If you have been unable to obtain funding from a financial institution to start a new business, perhaps you should consider going it alone. Many of Australia’s most respected and profitable businesses were started with just a small cash outlay and a dream.
In 1994 Maureen Houssein-Mustafa founded The Australasian College Broadway with a start-up budget of just $1,600. Today, the business has an estimated worth of $35 million.
The daughter of hard working but poor immigrants, Maureen had to leave school at 16 to take up full-time employment. Having no formal qualifications in business or education, she established what was to become one of the country’s most respected and profitable private training colleges.
Founder of Fernwood Women’s Health Clubs, Diana Williams, couldn’t get funding to start her first women’s gym in Bendigo, Victoria. The year was 1989, the fitness craze of the 1980’s was coming to an end and financial institutions were unwilling to continue backing the fitness industry.
Undeterred, Diana launched her business with equipment provided by another gym owner and $7000 of her own money. Today, Fernwood Women’s Health Clubs has an estimated worth of $100 million.
In more recent years, home based businesses have begun making a significant contribution to the nation’s economy. Popular with mums (mumpreneurs) and dads, starting a home based business not only allows you more face-to-face time with your children, it can significantly reduce the costs incurred when starting a new business.
Founding CEO of Award Bookkeeping and 2009 Franchise Woman of the Year, Deb Shrugg, had to start her business from home out of necessity.
Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Agoraphobia, Deb was unable to leave her house and was told by doctors she would never be able to work again. For the cost of placing an advertisement in her local paper, Deb was able to start her business and eventually move the operation to business premises outside the home.
Although my own business story is no match for these inspirational women’s stories. The idea for this post grew out of my own experience of starting a business on a budget – a very small budget.
As the owner of a web publishing business, I was able to get started for a cash outlay of $10 – the cost of registering a domain name. I didn’t even have to pay for the web hosting for the first month because I launched my website using a web host’s free trial offer.
The only reason I was able to start my business on a such a tiny budget was because I did all the work myself. I did all the writing, editing, web designing, search engine optimisation, advertising sales and marketing.
In the beginning I considered hiring a web designer to build the website for me but after he came back with a quote of $10,000 I was left with no other option, I had to do it myself – and I’m sure glad I did because the skills I developed building my own website and later, maintaining the site’s virtual private server, have enabled me to operate a nice little side business designing websites and applications for other businesses. If I had been in a position to hire people to do everything for me, I would never have discovered that I always had the ability to do it myself.
So when you think about it, those of us who have to realise our dreams on a shoe-string budget have a real advantage over our better funded competitors.
For more information about Starting a Business visit: https://australianwomenonline.com/australian-business-information/starting-a-business/
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