Opinions expressed by australiabusinessblog.com contributors are their own.
When you think about starting a business, the first two questions that come to mind are, “How much is this going to cost and how am I going to get that kind of capital?”
The dynamics of financing a business have changed dramatically over time. Where you once resigned yourself to bank loans and savings, there are now many options to choose from to get your business off the ground.
However, let’s take a step back. You should ask, “What is the minimum capital I need to get this off the ground?” For those first few steps, $1,000 can take you fast and far. It’s all about what I call ‘resource capital’, a mixture of your time, money and effort.
Related: How to Start a Business Online
The price does not always equal the value
As a disclaimer: I am guilty of thinking that I had to have the best of the best when starting our business. For operational needs, we always went for the most expensive external partners. A hefty price tag could at least give us confidence that we would get exactly what we paid for, right? We found that just because a company spends a lot of time and money on its reputation doesn’t mean it will perform. We had to learn that the cheaper route wasn’t always bad.
Related: 10 ways to finance your small business
Building your business
Building a business is like building a house. You have to come up with it, create a blueprint and get all the necessary permits from the city. From there come all the fun stuff, like designing, building, and scaling.
Starting the same way, we need to think about our business and our $1,000 in very similar steps:
– Business Deposits: ($50-$150, depending on location)
Every state has a site or process for starting a business that can usually be found on the website of the Secretary of State. In California, for example, you can choose your name, pay your fee, obtain your EIN, and then your business is official. Depending on the business structure, this can be more complex. Yet many people make the mistake of using online services to file cases when in reality it is easier than many think.
– Your website or landing page: (Free – $150/month)
There are several platforms that you can choose from. I recommend not to spend a lot of time building an entire site. Instead, build a simple landing page that provides an exciting overview of your business. Think of this as the digital billboard you can use to explain to others what you’re building.
Don’t hire an expensive web designer to build it for the first time. There is a 100% chance that it will change.
– Website domain & email: ($12 – $60)
Always buy the domain if you can, or an offshoot of it (e.g. “.co” or “.io.” Nobody will take a business seriously if it doesn’t have a good domain name. This is easy to do at places like GoDaddy and Google Domains) .
Then create your new email address with your new domain name – your first name and company name will suffice. If you want a more general support email, use “hello@” or “info@” instead. In many cases, website platforms have packages that include the domain and email. Take advantage of these cost savings immediately.
Your early branding is crucial to getting people to take you seriously. To successfully build a brand, your business needs to look good.
Creative (logo, branding): ($100 – $350)
If you’re not creative and need help with things like logos and branding, there are resources like 99Designs, Fiverr, and even Etsy where you can hire branding specialists to help you out. Being consistent with how you present your brand from the gate is incredibly important and helps you align yourself with the brand and its mission, and it’s an exciting and fun win that you can celebrate right away.
Laying the foundation
– SAAS Tools: (Free – $100)
Now that you’re ready to build your “home”, it’s time to choose your tools. There are thousands of options for SAAS products depending on what you do. The most important thing to remember is that you only use what you need and always choose the free trial version first. These companies are built to hook you up for free and prepare you to pay as you scale. If you have to pay for their service, I recommend spending a maximum of $100 on this.
Find your contractor
– Virtual Assistant: ($300-$500)
If you’re starting out alone or even with a partner, you’ll be shocked to discover what $10 a day can get you. When it comes to virtual assistants, you can get just about anything you need with this money. The goal is to make sure you get someone of quality who understands your work style and brand. Not only will this help you learn to delegate and build a team, but it will also relieve workload for at least four hours a day.
When starting a business, one of the major issues is the number of menial tasks that need to be done. Having someone to handle it is critical. If you need someone who is more project-oriented rather than part-time or full-time, I’d recommend looking to places like Fiverr rather than Upwork, which is usually aimed at more experienced US-based contractors.
Back to that key figure: $1,000 is more than enough money to lay the foundation. It’s also enough money to at least make your startup look like a legit business, which is half the battle.
Related: 3 Alternatives to Venture Capital Financing for Startups