When we hear “startup” we always envision the warm Silicon Valley overhanging by young geniuses and we imagine them all financed by huge venture capital firms. However, the reality is far: not all startups require millions in funding to hit the ground running. For example, some businesses are home-based and so require low upfront investments. These tech businesses can get started for £2500 and even less. You are wondering how to finance your great business idea on a shoestring budget? Discover here how to start your tech business on a budget.
Your first step is to build your product. As a tech company, it would be advantageous to have someone with a technical background in your team. You don’t need any money to build a product, in particular for a software tech company.
start your tech business on a budget
Minimise your spending, in particular in the early stages. Don’t spend if you do not have to. You may dream of an amazing logo or new website but you have to resist the temptation. You will make your adjustments along the way. Keep in mind that your expenses should remain low.
Before spending any dollar, ask yourself this question: “Will this help me acquire new customers?” If the answer is “no, not really” and it doesn’t help you to grow, simply skip it.
Start keeping everything simple.
There are some ways to incorporate your company without spending thousands. In fact, you can register your private company limited by shares (Ltd.) for less than £50 without legal assistance.
Moreover, to avoid renting an office space, consider working from home. If you need outside help, hire freelancers and virtual assistants. You don’t need to hire full-time employees yet.
Creating and writing a business plan could be intimidating. Instead of trying to fill the blank pages, start with a Lean Business Plan, a one-page document. That will save you time but that will also allow you to build several different business plans trying out different ideas.
As a startup, outsourcing is probably not the best strategic option. If you need talents to build your product and/or your company with you, or simply add people to grow your talented team, consider attending meet-up and networking events. Leverage your network to find the right people.
The Marketing Part
According to popular belief, building the product is the hardest part. What about getting users, consumers, people to know who you are, what is your company and what you do? Your product is only the beginning, now you need to get the attention of your target.
Learn to use your constraints as an advantage. In fact, having no money is not only a disadvantage but could be one of your strength. Grow your audience without pouring thousands into ad campaigns like most of the tech startups that just raised fundings.
Here is a list of some free marketing techniques you can use.
- Identify where your target market spends time online.
- Be part of their communities through Facebook/Linkedin groups
- Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram to the fullest
- Websites/platforms specific to your target market
- Participate in networking events that involve your target market.
- Score media coverage. Write a press release and send it to relevant journalists or use some platforms like Help a Reporter Out. This platform connects journalists to founders and entrepreneurs and will allow you to present yourself to bloggers, journalists and other relevant persons.
- Have your own blog page on your website. It will help you to position your tech business as a thought leader in your market while attracting organic traffic to your website. According to Hubspot, businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than their competitors that run their businesses without a blog.
- Reach out to your contacts, someone may be interested in pre-ordering your product.
- Use email marketing campaigns. It has been proved to be the most effective way to promote your product/service. Collect prospect’s email addresses using your website. That will allow you to nourish them with great and valuable content.
- Get partnerships with companies and organisations.
start your tech business on a budget
Sell Before You Have the Product
Contact your target and tease them your product/service as it’s already built and ready to be launched. However, be careful, don’t tease people years before the launch or they will be tired of waiting and you will lose their interest. If people are interested, give them some early birds: “if you pre-order now, you will receive a unique significant discount”.
It is surely challenging to start a tech business on a very limited budget, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that it is an advantage: by starting lean, your approach will be more disciplined and the habits you will get will help you to take your company to the next level.
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