Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget

Not every business is capital intensive which is good news for the many people out there right now interested in starting a business, but feeling hampered by lack of capital. There are a number of things that many would-be small business owners — particularly service-related business owners (e.g. consultants, accountants, attorneys, etc.) can do these days to start their businesses on a small budget.

Technology makes much of this possible.

In many cases, it is no longer necessary to operate a “bricks and mortar” business to provide services to people literally around the world. In fact, there is a rapidly growing segment of the business world that is entirely virtual, with both customers and employees dispersed across space and time.

Technology also, obviously, has simplified — and reduced the expense — of administering business operations. The use of various “cloud-based” software services can also cut costs significantly from the “old days” when businesses would need to purchase software and other tools to help them with the administrative aspects of their jobs. FreshBooks, for instance, is a free online service that small businesses can use to generate and track invoices. is a paid, but inexpensive, tool that can be used for customer relationship management.

Today, it also is relatively simple and inexpensive for entrepreneurs to launch a web site using tools like WordPress, for instance, or even working with area freelancers, students, etc., who have an interest in web design. Social media sites like Facebook and, most recently, Google+, also make it possible to entirely forego a traditional web site in favor of a presence on social media channels – as long as the channels used reach their target audiences, these can be effective ways to literally “set up shop” on the web.

From a marketing communication standpoint it is now easier – and less expensive – than ever to get the word out about your products and services.  As a marketer, I’ve found that over the past few years, my marketing communication advice to clients has included far more PR/online media activities than traditional paid advertising activities – another opportunity to save significantly.

There has never been a better time, I think, for small service-oriented entrepreneurs to move forward with their dreams of operating their own businesses. And those “better times” are likely to keep getting better for the foreseeable future as technology continues to expand in terms of options, and decline in terms of the investment required to start and run a business.

What tools are you using to help you launch or grow your business?

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