Setting up your small business: 5 cost-effective things to do

It’s never been easier or more cost-effective to start a new small business than it is today.

Ten or even five years ago it would have cost you a fortune to do the exact same things you can do now for a fraction of the dollars.

By following these smart strategies, you can establish a new business in no time that is branded, effective, smart and professional looking.

1. Brand your business

Building your new business brand quickly and effectively is critical for any new small business, and you don’t need the creative design budget of big business to do it.

Use online freelance agencies such as Fiverr, Upwork, or 99designs, and look for contractors who can help you design your new business brand.

This includes business logos, business cards and your complete corporate identity for extremely low prices.

The quality is amazing, and for the last business logo that I wanted developed, it cost me $20. I received a professional, sharp looking logo within days (not weeks) for a fraction of the price compared to the big agencies.

There are plenty of online, professionally qualified contractors waiting for the chance to help you launch your new business brand.

2. Build your website

You can set up a free, beautiful website using a number of online providers such as Atlas.

You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get your new business online. Do your research, and find the best free website provider that fits your immediate needs.

Later, as your business grows, you can invest the dollars to refine and scale your internet marketing strategy. But initially, save time and money by considering a free website option.

Many new businesses are shifting towards a social media platform like Facebook to create their online marketing presence as well.

Having a Facebook business page is free and simple to use to promote your new business.

3. Get your finances and paperwork in order

Like any business, you need to run your new venture by the numbers. You’re going to be making critical decisions about expenses, sales, budgeting, purchasing stock and your tax and compliance obligations.

You can use simple accounting software such as MYOB Essentials and then scale later into their more feature-rich products as you grow.

For no cost at all, keep things simple by using free online tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

These are free, feature-rich and user-friendly tools that have the same functions as their expensive Microsoft or Apple counterparts.

4. Set up a shared or serviced office

You can still have a corporate presence for your customers and clients when they visit, but you don’t have to pay huge amounts of money for it.

As you start up and begin to gain clients, consider trying a serviced or co-working office and only pay for the hours that you use the office.

Most of your business activities can be run from home; however, if you wish to meet important clients then nothing beats a corporate office setting.

There are numerous serviced offices or co-working spaces where you just pay for the usage of that office.

So if you need to impress a new prospect to convert them into a customer, then why not use a serviced office for that purpose?

5. Save on computers and hardware

You don’t need to rush down to your local computer store to purchase thousands of dollars of new computer hardware for your new small business.

Government auction houses as well as second-hand IT stores stock a huge range of quality ex-Government laptops and desktop computers.

For a fraction of buying new, you can buy refurbished, upgraded computers that are less than two years old, and some come with a warranty.

If you do your homework you can buy last year’s model laptop or desktop for as much as 80 percent less than the new equivalent.

When you’re starting a new small business, everything doesn’t have to be new.

It just needs to be cost-effective and help you grow your business in the first 12 months so that you can earn profit to reinvest and scale as you need to.

I know hundreds of business owners who have ploughed tens of thousands of dollars into their new business without being smart.

They’ve wasted a lot of valuable cash from the outset.

You can grow an effective and professional business on a shoestring budget. That makes you a smart businessperson.