First, let’s take a look at why a business needs money in the first place. There’s no uniform “startup” fee for building a business, so different businesses will have different needs. It’s important to first estimate how much you need before you start finding alternative methods to fund your company.
Consider the following uses:
- Licenses and permits. Depending on your region, you may need special paperwork and registry to operate.
- Supplies. Are you buying raw materials? Do you need computers and/or other devices?
- Equipment. Do you need specialized machinery or software?
- Office space. This is a huge expense, and you can’t neglect things like Internet, utilities costs, janitorial services and whether to outsource back office tasks, like payroll and invoicing.
- Associations, subscriptions, memberships. What publications and affiliations will you subsribe to every month?
- Operating expenses. Dig into the nooks and crannies here, and don’t forget about marketing.
- Legal fees. Are you consulting a lawyer throughout your business-development process?
- Employees, freelancers and contractors. If you can’t do it alone, you’ll need people on your payroll.
With that said, you have two main paths of starting a business with less money: lowering your costs or increasing your available capital from outside sources.