Just when you thought entrepreneurship was a walk in the park. Fantastic idea? Check. Grit? Double check. Money? Not so much. Let’s face it, getting a startup off the ground requires money and costs can quickly pile up.

Often times entrepreneurs who are starting out have to operate on a tight budget until they get major funding. Raising money from investors is not an easy task either and it does take time. So how you do you make your dreams a reality with limited finances?

Be realistic

You may have envisioned working out of a glass-walled office on the topmost floor of the tallest building in your city. The reality however, is that you can only afford a co-working space or the vacant room in your parents’ house.

If you are running an online business you don’t immediately need an office space. Avoid the nice-to-haves at all costs and focus on the most important things for your startup.   

Hire freelancers

There are thousands of Nigerian youth willing to offer the services you need at a fraction of the cost you’ll incur hiring full-time staff members. They are flexible with their time and can be hired on an as-needed basis.

They have specific sets of skills and are used to working independently so you don’t have to invest in training them. Use that to your advantage.

Learn something new

In order to thrive, you need to know something about everything. So before you get to the “Hire people who are smarter than you are” phase, learn some basic accounting, be your own salesman, and run your errands.  

One of the benefits of this is that you are eventually able to wear more than one hat with ease. Trust us, it works.

Advertise through word of mouth

Word of mouth has for a long time been the strongest form of marketing for startups. You need your money to provide the best product or service not to make the most noise. Got a few happy customers? Great!

Ask for an in-person referral or a social media shout out. Leverage your network to get the word out to potential customers.  Get as much free marketing as possible – that way you’ll know when and what to spend on advertising.

Keep track of everything

Always remember the books. Keep in mind that you are running on a lean budget and those little expenses easily add up. Document how much you spend on a daily basis regardless of how irrelevant it seems.

Make it a habit to keep records. This will go a long way in both saving you money and supporting your pitch to potential investors.

 

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