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How to finance your online business (and save money doing it)

Plenty of people have ideas about what could work as a new business. The trick is to bring these ideas to fruition and launch a venture that has every chance of succeeding.

One of the biggest obstacles to starting your own business is putting the right finances in place. This can seem like an impossible mountain to climb at times, but it doesn’t have to be.

With that in mind, here’s our list of the top cost-saving ideas to consider when launching a startup, and tips to secure any financing you may need.

Starting a business with limited finances

It’s not unusual to try and start out in business with little money behind you.  It’s also not impossible. There are many ways to limit the amount of money you spend and remain well within budget.

  • Use free resources

If you can work from home, at a local coffee shop or library, you can avoid investing in costly business premises. Securing free Wi-Fi at the same time means even more money in the bank.

  • Get paid upfront

Getting your customers to pay you in advance can help significantly improve your cash flow. At the very least, it’s a good idea to request a sizeable deposit for your services.

  • Make the most out of free advice

You’ll be amazed at just how much free business advice is out there. If you’re unemployed before launching a business, you should be able to get a lot of support from your Job Centre alone.

The British Chamber of Commerce also runs free seminars. If you’re looking for localised business tips, just searching on Google can be equally fruitful.

  • Source free or cheaper equipment

You can always do the rounds with friends and family first. You’ll be surprised at how many people have items stashed away that might prove very useful for your new venture.

You can also find bargains on sites such as Gumtree, although, make sure you’re getting a good deal and not getting stuck with a deficient item. One of the best ways to source high-quality equipment at a reduced cost is to visit sites like VoucherBin.co.uk. There you can take a look at some of the big-name retailers that offer discount codes and vouchers for their products.

  • Start your business part-time

If you already have a job, it’s often a good idea to start your business as a part-time venture and build it up gradually. Having the financial security of a regular wage can help offset some of the costs as well as the pressure.

All of these tips can help if you have a great business idea but not a great deal of money. Of course, it may still be necessary to raise additional funds for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to do so:

Grants and mentoring

Many niche businesses have their own funding opportunities, so it’s well worth doing a local search for funds you may have access to.

You can also take advantage of various support options offered by large corporations. For instance, Virgin has a mentoring scheme for selected startups, which provides both expert advice and a limited amount of financial support.

Either way, it’s certainly a good idea to explore grant options first, as you don’t actually have to pay the money back.

Loans

Many startups find themselves having to apply for a loan to obtain the necessary funds. There are several things you should be aware of to secure the loan you need.

  • Show your cash flow is steady

You should have your bank statements, tax returns as well as financial statements on hand. Showing you have a steady cash flow in place means that you’re able to pay any creditors and employees.

Always make sure you know your finances inside out and that you are well prepared to answer any budgeting questions.

  • Show a positive payment history

This one is vital. You need to be able to ensure any potential lender that you have a stellar record when it comes to paying off debts.

If the lender has obtained a credit report on you, always ask to see it so you can review its validity.

  • Show good business judgement

A lender will want to see you have plans in place to cover any business issues that may occur. It’s a good idea to have your business plan at the ready and be able to discuss it in detail.

Always remember that you need to make your business an attractive prospect for the lender. They are unlikely to lend you money if your business looks disorganised or has a poor cash flow.

Crowdfunding

The good thing about using sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to fund your business idea is that you don’t have to repay the money you raise. The bad thing is that you may potentially not secure your funding target.

On Kickstarter, this means you don’t get any funding, even though you’ve done all the hard work of setting up and promoting the campaign. It’s also important to remember that crowdfunding is hyper-competitive nowadays, and it can be difficult to get the edge on other projects.

All of this information should help find the appropriate funding for your startup. Of course, it’s also a big help if you can build a solid financial foundation yourself, however small it may be. So as soon as you have your business idea, start making budget-conscious changes and try to save as much money as you can.

 

This post is sponsored by VoucherBin.