The Best Things that Happen when you Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget

As painstaking as it is when you start a business on a shoestring budget the long run benefits are powerful.  If you’re exhausted by the battle of starting a business with limited resources here’s some thoughts to revitalise you. As well as remind you why everything you are going through will put you in good stead in the future.


When you start a business on a shoestring budget then you probably felt the urgency of having to make your first sale.  Maybe delivering your first sale was a time consuming nightmare. You had to muddle through your own processes to meet the promises you made to your client.  Or maybe you found out your processes were completely wrong.  Worse still your real life customer was completely different to your Ideal Customer Profile. 

Think how much you learned by being forced into a position of have to expose your business to customers.  Then think about a start up with thousands in start up capital.  This business will have spent months perfecting their offering.  Then once they take it out to market they learn the market didn’t really want it.

Look how quickly, by comparison, you have managed to start a business and learned important lessons leading you to tweak or trash your original concepts in order to pivot to something entirely new. This is a point a cash rich startup can take months to get to at which point they may not have the cash they need to start again.

Invaluable Exposure

When you start a business on a shoestring budget you are forced to do as much as possible for yourself.  You are forced learn all sorts of new skills – selling, web developing, marketing to name a few.  You may feel like you are torn into pieces but think about all the new things you are learning. As your business grows you will be better able to take on a management role within it.

Imagine the start up business with lots of capital.  They will wrap themselves up in building a team who need managing.  Getting wrapped in bureaucracy and management distracts from learning about the market and customers.

Remember no one understands your business better than you and how better else to learn than from the ground up.

Stay Lean

Starting a business on a shoe string budget forces you to get started in the cheapest possible way considering every purchase carefully.  You may have been in a position where you thought you really needed something for you business:

  • Come up with cheap or free alternatives;
  • Forced yourself to make one extra sale to cover the cost of what you need;
  • Done nothing and realised later it wasn’t necessary and would have been a waste of money.

Businesses with lots of money in the bank tend to race in, buying things they think they need before they have even really taken their product to market to test it.  Not only that, if they do experience growth, costs are not reviewed until a later point at which they discover that they could have saved themselves a lot of money. A lean startup will stay lean as it grows because it committed to its initial costs with the right consideration.

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Anita Forrest
About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek, money nerd and creator of - a UK small business finance blog where she shares help and advice with the self-employed community to make topics like registering a business, bookkeeping and taxes easy to understand.