Once you have an idea for a business, starting it can be daunting. First there’s the element of self doubt if it will work out or not to contend with. Then there’s the potential financial & time commitment. While it’s difficult to create a tech business without investing time, there are avenues to save on costs and start your business on a budget.
Creating your tech start up on a tight budget is an excellent idea. It allows you to test to see if the idea might work, while limiting significant spend. Once you can see results, it gives you confidence to then built on the business and commit further time & finances
- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
Our first tip is to copy where you can. Getting a company or a freelancer to design your website from scratch is expensive. The time it will take to understand how your processes work and the look of the site will mount to a lot of hours and therefore money.
Find a website that has a similar process to what you need and model your site on that.
Likewise the look and feel. Pick 3-5 sites which are close to how you would like your site designed and use that as a reference.
You need to be careful not to breach any copyright laws etc. In addition avoid using direct competitors to model your processes or designs. It could cause confusion between customers & start your business on the wrong footing in the industry.
- AdWords basics
If you will be advertising on Google AdWords, you will need to either run the campaigns yourself or hire an Ad Words manager.
An Ad Words manager will have an in-depth understanding on the subject, but will be costly.
There is an abundance of free AdWords tutorials on YouTube. While you won’t be an expert overnight, you will get to learn the basics quite quickly.
Setting up your keywords, adverts & budgets isn’t rocket science and doing it yourself will save you hundreds of £’s a month.
There are opportunities for automated bidding strategies via AdWords. The advertising platform gathers a substantial amount of data on who is clicking on your ads and which are converting. After a few weeks, AdWords can automatically run your ads for you, based on the data gathered.
- Freelancers help save you money
Large consultancy firms are expensive. Getting a consultancy to design, develop and manage your startup will cost thousands.
The cost is even more expensive in tech hubspot cities such as London and Silicon Valley for example.
Co-founder of letting agent fee comparison platform Rent Round, Raj Dosanjh, explains
“Sites like Upwork & Fiver allow you to find freelancers across a range of specialities. Each freelancer will have a rating and a previous work completed catalog.
You can create jobs for what you need, specify your budget and state your timeline. Freelancers will then approach you to be hired.
When hiring via these platforms, in our experience you will need to be as clear as possible as to what is required. In addition the cheaper freelancers may not have English as their first language so there may be communication issues to contend with.”
If you have time to be more hands on with work & give frequent feedback, hiring a freelancer is an option to save on costs.
- Drag in family & friends
When heavily involved in a website, you’ll know your site like the back of your hand. How to navigate through the site, what buttons need to be pressed and which forms need to be filled out become second nature.
However getting people who have never used your site before to run through customer journeys provides great insights. It’s a sure fire method to identify system bugs and parts of the website that aren’t easy to use.
However hiring testers of this nature is expensive.
A cost saving tip for your startup is to use family & friends. Sitting with people you know while they run through your site & pick it apart can be awkward and it’s easy to get frustrated. But if they are finding issues in using your site, so may your customers.
- Hosting tools to draw traffic
Tools on your site are amazing at drawing in traffic and improving your SEO.
Calculators for mortgage repayments, weight loss and tax bills are some examples of tools that are used by sites to improve their online presence.
Creating a tool from scratch is the expensive option. There are many sites that allow you to easily create calculators. You enter the formula and edit the design/color scheme. Once created, you can simply insert the code into your website.
Furthermore there are a range of plugins available that offer more complex functionality. These range from shopping carts, payment gateways, SEO analysis and much more. Again, purchasing a plugin is far cheaper than developing something from scratch.
Even if a plugin or calculator doesn’t meet your requirements, paying a developer to implement modifications is another feasible way to save money.
- Join journalist sites
There are numerous sites that journalists use to find stories to feature in their blogs & articles, such as HARO.
Journalists publish a topic and specify what they are looking for. Subscribers to the service then reach out to journalists with snippets of information to help the writing.
If your input is selected, you usually get a backlink to your site as a reward. Backlinks are essential to increasing your organic search presence on Google.
Paying for backlinks can be costly, especially when a site with a high domain authority is involved. It’s not uncommon to have to pay upwards of £500 for one link.
Using journalists sites offer you a free way to get backlinks. Ensure you are regularly viewing journalists requests & respond as quickly as possible. For some topics there will be thousands of people providing information so it’s key to get ahead of the pack.