How to Start Your Startup with Less Than $500

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The barrier to business entry is as low as it’s ever been. There’s never been a better time to start your own business. Despite the low barriers and impeccable timing to create and share things in the world, the cost of starting up a business hasn’t changed much. Instead of investing in high-priced buildings, startups are investing in people.

Instead of investing in machinery to manufacture products, startups are outsourcing to places that charge high delivery fees. It’s true, however, that you can start a business from your dining room table and find success, but that success depends on how you spend those first few dollars and ensuring you are investing in the right places from the start. Here’s how you can start your startup with less than $500 to kickstart your business venture.

Startup Software

It’s likely that your startup will need software to get up and running. This is a good place to start spending some money. An investment in the right software can ensure that you have the foundation your business needs to succeed.

Regardless of the kind of business you operate, there are some essential software packages you’ll need including accounting, social media automation, Photoshop or another graphic design software package, and if you intend to have a website, some kind of content management system, or developer platform.

Banking Matters

You’ll also need to visit your local bank and open a bank account. While it doesn’t cost money to open a business bank account at the outset, you’ll need some cash in your bank to cover fees and checks, if you are using them of course.

Plus, you’ll need a place to stash tax money, payroll deductions and more. Throwing a few dollars at your bank account is a good idea as you prepare to launch your startup.

Office Space

If you don’t like the idea of working from home, or if your business depends on being seen in real life, you might consider using some of that $500 to rent a co-working space or secure a desk at a local startup house. Many of these organizations offer free space to work a few days a week.

That means you can use more of your money in other areas of your business, but it’s not a bad idea to consider how you want your day to look and function at the outset of your business. Co-working brings many benefits including networking opportunities and more.

Marketing Efforts

Five hundred dollars won’t make your business skyrocket to success, but a few hundred dollars spent on a good logo and brand, as well as a few well-placed ads will pay off in the long run.

If you aren’t quite ready to launch, you can use a small marketing budget to create excitement around the work you are doing and ask people to spread the word. Anytime you can turn one dollar into two through word-of-mouth, you’re winning. Don’t forget business cards, which will run about $10 dollars if you keep it lean.

The thing you need to know about business ownership is this: starting a business isn’t the hard part. The hard part is keeping the business going. So when you sit down to think about how you’ll invest your $500 into your startup, consider that the longer your investment lasts, the more likley you are to succeed.

Don’t blow all your money on a cool ad on television – if $500 would even buy you that kind of advertising anymore – it won’t pay off. Invest in software, space, a good brand, and some essentials like your bank account and website and you’ll be off to the races.

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