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8 Simple Hacks For Low Budget Startup Entrepreneurs

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8 Simple Hacks For Low Budget Startup Entrepreneurs

Startup entrepreneurs should be aware of the risks involved starting their own business. Money plays a big role in the success or failure of a startup. In fact, 90% of startup entrepreneurs are expected to fail.  But does this mean that you shouldn’t chase after your dream?

There are simple, yet cost-effective measures that low budget startups could adapt in their business practices. Here are some effective low budget hacks that entrepreneurs could start to implement.

1. Build a solid content online

Quality content makes a huge difference on how a company is perceived online. Content has been considered the king for quite a while, and there’s no sign of it changing soon. Low budget startup entrepreneurs should start investing on an effective content strategy to get the attention of their niche.

This simple, yet effective strategy has been proven to build a company’s reputation. It can also potentially increase your conversion, while attracting the right people.

Is it cheap? Hiring content creators may not be as cheap as you expect. Big companies are even willing to pay $100 or more for high quality content.  For low budget startup entrepreneurs, they could start building their own content. Using tools such as Grammarly.com, the content can be proofread even without the help of a professional copywriter/editor. If not, they can hire online freelance writers to get the job done. Freelancers offer a budget friendly solution to this type of concern.

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2. Delegate the simple and mundane tasks

It is a common mistake by startup entrepreneurs to micromanage and perform mundane tasks. Startup entrepreneurs could save more money if they focus on the more important tasks in their company.

So who should cover the simple and mundane tasks? If you don’t have the money to hire new employees, you can start having a virtual assistant to get things done. For some businesses, they also allow on-the-job trainees to be part of their organization. On-the-job trainees are young college graduates or students who are trying to gain experience in a relevant industry.

3. Invest on a modern and responsive website

Whether or not you have an office or a physical store, it is imperative to have a modern and responsive website for your startup company.

A responsive design allows the user to have an optimized view of the website in different devices. This type of design responds to the viewing space that is available.

Now that 48% of mobile users start using the internet on search engines, Google has decided to adapt its algorithm to this trend. Aside from providing superb user experience, responsive websites are given an edge on Google. This type of design increases the chance of landing on the first search result page.

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4. Study the industry/market well

As rule of thumb, every startup entrepreneur should never get into something that they don’t know.   Investing in an unknown niche increases the risk of failing.

Market research is something that businesses of all sizes shouldn’t forget. By performing a study in your industry and market, you’ll be able to determine the startup’s potential. Is there a demand? Who are our competitors? Is the market already saturated?

5. Branding consistency

Branding is your key to be easily recognized by your audience. An effective branding strategy can help get the message across effectively. Small businesses should be able to understand the value of using consistent designs. Branding isn’t just your logo. Branding is also about the voice, colors, fonts, and even your website’s layout.

6. Develop a social media marketing strategy

Social media has leveled the playing field for a lot of businesses. Even small businesses have been able to get the same exposure as their larger counterparts, thanks to the use of social media. And the good part is that it can be used for free.

With over billions of accounts floating around in different platforms, social media should never be ignored especially by small entrepreneurs. According to one study, consumers tend to buy products from brands they follow (64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users).

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But of course, not all social media campaigns can yield positive results.  To maximize the reach and engagement, it is crucial to learn some effective social media marketing strategies. This includes establishing the right type of voice to balancing the promotional and non-promotional posts.

And of course, you have to understand that the social media platform algorithms are also changing. It has been a concern among social media managers when Facebook changed the way people see posts from pages.

The average reach of Facebook publishers in 2015 is only at 2.27%. On the other hand, in 2012, publishers organically reach 16% of their fans. This only means that small businesses should also consider sponsored posts, to help boost their reach. But more importantly, it is imperative to reevaluate the content shared on social media.

7. Take the customer feedback seriously

You may have heard Steve Jobs downplay customer feedback saying that customers have no idea of what they want until they have seen it. But for startup entrepreneurs, keep in mind that word-of-mouth advertising is still among the most effective means of advertising.

Word-of-mouth advertising can either help or destroy your business. For a virtually unknown brand, it is crucial to get as many people to recommend your products or services. In fact, 84% of consumers say that they trust recommendations of either friends or family when it comes to products. Same is true for online opinion made by consumers.

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So what should you do if you are faced with a negative feedback online? This is where startups need to have a protocol on how to manage negative comments and reviews.

8. Analytics

Every startup entrepreneur should consider the numbers. Analytics provide startups a reality check, whether or not they are doing the right thing. For starters, check the social media’s engagement, and reach. Compare which posts have the highest reach and engagement.

Next, look at your site’s traffic. Are you hitting the expected number of visitors? If the numbers are met, are you really hitting the demographic? For local businesses for instance, it is important that the searches come from the area where they operate.

Conclusion

Becoming a startup entrepreneur can be a struggle. The lack of capital can definitely play a major role how your business operates. But the lack of funds doesn’t mean that you should forget about your dream. Today, there are many ways on how you can run your business even if you only have minimal funds. It is about how you make use of your available resources to your advantage as a startup.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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