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How to Start a Successful Business With Little Money: 5 Steps You Shouldn't Skip

Just like cash flow, sales and marketing is the backbone of any business.

Personally, I love the idea of owning and running my own business. Probably this passion for owning a business is fueled by the numerous benefits it brings. I get freedom and full control on how I use my time. I work when I want and most importantly, I can affect the amount of revenue generated by my activities. Of course, to some, my motives for starting my own business may seem a tad bit simplistic and even self-serving, and I would agree with you in on both fronts on any given day, but that is the truth.

My reasons for going into business, I would say has its genesis in the purely-unadulterated realization of one simple truth: I don't fit into a traditional work environment, but I want to be able to earn a decent living working on my own terms. For some, entrepreneurial aspirations may have its roots in some higher calling-type purpose. You want to make a difference in people's lives. I get it, and I respect it.

One cannot, however, deny the freedom and joy that running your own successful business brings. If you want to enjoy this kind of freedom and experience many other benefits, join my path. Start a business. You, however, don’t wake up one day and blindly start a business just because you have the capital or the desire to do so. You need a working plan. The following tips should get you kick-started.

Create a business plan

I know, I know, writing a business plan before starting a business seems outdated. It seems like a waste of time, with all these tech entrepreneurs, seemingly stumbling into billions without ever having a plan.

You might ask yourself, do I really need to spend hours writing a business plan? I would say "Yes". I wouldn't advise that you ever start a business, or even launch a new product without a carefully crafted plan. There are tools like Liveplan that can make the whole process easier.

Creating a business plan is probably the most important, but yet under appreciated first step. Just as you cannot build a house without the proper plan, you can’t start a business without a realistic business plan. A good business plan has detailed information;

•    Discovered challenge/ Mission

•    Strategies set to realize this mission

•    Set targets

•    Describe your goals; they should be measurable

•    Set deadlines for each goal 

Offer a product or service with measurable demand

It’s common for people to start businesses based on what they think will sell instead of taking the necessary steps to accurately gauge true market demand for their idea or offering. 

This sounds confusing, right? Well, what I only mean, don’t avoid selling something just because there are many others selling it. Similarly, don’t embark on the sale of a product because it has less or no competition at all.

There is obviously a reason why most people are selling an individual product; it has a real market. Ignoring this factor can lead to having an old stock and even closure of business. 

Market yourself through Networking

If you want to create a strong foundation for your business, network. Before the market stabilizes, you need to use word of mouth to let people know what you are offering. Be vibrant in attending business fairs. Connect with professionals and gather as much knowledge from them as you can. 

Minimize on Cost and Maximize Cash Flow

A dreadful mistake you can make when your business is still new is to have a bloated expense structure. At this point, your business needs as much cash flow as possible. Cut any unnecessary costs and always try to get upfront payments from customers. 

Focus on Vigorous Sales and Marketing

Just like cash flow, sales and marketing is the backbone of any business. Always try to penetrate new markets and convert as many sales as possible. It is normal for marketing to outpace all other expenses in the initial stages of your business. Over time these costs will come down as you learn to streamline your sales and marketing activities. 

Remember business is a risk that you should be willing to take. It might not run as you would wish at first but once it does, you will enjoy your hard work. 

Get a tech Loan

One of the greatest advantages associated with using services like Paypal and Square to process payments, these days is that you, over time, will qualify for low-cost loans from these companies. Paypal, for example, through their

Working Capital program, will offer a loan of up to 30 % of your annual transaction amount, with easy payback options that depend on how much payments you receive via the platform after the loan is issued. These loans are usually instant and require no long forms to fill or credit checks. Paypal offers loans between $1000 to $100,000. Access to these kinds of loans can provide you with a great advantage when starting out. These funds can be used to buy inventory of you are running a retail location or to help build out a truly robust marketing campaign.

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