When deciding to start out in business many people believe they need the following to get started –
- Physical products or a service to sell (this may mean purchasing stock or equipment to provide the service)
- A good looking expensive website to demonstrate and sell their product or service
- Money for advertising and website search optimisation so people can find their business (both physically and online)
At this point, it may be perceived that each of these will cost a significant amount of money and may be a deterrent for some to get started in business. Others may have the capital, or be in a position to re-mortgage their house to raise the capital to get started but may feel the risk of starting something that may not work out may be too high.
For those who take the risk, some will go on to grow profitable businesses, and others may not. Others may start out with a profitable business but market and economic changes may impact their profitability later on.
Setting up a business doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, all of the above requirements can be achieved with little to no money down.
Let’s look in more depth at how traditional business works.
To do this, we’ll use the example of a new hairdressing salon.
The business purchases stock in the way of hair products to sell and equipment such as hair dryers, hair dressing chairs etc. and opens and their new hairdressing salon.
The $5000 website is up and running and looks great and another $3000 has been spent on advertising and a search engine optimisation service has been employed for a few months to increase the traffic to the website.
Once the business is up and running traditional business generally applies the following formula:
ADVERTISE/PROMOTE = TRAFFIC = SELL
Much of the time, the cost of advertising and promotion does not equate to the amount of products or services sold. Finding advertising and promotion opportunities that work for your business can take a lot of hit and miss – and just because an advertisement worked in a certain publication this month doesn’t mean it will work next month. It’s a long, expensive, ongoing process trying to find and maintain effective advertising and promotion.
There are many ways to advertise and promote business to generate traffic, but many business owners often find themselves frustrated with the level of traffic to their business, as a result of the thousands of dollars spent on advertising, and employing someone to improve their websites rank on major search engines – WHY?
Because we are in the information and technology age, and not only are their millions of websites and business online all competing with each other, generally people aren’t going to the computer looking for your business, they are looking for information or the answers to their questions. How can I stop the ends of my hair from splitting? What hair styles can I do at home? How do I treat my child’s head lice?
Starting a business using information with little money down
So as a business you must find out the questions people want answered and the information people are interested in, in your area of expertise, knowledge or passion – then create valuable information in the form of online content on your website that provides answers to their questions.
Done correctly, this content will bring lots of organic traffic to your website from internet search engines. You have already warmed (pre-sold) your customer by providing them with the information to solve their problem. You also have the advantage of using social networking tools such as Facebook to enhance traffic and increase engagement with your readers.
You now have lots and lots of “warm” readers, interested in your chosen topic – now all you have to do is work out how to convert all these pre-sold customers into sales. How you do this will depend on your area of business and may include, but is not limited to – using pay for click advertising such as Google Adsense, in-text paid links such as Infolinks, selling advertising on your webpage, setting up affiliate links, selling ebooks or writing your own ebook.
You may then even decide to sell your products or services as well to supplement your income. How much less risk would there be in outlaying money on products and/or equipment when you already have hundreds of warm customers ready to buy your products or services!
Information & content based businesses apply the following formula:
CONTENT = TRAFFIC = PRESELL = SELL
By using the above formula you can get started in business and avoid the hefty start-up costs. You don’t have to rely on expensive advertising or search engine optimisation “expert” fees to generate traffic to your website as they will find you through the information and content you provide to solve their problem, or by providing them the information they need. Also customers are already warmed to you and ready to purchase from you (and tell their friends and family about you!)
The added bonus is that you can also test niche areas within the area of your business. Rather than originally setting up a hair dressing salon, instead through creating an information rich website you can test areas of demand within your area of business. You may find there is a big demand in your area for a mobile hairdresser, or assistance with treating head lice in children. You could offer mobile hairdresser appointments in addition to providing your customers with ongoing hair advice, information and tips, or perhaps an ebook to show them how they can get their own Hollywood style hair-do at home.
Because you create your business with little money down it allows you to experiment with your business and change your focus so you can find that winning formula without the risk. It also allows you to modify your business with changing trends without spending lots of money just to stay in business.
At this point you are probably thinking this all sounds great and make sense but may be thinking –
How do I build a website, I know nothing about building websites?
Don’t you need an expensive website to make sure you get traffic?
I am not an expert in anything – how can I make this work for me?
This is just a sample from a chapter in the amazing business start-up bible, How To Start A Business With Little Or No Cash. Available from Amazon.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.