Top 10 free ways to beat the recession and start your own business
With threats of job losses and redundancies being broadcast almost daily, there seems to be little else on the horizon except for more disheartening stories about our fragile job market. But don’t reach for the Prozac just yet, there might be great opportunity buried beneath all that doom and gloom.
We’ve all toyed with the notion of starting our own business at some time in our lives, but with so many unknowns, the prospect of biting the bullet and actually doing it seems a leap too far for most. Questions like “where do I start?”, “Who do I need to speak to?” and “How exactly do I get on Dragons Den?” begin to arise, couple that with the thought of investing your valuable redundancy package on what could be a pipe dream often puts people off starting their own business before it’s even begun.
So, is starting your own business the mine field it once was?
Whilst you contemplate that question, here’s a useful and of course FREE Top ten guide to help the dream become reality; Brought to you by www.switchboardfree.co.uk:
www.businesslink.gov.uk may help you get started. Business link offers practical advice on developing your business plan; from financing your start-up to survival strategies and invaluable info on growing your business. Courses are free and local throughout the UK.
Preparation is everything. Don’t get caught out by leaving your potential customers in the lurch and you falling at the first hurdle. www.switchboardfree.co.uk will help you never miss a business call and gives you that big business feel at no cost. With no setup fees, no annual rental cost, no contracts or monthly charge it really is free for all UK companies to have and use.
Google, e-skills UK and Enterprise UK have joined together with many other partners to create a government backed initiative with the aim of getting British businesses online. Through www.gbbo.co.uk you could sign up for a free website with a free domain name. They take you through the process one step at a time and you can customise the website to your individual requirements.
www.google.com has introduced Google Analytics which provides an easy way for the non tech savvy amongst us to look at performance focused marketing and analyse what advertising works for your business. This can work alongside your switchboardfree numbers and allows you to optimise your advertising and use in depth statistics by tracking each and every call.
Free conference calls are now available from the new site: www.con-flab.co.uk. Conference calls are a modern alternative to a physical meeting and con-flab.co.uk is a well-planned and easy to use conference platform. Anything that can minimize the expense of travelling and wasted days stuck in the car or on the train has got to be a bonus.
Start putting yourself out there and sign up for www.freeindex.co.uk. It’s the free alternative to traditional business directories and it has detailed customer profiles, reviews, Google maps with nearby information, contact screen, company descriptions and loads more.
If it seems like a daunting and lonely proposition working alone, you may gain knowledge and insight by connecting with others working in your field. Join www.linkedin.com the business world’s answer to Facebook. Network, join groups and get details of events near you.
www.freebusinessforums.co.uk has loads of down to earth advice for those starting their own businesses – including common pitfalls and why many businesses fail before they’ve got off the ground.
The thing that scares people the most about starting their own business is coping with the mundane task of accounting. Most sites offer “free trials” of their accounting software packages, but www.gnucash.org is totally free.
www.sxc.hu has images you could download for free to use on your adverts and websites. There are also free tutorials to help you create your vision too.
Most of all ENJOY… According to a recent survey, self employed people are the happiest people in the country, giving them a sense of satisfaction, self-worth and confidence a regular 9-5 job just can’t match. The best things in life may indeed be free, but cash in the bank and a better quality of life takes a little hard work.