5 Ways to Save Money and Build a Better Startup
Posted on February 6, 2013
One of the major problems startups face today is getting funded. Without enough funding, your startup won’t thrive. But the reality is you don’t need the big budgets to build a successful startup. You can build a successful startup even if you’re on a budget and here are a few ways to do that.
1. Start with Your Design
The first thing most startups spend money on is design.
Getting a custom design for your startup will probably take anything from $5,000 – $25,000 and, sometimes, even more. That might sound ridiculous, but WordPress design firms Hindsite Interactive and Blazersix.com can charge as much as $5,000 for wordpress design; it could also be in the tens of thousands of dollars depending on what you want.
Instead of going for a design that is too excessive and expensive, you can start with something basic and customize it.
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For example, most people use WordPress today and then hire a professional designer to code something for them in the thousands of dollars. While it’s true that you get what you pay for, you can also go the easy route by using an alternative platform and spending a few minutes customizing your design.
With a platform like Easy WebContent for example, you’ll be able to host your website and get access to a suite of tools that help you manage it; this includes premium themes that are easily customizable, a Do it Yourself Site Builder if you want to get more unique, as well as an HTML editor that makes editing and updating your page as easy as if you were using Microsoft Word.
2. Use Free or Low-Cost Marketing
It’s no secret that your start up won’t thrive without effective marketing.
If you don’t market enough, you won’t get results. How do you market if you don’t have a budget?
Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on advertising and other forms of marketing, you can use free or low-cost techniques to grow your startup.
Guest blogging, for example, is a very powerful marketing technique that can be free or low-cost. Depending on how much you allocate to marketing, you don’t have to spend money on guest blogging.
There’s the case of Leo Widrich from Bufferapp.com who was able to help Bufferapp get its first 100,000 users in nine months just by guest blogging. There is also countless case studies on how powerful guest blogging can be for effective link building.
Depending on how you approach it, guest blogging can be time-draining when you consider how much time and effort it takes to write your guest post, find a blog to submit your guest post to and reach out to that blog.
However, with PostJoint, a guest blogging platform for bloggers, you can focus only on writing the content and leverage the network to get your content across to other bloggers; the research and outreach is automatically done via PostJoint.
3. Leverage SEO
While most startups are focused on getting press and massive traffic as soon as they launch, they forget the importance of developing a long-term traffic and lead generation strategy.
This is especially important if you’re building your startup on a low budget and want to get the best results from the effort you put in.
Search engine traffic is the #1 source of traffic online. You can take your startup to the next level by developing an SEO strategy around it.
Incidentally, guest blogging can also be very effective for link building and to help you grow organic search traffic to your website.
This case study shows how guest blogging led to an additional 120,000+ visitors in search engine visitors in one year.
4. Start Leveraging Content Marketing
When most people are “wasting” the bulk of their VC-earned money on advertising, start developing a long-term content marketing plan.
Advertising is gradually dying and social media and search is increasingly growing; one of the best ways to take advantage of both is by using content marketing.
By publishing regular reports, case studies, multimedia and articles on various subjects in your niche you’ll be able to get more traction in the form of social media traffic and search engine traffic to your content; if your content is effectively linked to your services, you’ll be able to increase business for your startup as a result.
This post features several companies that have transformed their business and experienced exponential growth thanks to effective content marketing.
5. Monitor and Stick to What Works
Don’t just rely on basic analytic tools like Google Analytics. Start using advanced analytics and tracking tools like Kissmetrics to monitor your marketing sources to see what works for lead and traffic generation.
Don’t be concerned with what is “reigning” at the moment; since you don’t have the time or budget to experiment, instead, find out what works best for you and stick to it.
This seems like basic knowledge but it’s very powerful stuff if you implement it!