Tips to running a business with limited resources
By ShaChena Gibbs
This is a challenge most new entrepreneur’s face. Let me tell you about a friend of mine. When Sandra first started her home business, she went to her local bank for a business loan. Simple enough, right? She had her business plan in order, an itemized list of everything that she would need to successfully run her business, and all the necessary documents. To put it plainly, she was turned down. Why? Not because she did not have the credit to back it up, or did not have a good business plan. The reason the bank gave her was “because she did not understand that over 90% of businesses fail within the first year, and that Sandra was not prepared in case she did.”
While Sandra understood she was attempting to look out for her best interest, she felt cheated and upset. He was not even going to give her the opportunity to fail. On some level, everyone that goes into business for themselves understand that chances are, the business will not make it past its first year, and she was no different and neither are you. The only thing was Sandra had faith in herself that she would not give up trying. The loan processor took that as she would spend her life savings before giving up, and he did not want to see her financially ruin herself.
Use Your Resources
So what did Sandra do? She set out to build her business on her own, only using the limited resources and financial backing that she currently had. She bought second hand office supplies and furniture. Some friends even gave her a few items they had sitting around the house. She bought the small cheap laptop instead of the thousand dollar computer specifically designed for what she would be doing. Without the proper money for advertising, she had to get creative. Sandra’s advertising methods was unconventional, but they worked. She found that she did not need large amounts of money in order to get her business out to the world.
So would she have been so successful had the loan processor gave her the business loan she asked for?
I am not sure, because after all, she made it without the money. What would have happened if she would have had the proper money for advertising? Whatever the case may have been, I am glad she did not, because she may have created a debt for her and her business that would have taken her years to get out of. She did an amazing job building her business with her limited resources.
So how can you run your business on limited resources? Here are a few things that I want to share with you.
1) New vs. Used- When starting your business, you do not need everything to be “new.” Second hand items cost substantially less then new items, and work just as well. Plus, if you think about it, customers will be more comfortable around your office if it feels “broke-in”, rather than new and sterile. It gives them the feeling that you have been in business awhile. In some cases you can even use a kitchen table for a desk.
2) Creative Advertising- You do not need the hundreds of dollars that it takes to place ads in papers or put commercials on TV. It costs very little to design and print you own flyers and put them in places where your potential clients would gather. You can create flyers and marketing tools in Microsoft Word, Publisher or even online software such as Canva.com. The best thing? Face to Face meetings and networking events with your potential clients that are free to low cost, so look for every opportunity to talk with our potential clients.
3) Work At Home- Depending on your type of business, you may consider working at home rather than renting office space. This will save you a lot of money on rent and furnishing an office. Once your business becomes more successful, then you can always rent office space later. Just try to find a dedicated space in your home that you can work your business.
Overall, be thankful for the struggles that you go through now, because in the future, they will have been well worth it. Plus, it will give you a better understanding when it comes to other small businesses.
And, no matter what, never give up on yourself.
Guest Bloggers Wanted!
Entrepreneur, Educator, Author and Association Executive, ShaChena Gibbs is helping women across the world with starting, growing, running and profiting successful business from home. ShaChena Gibbs is the Founder of Real Sisters Rising Women Business Association an award winning women's network and the Author of The CEO System. http://www.realsistersrising.com
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