How to start a company with only $1000

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur collaborators are their own.

When you think about starting a company, the first two questions that come to mind are, “How much will it cost and how will I get that kind of capital?”

The dynamics of business financing have changed dramatically over time. While you were once content with bank loans and savings, there are now many options to choose from to help your business get off the ground.

But let’s take a step back. You have to ask, “What is the minimum amount of capital I need to start this?” For those first few steps, $1,000 can get you moving fast and forward. It’s all about what I call “resource capital,” a mixture of your time, money, and effort.

Related: How to Start a Business Online

Price does not always equal value

As a disclaimer: I am guilty of falling prey to thinking I had to have the best of the best when I started our company. We have always chosen the most expensive external partners for operational needs. A high price can at least give us confidence that we’re getting exactly what we paid for, right? We’ve found that just because a company spends a lot of time and money on its reputation doesn’t mean it’s going to deliver. We had to learn that going the cheaper route isn’t always bad.

Connected: 10 Ways to Fund Your Small Business

Building your business

Building a business is like building a house. You have to figure it out, create a plan and get all the necessary permits from the city. That’s where all the fun stuff comes from, like designing, building and scaling.

Starting the same way, we should think about our business and our $1,000 in very similar steps:

The permits

– Business documents: ($50 – $150 depending on location)

Each state has a site or process for starting a business, which can usually be found on the Secretary of State’s website. California, for example, allows you to choose your name, pay your fee, get your EIN, and then your business is official. Depending on the corporate structure, this can be more complicated. However, many people make the mistake of using online business backup services when in reality it is simpler than many are led to believe.

The drawings

– Your website or landing page: (Free – $150/month)

There are various platforms that you can choose for this. I recommend not spending a lot of time building an entire site. Instead, build a simple landing page that provides an exciting outline of your business. Think of it as a digital billboard that you can use when explaining what you’re building to others.

Don’t hire an expensive web designer to build it the first time. There is a 100% chance it will change.

– Website domain and email: ($12 – $60)

Always buy the domain if you can, or an offshoot of it (eg “.co” or “.io”. No one will take the business seriously if it doesn’t have a suitable domain name. This is easy to do at places like GoDaddy and Google Domains.

Then create your new email address with your new domain name — your first name and company name are fine. If you want a more general support email, use “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” instead. In many cases, website platforms have packages that include the domain and email. Take advantage of these cost savings now.

The designs

Your early branding is critical to getting people to take you seriously. To successfully build a brand, your business needs to look the part.

Creative (logo, brand): ($100 – $350)

If you’re not creative and need help with things like logos and branding, there are resources like 99Designs, Fiverr, and even Etsy where you can hire branding experts to help you. Being consistent in how you present your brand out of the gate is incredibly important and helps you align with the brand and its mission, and it’s an exciting and fun win to celebrate right away.

Laying the foundation

– SAAS Tools: (Free – $100)

Now that you’re ready to build your “house,” it’s time to choose your tools. There are thousands of options for SAAS products, depending on what you do. The main thing to remember here is to only use what you need and always first select the free trial. These companies are designed to hook you up for free and set you up to pay as you grow. If you have to pay for their service, I recommend spending a maximum of $100 on them.

Finding your contractor

– Virtual Assistant: ($300-$500)

If you’re starting out alone or even with a partner, you’ll be shocked to find out what $10 a day can get you. When it comes to virtual assistants, that money can get you almost anything you need. The goal is to ensure you get a quality person who understands your work style and brand. Not only will this lead to you learning to delegate and build a team, but it will offload a minimum of four hours of work each day.

When starting a company, one of the most important questions is the number of menial tasks that need to be done. Having someone to deal with them is crucial. If you need someone who is more project-based rather than part-time or full-time, I recommend looking at places like Fiverr instead of Upwork, which is usually for more experienced US-based contractors.

Back to that key figure, $1,000 is more than enough money to lay the basic foundations. It’s also enough money for your startup to at least look like a legitimate company, which is half the battle.

Connected: 3 Startup Venture Capital Funding Alternatives

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