8 Rules for Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget

By Daymond John

When I started Fubu, I had no idea what the future would hold for my business. I believed it would be successful, but I didn’t know what it would take or how long it would last. What I did know is that I was going out on a limb and starting a business with a very limited budget. I see all too often people who have a very good idea, but they don’t take the chance because they don’t feel they have the money. But, I am living proof it is possible to start a successful business even on a shoestring.

I want to make sure you know that it is possible to get started even when you have limited funds, so I have written eight rules to follow if you are starting a business on a shoestring budget. For some of these, be sure to do your research to make sure this is the best decision for you and your business.

1. Start with a LLC

When you incorporate your company, a step that is very important, then it is best to go with an LLC. Usually, depending on the state, this will cost less than $100, and you don’t even have to have legal assistance to get going. For a shoestring budget, this is the best option because jumping into a C-corporation gets pricey.

2. Don’t Try to Look for Funding

You may think that you need to immediately start finding investors for you business since you do have a limited budget, but that’s not a good idea. Your business will be spread too thin, and you could very likely lose control. Stick with something simple for now. There will come a time when investors will be a better option.

3. Don’t Worry about Hiring an Accountant

In the beginning, you don’t have to have an accountant, who can be very pricey. Instead, you can keep your own books. A single purchase of a program like QuickBooks will give you step-by-step directions for keeping up with everything and you won’t be spending money to get someone else to handle this.

4. Work Out of Your Home

A shoestring budget means you don’t have the funds to jump right into an office or store. Getting a place like that started costs big bucks and you can expect to spend thousands of dollars before you can even open the doors. Stick with a home based business for a while if you can.

5. Register Intellectual Property

It is going to seem like a high cost, but it is one worth your attention. If you hold the copyrights, patents, or trademarks on the items you have come up with, then this scores you a massive competitive advantage for obvious reasons. Visit the US Patent and Trademark Office to get started.

6. Consider Virtual Assistants

If you are having trouble keeping up with everything on your own, you don’t have to hire someone and deal with the hassle of payroll. Instead, you can find freelance virtual assistants who will work on a weekly basis and this can save you a great deal of money while you get the help you need.

7. Find Ways to Save Money

You can find cloud storage options and software that costs very little. You don’t have to buy the whole shebang right away, and starting with lower subscriptions will get you started without spending too much right away.

8. Use the Internet as Your Marketing

There’s no reason why you have to spend that much money for marketing when you have social media like Facebook and Twitter at your disposal. Instead of spending a great deal of your funds to market your business, use the power of the web to its fullest advantage.

If you follow these eight rules, then you really can start a business on a shoestring budget just as I did.

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