How to Start a Business On a Shoestring Budget

May 04 2016, 0 Comments

Starting a business is a big step in life but a great one at that. It is a highly exciting time and a brave move for anyone to take. That being said, if you don’t have a lot of money to put into your start-up then that big step could turn out to be a step in the wrong direction.

Not having enough capital to begin with is one of the main reasons people delay starting up a business. The fear of not having any seed money, contingency money or guaranteed income can be a scary feeling but it doesn’t have to be.

If your business is thought-out and you have a solid business plan behind you, it is more than possible to start your business with next to no budget. Its all about being organised so to give you an idea of just how possible it is; here are some ways you can cut costs without cutting corners and start up in safety.

Utilize You

Starting a new career path, seems exciting and liberating but this is often a bad business move. You should look to capitalise on your existing experience, skill-set and knowledge base at all times.

The reason behind this is that as you’ll already be familiar with what you want to do in business, meaning you won’t have to waste time, energy and most importantly, money on learning completely new concepts. This will take away from your profits and also lead you to cause mistakes that could be costly. 

By sticking to the area you know and what you’ve already learnt, you won’t have to rely or spend any of your start up cash on outsourcing fees or training costs. You can begin easily, knowing what you have to do and how much it’ll cost to do it. By utilizing yourself and taking advantage of your skill, it keeps costs low and gets you off to a great start.

Be The Boss

Starting with next to no money means you’re going to have to be frugal. This means that you should encompass a number of roles (finance, marketing, director), especially in the earlier days, in order to understand your business better and keep expenses down.

Once the money starts rolling in, you can look to expand and delegate some responsibility to staff or freelancers. Until that point however, it pays dividends to be in control of everything and influence everything that is going on. 

Work From Home 

Unless its crucial for the nature of your business, renting out an office space is a big cost you can avoid in the earlier days. A move that is hurtful to some people’s pride but a smart one all the same.

By opting to work at home, it works out a great deal cheaper than anywhere else. You save on rent, commuting costs, expenses such as lunches and it allows you to solely focus more of your time of earning money and making a name for yourself.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

If you simply cannot handle all of the workload on your own, then you may need some help. Getting help isn’t a sign of defeat, it is, if anything, a sign of progression as demand for your services is building. 

Taking advantage of technology gives you a cheap, flexibility that allows you to stay in control while taking some of the pressure of your shoulders. Today you can use bookkeeping software, virtual assistants, social media apps, invoicing software and many more to ease the load.

There are some free and great tools out there that streamline your set up, taking away some of the burden and keeping those outsourcing costs down.

Start Small and Spread the Word

Aside from implementing free technology such as social media as a free way to advertising, you shouldn't overlook the basics. 

Again this will depend on your business but by starting small when you begin, you can create a more localised focus. By getting your friends, family and ex-colleagues to spread the word about your business, it creates a budget-friendly, zero cost way of promoting yourself.

Make some calls or send some emails, you’ll be surprised at how well this works. If people know that you’re being recommended, it means that they will automatically trust you. It is from there that you do what you do best, which then has a domino effect and leads you to be referred to other people and bigger audiences. That way you will expand your business and increase you income all from 'word-of-mouth' mentions.


Being savvy as a startup can be the difference between success and failure. It’s all about being disciplined and knowing that you can survive on a shoestring, if you’re strict. By being money conscious from day one, it will benefit you in the long run and you will learn the value of knowing your finances as well as your own sector.