Most businesses that operate in the science & technology sector are inherently expensive to maintain and get off the ground. Of course, the cost of equipment, facilities, and payroll alone can be substantial when you’re dealing with advanced concepts that need to be handled by highly competent employees.
Fortunately, even though it can cost a lot to scale up, it’s possible for someone to launch a science & tech startup and make it to the prototype and investing round phases without being a millionaire or having access to state-of-the-art facilities.
To help you do that, we’ve compiled the following list of tips you can use to get your startup going in an economically feasible manner, according to advice coming from Louis Hernandez Jr.
Consider Used Equipment
Used scientific equipment is usually kept in pretty good shape by the previous owners simply because these machines are stringently maintained for quality assurance and safety reasons. More importantly, you can find used lab equipment for sale for surprisingly low prices compared to buying new. While you may not want to permanently run an entire factory or warehouse with only used equipment, this is certainly a cost-effective option when you’re in the starting stages.
Hire Virtual Assistants
Paying for an office space and hiring employees to sit there and work for 6-8 hours per day can quickly become prohibitively expensive. Hiring virtual assistants online is an alternative option that many startups rely on because it’s much cheaper and easier. Plus, there are many English-speaking countries that have weak currencies, so you can leverage the exchange rate by outsourcing tasks to foreign workers at a very affordable weekly or monthly wage.
Handle Marketing Independently
If you’re capable of conceptualizing and spearheading a tech & science startup, you could probably become a very proficient marketer in a matter of weeks with the right research regimen. Later on, when you’ve got extra funds to spare, you can outsource to a team of gurus, but for now you need to be the guru. Take a course on Google and Facebook advertising, learn the art of SEO, start a YouTube channel, and take any other simple and straightforward steps that can make your brand known early on.
Seek Financing and Pitch Investors
You may not have the money to fund your idea out of pocket, but you can still get things rolling by taking advantage of available financing methods and investors. Check out peer-to-peer lending networks, apply for a small business loan, look into invoice factoring, and maybe even start a crowdfunding campaign. Once you’ve picked up some initial financial momentum and have the analytics and accounting reports to prove it, then you can try to get some investors on board and scale up to the next level.
Bootstrapped vs Funded
Bootstrapping is a term used to describe the process of launching a business using your own money and resources. While that’s certainly a commendable achievement, it’s definitely not the easiest or safest route to take. A business can easily go under when it doesn’t have access to enough cash flow to stay profitable and expand. Thus, it’s wise to at least aim for some sort of funding assistance during the first 1-2 years of company operations.