.Even if you are short of funds, there are still ways you can jumpstart your business with very little resources. You just have to be very creative and find the ideal business to start (let’s face it: you can’t be too ambitious if you really have no resources)
Tory Johnson started Women for Hire, an online recruiting site targeted at college educated women that also puts career fairs, in 1999. She talked to the morning show Good Morning America about how she started her business on a very shoestring budget.
Here are some steps that she took to jumpstart the business for very little money.
- Put it in writing. Nothing formal like a business plan (unless you’re going to apply for a loan or get an investor), but it is important to write a brief plan outlining your goals.
- Don’t assume the best case scenario because it is more likely that you won’t meet those projections. Keep your numbers realistic.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel, but know your competition.
- Create marketing materials, but think free and inexpensive.
- Put up your own website. Read “How I Created an Effective Web Site for Under $100”
- Print business cards and flyers
- Consider a virtual phone system
- Use free social and business networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and others.
- Establish mutually beneficial partnerships.
- Generate free media coverage, using sites such as Help a Reporter Out
- Find free helping hands
- Tap free expert resources such as SCORE or Chamber of Commerce
- Just dove right in and started her business.
Of course, her business — especially one that got its start for less than $100 — would not survive if she did not focus on quality and customer satisfaction. As Tory said,
My focus from Day 1 has remained the same: provide a top-notch service, get the word out to the target audience and sell it. If you’re thinking of starting a business, that’s what you should do too.