When I first started my business, I went to the bank to ask for a loan. Easy enough, right? I had everything I thought of in order. All the necessary documents. But what happened? I was turned down.
Whoa... what a dream killer huh?
Not exactly. The bank's reason was NOT because of my credit or my business plan but I had NO HISTORY in business. They won't know if I'll be able to pay them back.
While I understand his reasoning, I felt cheated. I was not even given a chance to fail.
So what did I do? It was time to get creative I told myself. I set out on my own, only using the limited resources and financial backing that I had. I purchased second hand office supplies and furniture. I purchased a working but inexpensive laptop. I had a budget for everything.
It wasn't easy from the get go given the fact I felt limited but being "limited" help me become more free. How's that you ask? Well, it forced me to be smarter. It forced me to think. I had to find ways to get what I want without spending money or spending very little. I had to be creative and resourceful.
So how can you build a successful business running on limited resources? Here are a few things that I learned along the way.
1) New vs. Used- When starting your business, you do not need everything to be "new." Used items cost considerably less than new items, and work just as well. You just have to do your research.
2) Creative Marketing- You do not need the thousands of dollars to place ads in papers or make commercials on TV. The internet as brought down the cost of marketing to virtually zero. Explore the many options to get the word out through the internet. Make videos and put them on YouTube. Make business friends on Facebook. Start your own offline Meetup group and generate leads from there.
3) Work from Home- depending upon your type of business, consider working at home rather than waste money on office space.
4) Go to the library/bookstore- This is a goldmine. If you want to learn about a particular subject start out by going to your local library or bookstore, they have tons of books with great information. Information that can generate income when applied to your own business. What does it cost? NOTHING.
5) Find a partner- You got the idea and plans and your partner has the money to make it work. Get creative and find partner solutions for your business.
6) Trade- Bartering is an old form of money. An ideal solution would be to trade services with someone. For example, if you're an expert in website design, and you need an expert in social media marketing, trade services so you can design their website, and they could help you with your social media marketing campaign.
There are so many creative ways to get ahead. The question to ask you is this: "How can I get what I want without pulling out my wallet and spending own money?"
Now of course sometimes you do have to spend some money BUT try to be as creative and resourceful as you can so you don't have to.
Be grateful for the struggles that you go through now, because in the future, they will be worth it.
And, regardless of the current resources you may have, never give up on yourself.