Do you have amazing business ideas, but keep putting them on hold due to a lack of capital? Well, don’t let that stop you! Yes, the Zambian economy is bad and it’s normal to worry about succeeding as an entreprenuer especially when the pocket is tight. However, if you want it bad enough, you will make it. So, here are seven tips that can help you get your idea off the ground with limited to no funds.
1. Pick an idea that works for you
This is of course if you haven’t got an idea yet. Most people think they know what they’re good at but, are usually wrong. In fact, it’s because of this that most entrepreneurs can’t figure out why their business is failing. Therefore, pick an idea that builds on your strength and not around your weakness. For example, your love for soccer shouldn’t make you pursue a career as a professional soccer player. However, if you’re talkative and like asking questions, maybe start a podcast or host events. If you’re well organized, you can build a business using this skill.
2. Make your small business website
If you want to launch your business and have people know about it, you need a killer website. Nowadays, a website is the most efficient online media tool that can help your business reach its target audience. And, it’s very easy to create one. You can use free WordPress templates and showcase your products and/or services.
3. Work from home or a communal work space
It’s no secret that office space is expensive. In the early stages of getting your business up and running, you’re better off working from home to save some money. Consider setting up a small office in your home and grow from there. If you can take it one step further, look into shared office spaces in your area. This will allow you to start networking with other small businesses and exchange tips and tricks you’ve picked up along the way.
4. Spot trends and launch quickly
Try to look at problems as opportunities to help people out. You can earn money as a reward for your solution and get paid in proportion to the problems you solve. The biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make is creating something that no one wants to buy. Jump on the band wagon and focus on creating something that people will pay for, quickly and cheaply. If you launch quickly, you’ll combat procrastination. We procrastinate because of perfectionism about the initial launch. Then we lose interest, and the project never gets off the ground.
If you are targeting customers in your neighbourhood, a small road show can do wonders in reaching your customers. Take university students as your volunteers for such activities. They’ll earn some pocket money and you’ll have an energetic group working for you at a low cost.
5. Optimize your pricing
Most people only have a limited amount of money. So, focus on testing different prices to ensure demand for your offer. If people won’t pay a ngwee, shut the business down or do a massive pivot. But, if the product sells well—or you can charge a premium price over similar products in the market—you’re ready to scale.
Furthermore, when it comes to growing your business, don’t fall in love with your idea. The idea gets you started but be willing to change. Improve your idea through experiments and tests. Otherwise, you’ll fail.
6. Take advantage of free advertising and marketing
You can generate a buzz for your business without breaking the bank. Social media is a great way to gain exposure and interact with potential customers. Avoid posting in the Zambian market groups as they are flooded with ads. Rather pay for advertising. You can also reach out to local media and offer your expertise. Try to make as many local media contacts as you can and be extremely responsive with their requests. This can lead to them to branding you as the local authority, generating plenty of free press for your business.
7. Get ready to work
You won’t be able to get out of this one. Hard work is an absolute necessity, especially when you are starting a business with little to no capital. You have to be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the business a success. This includes handling customer support, cold calling, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will have to wear many hats and this will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.
Starting a business on limited budget needs smart work with hard work. In every new business, sparing more time to understand your target market will help you to offer more efficient services.