image via Shutterstock / Ariwasabi
‘I want to start a business but I don’t have the means’, says the entrepreneur-wannabe that resides within you. Most of you are taunted by the idea of shifting from the typical corporate slavery to the empowering realm of entrepreneurship. Commonly, you fear the possibility of losing job security and you are not financially stable enough to carry out a big plan like running your own business. Apart from these, you are also crippled by the thought that you don’t have the financial resources to ditch your crappy boss and become your own master. Apparently, all these are just myths designed to encapsulate you in your cowardice by settling into mediocrity. The truth is – there is promise amidst the uncertainties. You just have to be brave enough to embrace it while making use of all your skills, your marketing and sales knowledge, and your good work ethics.
Now you can take heed of all entrepreneurship advices from successful entrepreneurs, but when you’re sitting alone, torn between the amount of money in your bank account and your tedious pile of office work, remember that the following guidelines do not require big investments.
#1. Know your target market and create something
While creating something does require some money to fulfil supplies in order to fill your inventory, the products you create can always be priced more than the actual cost. Better if you are an artisan as online platforms are sweet spots for handcrafted items, for example Etsy and the newly launched Handmade at Amazon. Both have their advantage and disadvantage. While Etsy’s listing price ($0.20 USD per item) remains inexpensive compared to Amazon, the latter has a strong foundation in terms of online selling and attracting traffic. Either way, both have their strengths and weaknesses, it just depends on how you market your brand to your target market.
#2. Master the art of reselling
Holding garage sales in your own backyard is absolutely a spectacular, cost-effective way to earn income. Have the freedom to rummage through various thrift shops and/or flea markets near you for unique items that you can resell either online or in person. Should you decide to take the route of online selling, consider the convenience of drop shipping which is a retail fulfilment method that allows you to sell items without even touching your products. The process begins when you purchase your products from a manufacturer and let them ship it directly to your buyers. This definitely enables you to launch your own ecommerce store with very minimal capital and low overhead expenses.
#3. Bank on intangible capital – Skills
No money? No problem! Earning extra income through your talent and skills is another revolutionary way to break into the entrepreneurship realm. The variety of services that you can sell is almost limitless. Can you write, do babysitting, or personal assistance? If you answer yes to any of these, stop vegging out in front of your TV and slowly carve your way through financial stability. While this is not a cake walk due to a large pool of services out there, ensure that you have a competitive advantage that can make your service distinct from the rest. This is where branding comes in but promoting your services through Upwork, Elance, or Craiglist will definitely be a good start.
#4. Try outsourced services to build up your business
We all know that brand exposure is critical especially when starting up a business. You may need ad campaigns or to build relationships within the industry you’ve chosen in order to establish your brand. To make it happen, your logo, website, and other online representation should reflect the image that you want to portray. When you hire designers, take advantage of outsourced designers that you can find on various talent sites and websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, or Elance. You’ll be surprised at how much you could save without sacrificing your desired quality.
#5 Lastly, enjoy free advertising through effective use of social media platforms
When you seize the power of social media advertising, take full advantage of it and use it effectively. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are currently leading the list of traffic generators in terms of brand promotion. Analyse the statistics and utilise it to reach out to your target consumers. When you discover their social media behaviour, it gives you the edge to speak to them through your brand. Learn how to engage other users and they will surely keep coming back to your page which will lead to increased traffic that will eventually yield high conversation rate.
Feeling confident enough? You don’t always have to break the bank. Sometimes, all you need is the drive to ignore the negativity and just dive in with a solid plan. While starting up a business is definitely not an effortless task, one day your sweat equity will pay off.