One of the most common misconceptions of starting a business is that heavy financial investment is necessary in the beginning in order to thrive. While you definitely do need to put in a lot of effort to reap results later on, spending frivolously before you have a steady cash flow can actually be detrimental to your business – debt and stress being long-term consequences. Luckily, there are plenty of options in cost-effective business tools today.
Here are five that are perfect for startups:
1. A Virtual Office
Do not make the mistake of buying an office or facility that you cannot afford, or don’t really need right now. Flexibility, efficiency, and affordability are why many startups are moving into digital office solutions. The best virtual office is one that is customized to suit your business needs and easier to set up than a physical office. Hire a package that includes an appropriate location, local phone number or even a receptionist as you need them. If you do need a physical space for a meeting, you can even add that on too.
2. DIY Web Design
You do not need to spend a small fortune on hiring a web design company to create and maintain your first business website but you absolutely do need to have a web presence. For a minimal cost, you can choose from a range of DIY web builders and step-by-step build your business website yourself. If this is unfamiliar territory for you, start as simple as possible and choose the cheapest website builder. Choose basic layouts in either neutral colors, or your business colors, and start with just a homepage, contact page, and services page that explains what your business offers. The rest can be dealt with later (see point 3 below).
3. An Account On A Gig Economy Website
In the early days of your business, it is more likely than not that you will need a hand with certain tasks. Especially if your team is small or consists of only yourself for the moment. For example, after putting together your website as mentioned above, if you’re not a confident writer or found tampering with online layouts too fiddly, you can hire a freelancer to proofread and tweak the design for you on the same day.
4. A Good Accountant By Your Side
Having an accountant you can rely on is an invaluable asset in business. Too many small businesses overlook hiring an accountant from the start because of a misconception that in the early stages, dealing with bookkeeping, finances and business tax will be easy. The reality is, accounting and compliance mistakes only get more costly and time-consuming the longer you wait. But why risk making mistakes in the first place? Prioritize finding a good accountant from the start. This way you can have peace of mind that you have an accounting expert on hand for advice. An accountant can ensure that your business is structured appropriately and that your first tax return is filed correctly.
5. Online Payment Options
When it comes to payment, the more options the better. A huge disadvantage small retail businesses like pop-up shops and food trucks may have is taking cash only, as you are instantly alienating customers who are interested but may pass on the service if there is no ATM nearby, or if your competitor offers an electronic payment system (EFTPOS). Don’t let this happen and give yourself the upper hand by providing a variety of payment options such as EFTPOS, online payments, cash, or even cryptocurrency payments.
Now you have a better idea of some of the tools available to you, it’s time to buckle down and get to work. Which ones can help your business grow starting today?