Brand on a Budget: 6 Tips for Frugal Startups

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You don't succeed in business by wasting capital. Out of the many colorful and creative sayings and golden nuggets of wisdom you can pick up, this is perhaps the simplest and most sensible piece of advice you can follow. As a startup, your business absolute dependence on the limited capital you have make it especially vital to practice the quintessence of frugality. If you are to survive your chosen enterprise, you'll need these six tips. 

1. Budget Right 

In the startup phase of a business, make reasonable expectations when constructing a budget plan. Answer core questions about income and expenses. How much you are planning to sell in your first year? How much will sales grow in the next five or ten years? What pricing model will be used to sell your product / service? Budgeting encompasses an even broader aspect of your business than just these questions. Collect all your monthly income statements, balance sheets, and cash flows to make sense of your income versus expenses, and don’t be afraid of hiring an accountant to help you avoid costly pitfalls. 

2. Skip The Fancy Schmancy 

Although an office sporting some luxury Michael Amini furniture with matching bedazzled pillows and some premium coffee blends at the kitchen room make your brand more appealing, they cost a relatively large amount of money. And you may think that those personal picture checks you ordered are a great way to advertise even to the people you buy from, but that isn’t where your marketing budget should go. Instead, set up your office with secondhand furniture sourced from local shops or through websites, like Craigslist. Another viable solution is to rent your furniture, which can significantly reduce the upfront cash you need to set up a work space. 

3. Recycle And Reuse 

Recycling and reusing aren't just methods for reducing carbon footprint and helping Mother Earth. They are also great ways to reduce costs of a startup with limited capital. Shipping supplies are the first category of items you should target. Boxes and envelopes are offered free of charge by the U.S. Postal Service. The boxes you receive from your manufacturers and partners can also be reused to fulfill customer orders. Of course, there are discount cardboard box vendors if you need large volumes of shipping material that cannot be solely satisfied through free sources. 

4. Make Every Inch Of Space Count 

Rather than shell out massive amounts of capital for a posh office at a prime city location, look for office space that is both low-cost and functional. A startup won't have too many people working during its early stages, so you can afford to ditch the large, empty spaces for something more functional. Improve small business efficiency and outsource tasks that you can outsource, such as content marketing, bookkeeping, and payroll, to lower upkeep costs. 

5. Cap Legal Fees 

Legal fees are costly, particularly for startups at up to $500 per hour legal expenses are something that can quickly get out of hand. A good way to minimize anything is to proactively monitor it. Control costs by setting very clear expectations with your legal partners when consulting them. Furthermore, think about how you want to be charged, which can be either hourly or on a per-project basis. Different cases will have different suitable payment methods, and don’t be afraid to haggle for a lower rate. 

6. Travel Frugally 

Travelling is another costly part of running a business. Whether you're taking your team to a well-deserved weekend vacation for a recent deal closed or flying internationally to meet with potential investors and business partners, your airfare and gas receipts can quickly run you out of business. Instead, go for cheaper accommodations and transportation services, such as local car rentals and hotels that charge a fraction of what bigger brands do. 

Growing your bootstrap startup with as little cost as possible is not only a good short-term goal but a long-term habit that will benefit the brand as well. If you learn how to operate with minimal resources and still be able to grow the company consistently, imagine what your brand can do when venture capitalists and big brands start investing in you.

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I hope you enjoyed this article on 6 tips for affordably branding your frugal startup.

Interested in more advice to boost your brand on a budget?

Read My Posts:

- The $10 Digital Media Startup

- 5 Ways To Market Your New Small Business

Best Of Luck In Business To You All!

Mike Schiemer Michael J Schiemer

Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
Bootstrap Business: Money - Marketing - Motivation
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