Self-employment in the UK is at the highest level since records began and job uncertainty and low wages is prompting more people to ditch conventional employment in favour of starting their own business. If you fancy turning your dream of becoming your own boss into a reality but you don’t have the cash to get it off the ground, here’s a few tips that might help you on your way.
1. Look at ways you can save money
It might surprise you to learn this but it is possible to save money simply by cutting back on your outgoings. You can do this without earning any extra money if you are stringent and frugal with your approach. Make a list of all your outgoings such as food, insurance, travel costs, leisure activities, phone and internet costs etc. Cut your food costs by eating out at restaurants and cafes less, shopping in cheaper supermarkets and swapping ready meals for homemade dishes. See if you can get better deals on phone or TV packages and cut your travel costs by walking as much as you can or asking friends or family to help with lifts. It isn’t forever, it’s just until you have saved enough money for your business.
2. Think about things you can sell
Most people have a few things around their homes that they don’t need, are unused or are simply taking up space. Have a good look through your draws and cupboards to see if you have anything you could get rid of. Clothes, computer games, electrical equipment. You can sell them on one of the online selling sites or by setting up your own shop ata local car boot sale. You might be amazed how much you can make by selling your unwanted stuff and it is also a good excuse to get rid of some clutter too. If you have a car, could you sell it and buy a cheaper one? If it is a gas guzzler could you replace it with a more efficient model?
3. Apply for a loan
If you have done all you can to raise money to start your business and still don’t have enough, then it might be time to apply for a loan. To approach lenders you will need to have a solid business plan, detailing how much everything will cost, where you will get your equipment/stock from and how much money you expect to make. It is worth making this comprehensive so that no stone is left unturned when it comes to costings and profit margins. If the bank refuses to give you a loan or you have bad credit then there are other options. Some people use their credit cards as a short term option and others use loans with a guarantor
to help kick start their new company. You will need a friend or family member to guarantee this kind of loan for you but while they are usually more expensive than bank loans, they can be easier to get.