How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget

How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget

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Twenty years ago, the title of this article would have been ridiculed, and rightly so, as there was no way you could manage to get a small business off the ground without capital. Technology has changed all that, and today, it is possible to launch a business with virtually no financial support, and if you have a great business idea and would like to know how to make it a reality, here are some useful tips to help you achieve your business goals without investing a small fortune.

E-Commerce

This is the platform for any new enterprise, and providing you invest a little in professional help, your website will give the impression your business is well established and successful. The virtual world of the Internet allows even a one man band to appear like a large company, and with the right web developer in your corner, your shopping site will attract many consumers. The beauty of an online retail store is you do not require a retail premises, and the products can be shipped on your behalf by the manufacturer, who would use your company labels when mailing the products. Many online retailers never actually handle the product and with the right web support, and virtual office services, a company can operate in such a way that the customer is unaware of the inner workings of the organisation.

Search Engine Optimisation

This is an industry in itself and is absolutely essential for any online business. SEO involves making a website more visible to a search engine, and you might have the best website, but if the consumer is unable to locate you, then your site traffic will reflect this. There are a number of strategies used to improve a website’s visibility within a search engine, and by forging an alliance with a digital marketing company, they can steer you in the right direction.

Digital Marketing

This extends a lot further than SEO work, and social media is a very productive avenue to pursue. If you create an account with Facebook and post information and images, you should develop a following, and with millions of consumers who like to order products via social media sites, it is something that you cannot afford to overlook. Having an experienced digital marketing company is essential if you want to drive traffic to your e-commerce site, and once they have created your digital marketing plan, it can be implemented and any adjustments can be made, depending on the results.

Communications

This is essential for every business, and despite the rise of the World Wide Web, phone calls are still the preferred way to communicate in a business environment. So, how does a small enterprise handle a barrage of calls without directly employing a receptionist? The answer is to use a virtual office service, which can be tailored to suit your needs. If you’re thinking of starting a new business in the UK, Message Direct are the people to talk to, as they can provide you with all the essential services to allow you to operate as a fully functional company, and with professional receptionists answering calls on your behalf, your business image will be up there with the top companies.

Professional Receptionists

A virtual office set up would involve trained receptionists who answer all your calls, and because they are fully briefed on the client’s business, you can be sure than every enquiry will be professionally handled. The range of services a virtual office provider would offer, include the following:

  • Message Taking
  • Virtual receptionist service
  • Overflow call handling
  • Media response
  • Temporary cover

The provider would be very experienced and would be able to give you sound advice on how to best meet your communication needs, and by dealing with an established company, you can be sure of reliable and professional service that will boost your company’s image.

Prestigious Business Address

Using a virtual office service allows you to have a prestigious business address in the heart of the city, and you can even hire a meeting room there, should you wish to meet VIP clients, and with the right signage, your new customer would never know your set up is virtual. Having the right business address does wonders for the company image, and with a virtual office, you do not have the enormous expense of a traditional bricks and mortar office, yet you still maintain the right image.

Conference Room Hire

There might be times when you need to meet a client, and there would be affordable conference room hire available, and with the right signage, your client will never know that you are using a virtual office set up. The facilities would be state of the art, and anything you require, such as a projector and screen, would be prepared in advance, allowing you to retain a professional image at all times.

Business Development

As your new business grows, it is possible to tailor the virtual office services, and expansion can take place safely, without putting the business at risk. A virtual office provider would be equipped to handle a high volume of incoming calls, should it be required.

Trade Agreements

Manufacturers and wholesale traders have to survive in an extremely competitive environment, and most would happily give you 30 days credit on any products you order, and if your customers are making secure online payments in advance of dispatch, you have no need for capital to fund the process. Most businesses run on credit, and once you have firm agreements with your suppliers, your daily expenses will be minimal, and after a few months of trading, you should have acquired a healthy bank balance, some of which can be used for expansion plans.

Modern businesses no longer require massive funding at the start up, and with clever outsourcing and credit lines, it is possible to start a business with no more than you’d spend on a package holiday. There are certain essentials you will need, but with careful planning and virtual office services, it is possible to project a professional image at an affordable cost.

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Dr. Liu has a Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry