From a popular question on Quora about why startups are most likely to spend a lot of money at the beginning, several reasons came up.
Financing is one of the biggest hurdles that startups everywhere in the world struggle with. This does not necessarily mean the ability of startups to generate money, but their ability to access success enabling services.
From a popular question on Quora about why startups are most likely to spend a lot of money at the beginning, several reasons came up. Some of these reasons were: acquiring of skilled personnel especially for technology startups, marketing costs, work space/office space for operations, and access to technical infrastructure.
Startups can evade most of these expenses, or at least reduce them to affordable levels by leveraging some of the existing opportunities and cheaper ways of doing things. I will focus on how startups can reduce marketing overhead, office space costs and getting access to technical infrastructure.
1. Marketing overhead
According to Business Review Europe blog, Pampers ($8.3bn), Gillet ($8.3bn) and Coca Cola ($4bn) are one of the biggest spenders in marketing campaigns yearly, and this tells you that marketing is an imperative part of business. Startups can take advantage of social media to push their brands to their customers.
Firstly, Facebook pages can be used as a launch pad for new products and pass on information about existing products. Instagram and Pinterest are two awesome tools to share the experience of startups in refreshing images that ultimately turn into sales.
When you want to be part of conversations that your would be customers are involved in, and market your brand without necessarily appear to be advertising, Twitter is a good place to start.
2. Work space overhead
Gone are the days when people had to build offices or rent expensive office suites in Central Business Districts. Startups have a lot of trouble that require serene environments for flourishing and the noise in the CBDs is just another trouble no one wants to get into.
Co-working spaces are the way to go. In Kenya, there are several co-working spaces that support startups. Most of them double up as incubation centers, which makes it better for the flourishing of a startup. This means that one can access investor funding, mentorship, business coaching and working space. Just to mention a few are Nairobi Garage, iHub, NaiLab, Pawa254 among others. To see a more elaborate review of these spaces, see Robin Okuthe’s reviews here.
3. Free technical infrastructure
Since cloud storage has become one of the most celebrated ways of hosting projects and business facilities, every startup out to have their way to using such technology. However, cloud storage gets cheaper with progressive scaling, something startups do not need since they start at small scale. Well, no more worries, Microsoft Bizspark offers startups free packages of cloud storage, Microsoft software and several partner applications that will help your start up grow.
The package has up to $150 per month access to Microsoft Azure, access to Microsoft Developer Network Subscription which gives you access to all Microsoft software for free. These are resources that startups need to scale and each one must to take advantage of them.