It’s super disheartening when all of these cool people are starting their blogs and businesses and you’re feeling left behind because… you’re broke. It happens to the best of us. We come up with GRAND ideas, but the cob webs in our bank account paralyze us from moving forward with our goals.
The truth is that, yes, you do need money to run a successful business, but that doesn’t mean the lack of disposable income should hinder you from starting. If you’re just as ambitious as you are broke, here are three tips for you.
1. Write down of all the things you can do without money.
There are so many trusted resources online (hey, like The Nectar Collective!) that can give you a good sense of direction. Until you can afford a coach, do your best to be a self-starter and write down all of the things you can invest your time in figuring out. This is best anyway, because by the time you can hire a coach or consultant, you are prepared with plans and ideas that they can look over.
First, identify who your audience is. Do you work best with single moms who want to go back to school? Are you able to help college students land their dream job? What is it that you’re REALLY good at and who can it best serve?
Pro-tip: Your audience is most likely going to be someone who is where you once were and their goal is to be where you are now. (Tweet that!)
The next thing you can do is come up with the name for your blog or business and create the relevant social media accounts for it. If you’re going to be specifically building a personal brand or you don’t know the name of your business yet, you can use your name and make sure all of your social media accounts have the same name (or very similar) across the board. Start connecting with people in your industry. It does not cost you a dime to start building relationships with people online.
Pro-tip: Join social media networks where your audience hangs out. You don’t need to be EVERYWHERE. Just be where you’ll be most needed.
Coming up with your bio is also FREE. First tell me about who you are, then tell me about how who you are helps your audience. Honestly, your “about me” on your social media, media kit and website isn’t actually supposed to be about you. It’s supposed to be about how you can help others. That’s what’s going to make you valuable in business. You can read more about coming with killer bio here.
Lastly, you can create your brand style guide. If you’re going to have to go DIY, you need to know what types of fonts, colors and images you want representing your brand. It’s important to have a style guide to keep a visual consistency. When people see specific fonts, colors and/or images, they should say “oh, that looks just like *insert your name*’s blog!” That’s what brand recognition is all about. Oh hey, we also have a free style guide template right here.
There are so many important things that are vital to the success of your business that are easily overlooked because there’s too much of a focus on how much running a business costs. Create a list of things you can get done that don’t cost you any money. I always say “if you don’t have the money, then you better have the time.” What are some things you can invest your time in to elevate you to the next level of starting your business?
2. Write down of all the things that will absolutely cost you money.
Once you’ve exhausted all of your time and free resources, it’s time to get realistic about the monetary costs of starting your business. Create a list of things that think you absolutely need to invest in. Domain, hosting, web design, coaching, products, etc. Once you make a list of everything, prioritize the order in which they should be executed or their order of importance.
Because a lot of people know that starting a business costs money, they just chop it up as a loss and never try to figure out how to get past that hurdle. Writing down your foreseeable expenses makes it more real and then you can set realistic goals about how you will pay for everything. Keep in mind that there’s pretty much a more affordable hack to every expensive thing. For example, until you can pay $1,000+ for a website, purchase a $60 template.
If you don’t have the money, find a hack. If you do have the money, invest. It saves you more money in the long run to have something done right the first time.
If You Think It’s Expensive To Hire A Professional, Wait Until You Hire An Amateur. – Red Adair
3. Write down of all the things that you’re amazing at.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. Stop downplaying your experiences and abilities to do awesome things. Write down everything you’ve kicked ass in. Seriously, do it, because this will begin helping you to generate ideas of what products and services you can offer. Three reasons why this is super important:
- You need to know what you’re going to sell as a product or service when you start your business. I mean, you can’t have a successful business unless you’re making sales! Make sure this is in line with the end goal of your target audience.
- You can start offering that product or service to a small group of people who you know personally. Do not hound your friends to work with you, but if any of your friends have an interest in what you’re offering, use them for a testimonial or case study.
- Once you decide on a product or service that you feel comfortable with, find someone who has a skill you need! Connect with a few people who offer a product a service you need for your business to see if they’re interested in bartering. You’re going to have a better chance at bartering with people who are in the same level of business as you are. If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely have more success with someone who sells websites for $800 than someone who charges $10,000. Make sense? I would also advise that you work on building a relationship with this person before reaching out to them.
Are you ready to finally start your dream business even know you’re lacking in the finance department? How do you plan on starting?
p.s. While we’re here, you might like this post, too: 5 actionable steps toward making your dreams a reality