Start-ups are growing and remain at a record high, with more than 500,000 new businesses being registered each year.
Start-up costs are low and being driven down by new technologies and trends, like the sharing economy.
Here is the A – H of starting a new business for as little as $100
A. Keep your niche
The more niche your business, the lower your costs.
This is because you have a clear view on the product or service you’re offering, to which type of customer.
Rather than having to splash out on advertising everywhere, you know where your customers are; what they’re reading, which blogs they’re visiting, from whom they’re currently buying etc – so you only need be in the places they are hanging out.
B. Beg, borrow & barter
These are three valuable words that will serve you well throughout your business journey.
If there’s an asset or piece of kit you need and just can’t afford, think about who owns one and ask to use it, for free, on their downtime.
The same applies to space. Approach someone who owns it – and wants to attract the type of crowd you can bring.
Need equipment such as a kitchen or 3D printers? Ask to borrow them when it’s not in use so the owner can feel good about helping a start-up.
You’ll be amazed how much you can access – you just have to ask!
C. Embrace all social media
Technology has been a great friend to small business.
You can now get online for free with template websites such as Moonfruit, Wix and Weebly and then attract traffic to that site with a presence on social media platforms.
You can build profitable businesses just by using Instagram and YouTube these days, without spending any cash.
D. Skill swapping
Get stuff for free by agreeing to swap your skills.
Graphic designer? Agree to apply your design expertise in exchange for PR, an accountant, office space etc.
Trade the skill you have, to build a business based on the skills of others.
E. Get out & about
It’s in meeting people that you’ll find friends, entrepreneurs and supporters who are willing to give you time and advice, for free. But you have to get out of the home office to meet them.
Find this support at free meet-ups and events that you can find on sites such as Eventbrite and Meetup.com
F. Locate and nurture young talent
Schools and colleges in your area are buzzing with talented and entrepreneurial minds. Get them on your side by making connections.
If you need a photographer to showcase your first fashion collection on a budget, approach the local college photography department and find an enthusiastic student in exchange for them using the shoot in their portfolio.
G. Always keep in touch
Keep up to date with start-up and small business news to stay in touch with all the offers.
Many areas offer workspace for free, while some companies make their senior marketing people available as free mentors.
Make it your business to stay in the know by following key small business websites on Twitter and subscribing to free newsletters to hear about opportunities hot off the press.
H. Outsource everything you can
Once the contracts start to roll in, rather than employing people straight away, build a network of trusted contractors you can call on when there is demand you can’t cope with yourself. And offer them the same service in return if applicable.
With free technology, supportive networks and large companies offering their assets, there’s no reason why you can’t start a business on a budget and become your own boss for less than the cost of a regular rail ticket.