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5 tips on starting a small business

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Starting a business is not an easy affair. You may have the capital but figuring out what to put in place may take you a very long time.

We set out to make this work easy for you and came up with these 5 tips from some of the most successful entrepreneurs that can help you get your business off the ground.

Share your workspace
As a small business, you may not be able to afford an office space. Working from home may also not be a good idea since having your home address on all of your business letters and cards may act as a turn-off to your potential clients.

Why not look into co-working spaces? This will relieve you of all the hassles of long term leases and high rent.

Co-working can also help you to make connections and network with other entrepreneurs.
But before you take the first available desk do some research. Find out which amenities are offered, the price and what kind of private spaces the location has.

Don’t buy software
Make use of cloud software. There is no reason for you to purchase your software. There are subscription plans that allow you to spread the costs of using the software over several months.

If you are using the software in perpetuity, the cost might be higher than that of buying it outright. But for a small business, you may not be able to do this. So it is better to start with the cloud software and later purchase the software when your business is stable.

Many companies understand that investment software is very expensive and have joined the cloud subscription wagon. Examples include Microsoft, Adobe, Quicken, etc. some companies also offer a 30-day free trial period that can be very useful to your business.

Outsource your IT
A successful business must have a strong IT backing. Unfortunately it is one of the biggest costs for a start-up or a growing business. Unless you are an IT expert don’t to things on your own.

Services like web design, marketing and book keeping can easily be outsourced. Others include cloud hosting and collocation, computer maintenance and care, and telephone system setup and maintenance.

You can ask a friend for recommendations or you can hire freelancers on Elancer, freelance.com or oDesk.com.

Protect your intellectual property
If your company has technology or intellectual property that you need to protect, take the necessary steps as soon as possible to secure it through copyrights and patents. You would not want to go the litigation way as it can be a very expensive proposition for your new business.

The U.S. patent office allows individuals to apply for patents at a fee of only $100, and this doesn’t require an attorney. This will give you a certain level of security but not as much as it would if you involved a lawyer.

Find your free advertising
Go for online advertisers that offer free advertising. Consider signing up at Google, Bing, Facebook or Yahoo.

All that is required here is for you to sign up then look for advertising offers from these sites. You can also make use of Twitter and AdWords.

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