As a budding startup founder, you must have a lot of questions about your potential but you are also probably aware that 4 out of 5 startups fail. So, let’s start this piece with an inspirational story.
Meet Frederik Van Huyn, a CEO of Absolute Internship. Frederik started his company with only $2000 in his pocket, and today he is leading a multi-million dollar company. How did he do it? By staying consistent, diligent and meticulous.
One of the first thing that Frederik did is buy a laptop. After that, he waved goodbye to his old life, and welcomed systematic organization through 24/7, never-ending shifts. This may sound demotivating for some but hey, he did it and so can you.
Vital investments: time, money and more
The very first thing that you will need on a daily basis is a set of reliable devices. Forget about investing in your product for now, I will cover that part in the next section. For the time being, what you need to know is that if you are working on a small budget or if you have any sort of financial limitations, you will have to substitute that vital factor with two different vital aspects of success: time
Management and productivity
This only means that you will have to work that much harder in order to succeed. Looking professional is a bonus, but in the contemporary world of business you are literally conditioned to work through mobile apps and laptops. Since you are working on a $2,000 budget, the smart choice would be to purchase a cheap laptop, instead of buying a Mac. HP laptops are reliable and of high quality, and the price is reasonable when compared to some other products on the market. Same goes for your smartphone, although you definitely will need this piece of equipment, you will have to settle for a buggy Android for the time being. Consider purchasing a tablet! If your line of work is highly dependent on communications you will certainly want one, sooner or later.
Applications such as Toggl can help you with time management. Asana can help you with your project management and could possibly serve as a CRM system as well. Make the most of your devices – they are not just tools for marketing and closing deals, they can also help you in your everyday tasks and your education. You can get the most of free apps including Uber, Doodle Schedule Maker, Dropbox, 1Password, Microsoft outlook, Sunrise, Shyp, Slack and many more.
After you have organised the aforementioned office supplies, the next thing you will want to do is set up your marketing campaign. This means you will need a Facebook profile and page, a Twitter profile, Linkedin, Google plus and, if possible, a website. If you are looking for a cheap workforce that will perform all of these tasks for a less than a reasonable price, try visiting Upwork. Investing in a decent looking WordPress website is an investment in your company, and it’s a “physical” place of business. For $300 you can get a developer to build you a flat designed website, and after that you can take care of the content entries yourself for now. Ideally, you would want an entire marketing team.
Selling the product without a product
Selling the product to potential customers is a demanding task, especially when that product is non-existent. The trick is to calculate the exact price and your charge for services, tools and your work. With that initial price setting, you will always be ready to deliver. This is where your mobile device will come in handy since you can simply download one of the apps for all of the accounting work, organization and, of course, for communication.
If you are left with some money to invest in your product, the best thing that you can do is invest in your marketing, once again. For example, you could consider investing in paid google ads, that will certainly get you leads and traffic for a reasonable price.
However, if you’ve already reached your limit, in terms of finances, maybe you should try and look for funding on Kickstarter. After all, Kickstarter was the starting point of many successful startups. Crowdfunding is always an option, and you are still selling your product – just to a different audience.
Remember that you can still get a lot of stuff for free. Feedback, for example, is the best source of guidance and you should always accept criticism and try to learn something new from it. Well, that, and spying on your competition can’t hurt either.
About the author
Dan Radak is a web hosting security professional with ten years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of online security, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.