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Financing a Business on a Small Budget | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Financing a Business on a Small Budget

Date January 25, 2009


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Many want-to-be freelancers resist their entrepreneurial urges to start a business because of money issues. Depending on the nature of the business you are wanting to start and whether or not you can start it from home, there are certainly ways you can start working and earning a supplemental income on a shoestring budget. It will take some planning and maybe some moonlighting but you can start out small and develop your business until it is able to support you.

If you don’t know what kind of business to start but know you want more for yourself than to be employed by someone else for the rest of your life, you need to start considering your talents and how they can translate to an at home business. You will likely have to keep working your 8-5 gig in order to keep paying the bills and add a little funding into your new venture. Make sure you consider that factor when getting off the ground. You may have to work 22 hours a day for a while but it will certainly be worth it. It also helps to have that stability that comes with keeping your first job in the event your at home business does not work out as planned.

Here are some ideas to get you started with your at home business and what it takes to get started:

Administrative Services - If you have worked in an administrative capacity for many years, you likely have the skills that are needed by local employers willing to hire you on a per-project basis. Since many small operations can afford to keep full time staff, many will look to freelance administrative assistance to help them grow their own business. All you need is the skills, a website, contact information, a reliable computer, and a professional freelancing resume to gain the interest of local businesses in need of help. You may be able to find clients by creating accounts with sites like oDesk.com, or by joining a Virtual Assistant organization.

Independent Sales Representative - Companies like Avon and Pampered Chef realize the importance of offering representatives flexible schedules with good earning potential. All you need is some networking and sales skills, promotional materials (sometimes provided by the company directly), and a way for customers to contact your for information and questions.

Crafter - If you already enjoy making crafts, you can step it up a notch and start selling your wears at local craft fairs, swap meets, and other locations. Many places that offer sales space to crafters do so at reasonable rates. You will need some business cards, a contact phone number, and the crafts to get started selling. You can also increase your marketing potential by establishing a website and selling to an international audience.

Writer - If you have a talent for creative or informational writing, then you can easily get established in the still virtually (no pun intended) untapped online market. Clients are actively posting freelance jobs online and if you can provide a few solid writing samples, you can write for cash in your free time or make an entirely new career out of it. If you are interested in taking some e-classes on writing for money, check out the Make Money from Writing website. You will need a high speed internet connection, a reliable computer, writing software like Microsoft Office or Open Office. It helps if you have good researching skills as well as networking talent if you want to carve out a niche in the industry.

If any of those ideas appeal to you, you can see there isn’t too much involved in start up. You will also have to factor in the cost of advertising and be ready to leave your full time job once the business takes flight. The last thing you want to do with your business is grow it up and then neglect what you have started because you don’t have the time to devote to it.

There are a lot of factors in starting a business that can be overwhelming and cause you to stop your plans to be your own boss but money should not always be the stopper. Get creative with your funding potential if you require money start up funds. With a good idea, you may find that family and friends are more than willing to help you finance your dreams.

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