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Posted at: Dec 5, 2018, 12:29 AM; last updated: Dec 5, 2018, 12:29 AM (IST)SMART STRATEGY: MARKETING YOUR START-UP ON A TIGHT BUDGET

Flex your creative muscle

Flex your creative muscle

Pradeep Shukla

Boostrapping builds character. There are endless ways to finance your ideas, but there's nothing like marketing a start-up with a modest budget to encourage innovation. Limited funds give you an excuse to flex your creative muscle and truly share your vision with the world. Being an entrepreneur is risky business. We've all read stories of start-up companies that spent too much money getting off the ground and crash upon takeoff. Managing your money when you have very little coming in the door is tricky - but it's not impossible.

Don't rely on the same old banner ads and Google reviews. Instead, try these eight marketing strategies to place the spotlight on your business.

Here are some strategies for getting the most bang for your buck as an entrepreneur:

Go to start-up events

Start-up events are frequented by those who have similar interests, and most of these people are operating on shoestring budgets, too. Many of them are happy to introduce you to someone who can help your start-up; others will be willing to develop a "quid pro quo" relationship with you to get both of your businesses off the ground. Either situation is a cost-effective win-win. 

Access an incubator and use other business resources

Incubators can provide you with a lot of the structure that your entrepreneurial endeavor is missing, but without any of the interference that a partner company might entail. They have amazing free resources; these can include everything from office space to snacks. Search for one on Google, or try lists of ranked start-up accelerators to find a good fit. 

Track your finances

From the start, you should be carefully watching how much you spend. Cash flow is one of the easiest areas for start-ups to get ahead of themselves - you need to turn a profit at some point, but you'll never know where that point is if you don't track your money. 

Avoid burnout

Many entrepreneurs get so caught up in saving money that they find it hard to balance rewarding themselves with pumping money into the company. If you want to be successful with your start-up, then you should enjoy what you're doing. Your "reward" will be the excitement you reap from your success. That means that most of your money should go into your start-up - but not all of it. Set aside time (and a little money) to travel, visit friends and relax. If you forget to do these things, it won't matter how much money your start-up has - it won't have an effective leader. 

Every entrepreneur goes through ups and downs; it's the nature of the beast. But struggling to make ends meet doesn't have to be one of your problems. Find the balance between fuelling your jet and pulling back on the throttle. You don't want your start-up - or you - to crash upon takeoff. Take time to really consider who you are, who your customers are, what you want your brand to represent, and what your message should be. Consider this a very simple marketing roadmap. Then stick to it.

Take advantage of free offers

Many people shy away from free stuff; they're afraid that taking advantage of it implies that they don't have money. Instead, look at it this way: when a company is offering something for free, they believe the item has value. They want you to experience it so badly that they're willing to give you a taste at no cost. Take them up on it! You're helping a fellow businessman out, and you're saving cash on your end. 

—The writer is Co-Founder & CEO OOFFRR App

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