Last month, I shared six creative ways to save to fund your small business. Today, I want to focus on low-cost tools and resources to help you build your business and not break your bank account at the same time. These are just not resources for those launching a business; they are great tools and resources for those who are wanting to scale their business. My first company was started with $400 from my savings account, and by year five I was making $10,000 a month in digital sales and making six figures income level. Trust me, when I say these are the same resources I use on a daily for my business.
Buy Someone Coffee
Most people would cringe at me offering a low tier option such as Buy Tasha Coffee versus selling my $375 an hour consultation that is based on contract, but honestly, that is not a feasible number for everyone. My retainer clients pay between $3,500 to $5000+ monthly to work with me because of all the work it entails with their projects. As I have discussed when it comes your monthly budget, it is important that you do not break the bank with affordable luxuries. Consulting is an affordable luxury when starting or running a business. I know more, and more creatives in the service industry are offering a “buy me coffee” or al a cart option for their audience to work with them. Having multiple options is critical to tiered pricing and hitting all your audience price points. When looking to receive advice from an expert make sure it’s in your monthly budget, they have specific information for your needs, and you provide instructions to help guide you. A plethora of coaches, strategist and consultants offer group coaching too, that allows you to mastermind with other creatives at a lower rate than their standard fees.
Listen, when I first started my primary business, I was on Big Cartel for maybe a week and then hopped over to Highwire. I know a thing or two about platforms you have your blog, service site or ecommerce storefront on. In addition to that, I have paid people $300 to $2000 to have a theme installed or a custom website built. Two websites ago on Imperfect Concepts was a custom site that I had designed and the guy went ghost. Everyone always told me how much they loved the website, but the backend and more was a nightmare. Depending on the platform you are using I would highly suggest going with a low-cost theme and having it tweaked. If you’re an eCommerce platform company, I would recommend Squarespace or Shopify. Both platforms have free or cheap themes that can be tweaked. If you’re a WordPress person like myself, I would suggest websites such as; Creative Market, Etsy and Envato Market.
My graphic design skills are very novice, but I am okay with that. However, I know the investment in stock photography, fonts, wallpapers and more has helped them look a lot better than they should. Creative Market is my jam for all these things and more. They have variety options for everyone’s budget. If you are needing tools to design your graphics I would suggest utilizing Canva and PicMonkey. They both have a free option to use that can help you build up your skill set. If you’re not a DIY person but have bought the fonts and imagery, you can always higher someone from a freelance website such as; Fiverr. You could design your logo for less than $100 using the resources shared here.
Mutual Beneficial Collaborating
To be completely, honest at this point in my career I am not a huge fan of bartering. However, I do believe that mutual beneficial collaboration that’s focus is to help each other build their dreams. Right now, I am currently sitting at this super long table that sits eight people at Starbucks. Coming together weekly, biweekly or monthly with others in your industry to help each other is a great way to save funds. You could establish a group that includes a photographer, website designer, graphic designer, consultant, or videographer for example and collaborate. You should never blatantly ask someone to work for free because you need their services and can’t afford them. It’s best to find others who are just starting out and link up together.
These are just some tools and resources you can utilize to help you build your startup without breaking your bank account. Every penny counts when it comes to reinvesting in your business. Make sure that you’re wise with the money you are provide. Make calculated decisions that bring you a return on your investment.