Many mums come up with fabulous ideas for a business but are too scared or just don’t know where to start. Aside from the business acumen, there is also a limit to the number of funds available. Starting up a business with a small amount of capital is very difficult, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. Entrepreneurs are often impatient and it’s always tempting to get going straight away with a great business idea even before you have everything you need to do it. But you need to think and plan carefully as the reality is if you run out of cash you’re finished – even if your business is “technically” profitable.
If you are going to start with very little capital, you need to plan carefully and conserve all the cash you can. Ideally, you are starting your business with minimal overhead costs and with you as the primary source of employ.
There are some key things to remember to help you get your idea off the ground with as little fuss (and money) as possible.
- Don’t spend a single penny without considering how that money is going to develop your business. If what you are purchasing isn’t delivering you more clients or equipping you to attend more customers, then just don’t spend it. Having a lean attitude will ensure you remain humble and keep your mind sharp. Make sure your costs are low and make every pound count.
- Don’t believe you have to buy everything for your company. Rentals are available for almost anything. If you are just starting out, you can rent a piece of equipment for £50 a month versus buying it for £1000 when you’re starting out you can use the £950 on something else.
- Hold off on opening a physical (and expensive) office space unless you have to. Unless you need to meet your clients in your office, don’t have one.
- Don’t buy any equipment new. Almost anything you need from office furniture to manufacturing equipment can be purchased second hand and for a fraction of the full price.
- Make your business manager your best buddy. If your business receives cash or cheques as payment in reimbursement of services, take those payments into your branch during business hours, making sure to say hello to the bank manager as well as the business banking manager. Building a professional, friendly relationship will only help you in the long run. Ultimately, you will need credit or a loan from the bank or elsewhere. If they already recognise you and see you making regular payments, you will have a much easier time getting help when you need it. Sites such as smallbusinessloans.co can give you an idea.
- Be slow to hire. Full-time employees mean large overhead, you can employ professional services or freelancers to do almost everything your business needs until you are at the point where you need a full-time employee.
On the positive side of having a frugal start, the thrifty habits you learn while growing a lean business will help you in the future. It seems crazy but sometimes having too much capital at the start is worse for a company as it gives the illusion of success and leads to wasteful methods and business practices. By starting out with a conservative mindset, you’ll be more likely to maintain disciplined fiscal practices as your business grows.