For many PAYE employees in the UK, the idea of packing in the day job and starting a business is one with obvious appeal. But for many, getting together the capital can be a struggle.
So how do you go about starting a business when you don’t have much money to begin with?
Choose a Business That’s Cheap to Start
If your business idea comes with considerable R&D and tooling costs, then you might not be in a fantastic position to start with.
By contrast, if you can afford to start with small batches at minimal up-front cost, then you may be set.
For example, making batches of marmalade from your kitchen might be easier than building boutique synthesisers in your garage.
If you’re selling a service like online tutoring or graphic design, then you might already have many of the tools required.
Use the skills you already have
Training yourself to do a particular job will take enormous amounts of time and energy. So, if you already have the talent and the motivation to do something, then why not turn your passion into a profession?
Of course, many would-be business owners don’t need to be told this, as doing the thing they love is a large part of what motivates them to get started. But it bears repeating that a skill that takes time to learn, and that isn’t easily acquired, will probably be valuable to someone, somewhere.
Don’t waste that training!
Save before Starting
When you’re a sole trader, you’ll have an inconsistent income – particularly when you’re just learning the ropes. For this reason, it’s important to spend time saving up a financial cushion.
If this is impracticable, then you might instead look into small business finance from providers like Liberis.
Online lenders are regulated by the FCA, so you’ll have the same peace of mind as if you visited a high-street bank.
Look for Upfront Payment
Non-paying customers are an occupational hazard for many self-employed people. For this reason, it’s worth asking for upfront payment, especially when you’re first getting started.
If you haven’t yet built a client-base, you might hesitate before asking customers to pay upfront.
But when payments are late, you’ll run into cash-flow problems.
What are the upsides?
While getting a business started can be a challenge, and keeping it afloat in the medium-term even more so, there are plenty of rewards for those willing to make the effort.
For one thing, you’ll be your own boss, free to make your own decisions and benefit from the consequences.
For another, you’ll be able to tailor your work life around your personal priorities, creating for yourself a sense of job-satisfaction that might be inaccessible if you were to work for another company.