!
Business Promotion through Donation?? Charity for Business??
You can get loan or Investment Partner for your Business and it is available with Govt. agencies, Banks and Financial Institution..
Well, the first thing you have to understand is that low funding means much efforts. It's hard yes, but.. But you have to work on that wiser not harder. You can rely on outsourcing and freelance websites to get what you want with the lowest price. Second, present your good as a guru, and people will look on you. Website might work just if you corroborate it with in-field visits to related stakeholders. Last, your team is your first way and soley way to succeed. Remember! in order to succeed you need three: good methodology (business plans,. etc), finance, and good team. Now abideth Methodology, Finance, and good team...these three.. but the greatest is: S.M.A.R.T team.
I suggest writing a Business Pan and two budgets.
1. Start Up Budget
2. Operations Budget
This information will, provide both focus and clarity how to go forward.
The Fnancial Plan will also provide a break even.
Go find a Client, easiest way to get money in the door..if you can't do that ten your business is doomed before it had began.
Basically, you only have a business idea and a business by name only. I would not start a business without the financing in place.
First, you need a solid and realistic business plan. You need to find the financing required the following ways:
1. Banks 2. Other financial institutions 3. Government grants or loans 4. Personal loans 5. Loans from family and fruiends 6. Investors 7. A combination of the above.
You then have to be able to develop the business with a plan to repay back all your loans with your profit, and to reinvest into your business. Looks like you have got a long way to go yet.
If you have contracts or larger orders: purchase order financing maybe able to help you finance the purchase of materials. A factor can help accelerate cash flow by buying your invoices.
I have a questions for you
In what country has this business been started? (It does make a difference! Taxes, regulations, etc.)
What type of business is it?
There are NO government agencies offering loans to small businesses. They only guarantee the bank on those loans and they are mostly for government contracts.
You must have 3 yrs tax, P&L, business and marketing with the customary 30% down before you even think about starting the loan process.
Crowdfunding may be a option for you.
Check your local SBA & SCORE office or visit SCORE.org for more correct information.
no financing. Very tough, but not impossible. It depends. Check planmagic's web site for business plan software and possibly for an online business coach. You'll need both.
I recommend getting a bank loan for your business. To do that, you'll need to put together a business plan that explains what your model of business is and why its financially viable for you to get a loan. Aside from a bank, you might also look into organizations that offer microloans.
I agree with Robert, a business plan is one of the first things you should create.
EVEN BEFORE THAT, you should tap into your network, or visit networking events to find other business owners that have built substantial businesses from scratch. Find someone that you can be a friend to that would provide emotional support, and would talk into your life. The principles that govern building a successful business in any field are universal. Learn from successful people around you.
Find complementary businesses that you can partner with. Identify your specific niche even within your market and what is your "unique selling proposition." Recognize that what you sell is more than just your product. You are selling a service. Convenience, timely fulfillment, trust, etc.
Why should anyone hire you versus another cement seller? (Not a rhetorical question. You need to be able to answer this question.)
For more principles and advice, feel free to send me a private message.
Get customers lined-up and under contract. Take the contracts to the bank so you can use them to secure working capital. Check all the newspapers and trade pubs and make a list of all the decision makers with a project in proposal stage that will have to purchase cement. Don't bother with a website or any of the other BS people will tell you. Get gas in your car, put on clean presentable clothes and get out their and sell. Have your story together as to why they should by from you and not their usual supplier. If you can't close one good sale, if they won't event talk with you because they're content with their current suppliers at least haven't dumped time and money into all the "traditional" BS the experts would have you do. You've found out about the cement business and you may or may not have a strong business
First ask yourself, Do you really need funding for the type of business you have? If so, what aspect of the business do you need funding for? Do you need funding to handle contracts? Think of what the funding will be used for and the type of funding you need. I suggest to view the SBA website. It has helpful resources to point you in the right direction. Also if you have a business plan develop, make sure your strategic plan and operational methods are sound! Good luck!
I take more of a shoot first aim second approach to launching businesses. I've started 3 businesses now with $200 (S Corp and US Bank account). The first of which was a painting business. At the age of 20 without any painting experience I sold $60,000 of work before even hiring a painter, months before even painting the first home. What I love about the contractor industry is that it's common place to request 50% down for a scheduling retainer. If you can't make sales then a loan will only put you in debt, so why not start with sales and validate the business? How do you compete with no experience in a crowded space? Give them something they're not getting elsewhere. Majority of the time if you can offer a white collar experience in a blue collar industry you will win enough times to at least get started. Perception is reality! Just make sure you can deliver on what you say you are going to do.
Resources to build a credible foundation:
Fiverr.com - For a logo for $5
PowerPoint - Create a slideshow presentation link and upload it to Slideshare to send clients via email (Free) Here's an example of one we just put up for my company that our clients are loving. http://www.slideshare.net/JordanBryant1/preparing-for-development-the-4-decisionksd
GoogleVoice - Create a company number and route it to your cell (Free)
Documentation - Create contracts and sales docs on word with your logo on everything.
BRAND EVERYTHING! (Free)
Business Cards - $50 or less
Look for networking events where your target market will be, often Chamber of Commerce events are great for contractor work. (Free)
Once you've made sales -
Website - If you can manage. You should be able to get a simple quality responsive site up for around $1000 or less
Google Maps Advertising
Bank Account (Technically you don't even need a bank account set up until you've got money to deposit)
Don't spend all of your money on the Internet. Make brochures and flyers. Join free sites like Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook. Get a webpage and do blogs in your area of expertise and promote your business.