Everything You Need to Launch a Business When Money is Tight

Now more than ever, people are searching for their next opportunity while combatting a market contraction, loss of jobs, and increasingly tough educational or experience-based requirements for the jobs that barely pay well enough to afford our current lifestyles. We at Humanatronix Media know all about how tough it can be to find the time and resources needed to make it through to the next month. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we have made it easier for you to find the answers.

So the team sat down put together a list of business ideas, ones that with a little time and effort, and as little cash as possible to help you get started. We'll preface this by stating that this article has been written to act as a free, stand alone resource that individuals can reference, and share with other entrepreneurs.

The content on this page may only help individuals at different stages of their business development cycle, all prices and options listed were available at the time of writing this article, but over time things may change as businesses come and go.

First let's kick things off by providing a high level list of tools that we recommend using for operating, marketing and growing small businesses.

The Basics

Social Media

A lot of people tend to ask me what I recommend they do when trying to reach customers when they can't afford anything for marketing. My honest answer is just be present where they already are. If your choice is to try and build a website, then run ads with the risk of being unable to pay rent, then save your money and invest your time instead. Facebook is full of highly niche communities that you can join and hopefully promote your products or services to.

Same for LinkedIn, and Instagram is generally useful for engaging with other businesses or learning from how others are promoting their own products and services. Social media, however, is not an all inclusive solution, while it will help you get things started, you should always have an eye on the horizon on how to continue to grow your outreach. They more eyes on your products and services, the more likely you are to find customers.

  1. Facebook (Facebook for Business)
  2. Instagram - Which can be managed through the Facebook for business manager
  3. LinkedIn (LinkedIn for Business)
  4. Twitter

    Additional platforms that can have some costs associated with them, but can be equally as beneficial as the previous few.
  5. Etsy
  6. Youtube - Video content on mobile is consumed 84% more on average than static graphics
  7. Yelp - Promoting Physical Locations
  8. Pinterest

We offer a Social Media Checklist for those of you that have some basic knowledge of graphic design, if you need some further support you can always reach out.

Marketing Tools

The best way to advertise, is get on the various algorithms good books, and advertise yourself through high-quality content on a regular basis. Post content that helps people understand what you do, and how it can help them. Take advantage of all the free advertising credit that these platforms give away.

  1. Social Media - Facebook Publishing Tools / Instagram / LinkedIn - Etc.
  2. Facebook Advertising - Facebook for Business has an entire marketing suite you can use to publish high quality, targeted advertising for growing your customer base (for really cheap).
  3. Mailchimp - You've probably seen this one around on every website promoting marketing tools. Well if you're going to be using email marketing in anyway to help promote your business to active or new customers, then Mailchimp is absolutely they best option for small startups.
  4. Google My Business - Have a physical location? Then get set-up on Google My Business. If you don't, then when people use the world's most popular, most utilized search engine, you won't come up as an option.
  5. Google Advertising - Now this one does feel like a huge complicated mess of a tool sometimes, Google has made it very easy for anyone to jump in using a simplified handheld version of the tool to help you get customers (We've personally seen a small business reach upwards of 3,000 click throughs to a website with over 75,000 impressions on a $60 budget, utilizing Google ads credit on their first month (which is crazy good)).

While marketing some times feels like a huge burden, and a monumental to learn and use, we can tell you for a fact, that every business owner that took the time to learn, improve, and use these tools have found themselves in a business growing much faster than could have predicted. Take a look at Google Academy for tons of high-quality content to learn about Google and it's tools.

Graphic Design

Like it or not, the moment you start your own small business, marketing & advertising will need to be front of mind for you, on a daily basis. From the day you launch your small business, reaching new customers, serving current customers, launching new products of services, will all require some time and attention.

A text post on Facebook won't work. Taking some time to learn about the tools below, browse some educational material on Youtube on how to get started, and taking the time to promote yourself properly will go a long way. You can read more about why graphic design benefits your business in our Academy.

  1. Canva - Great for quick and easy graphic design for simple banners & promotional graphics.
  2. Design Wizard - Another high quality option, free alternative.
  3. Crello - A full on graphic design tool, with an additional animation suite, for those of us that whish to throw something a little extra on our content. Create GIFs, video assets, and more with both a free and paid option.
  4. Afinity Designer - Are you comfortable with using some more advanced graphic design tools, but don't want to bear the costs of the Adobe suite? Then Afinity is for you.
  5. Adobe Creative Cloud - If you want to use the tools that are widely utilized by industry professionals and are alright with a monthly expense.
Project Management
  1. Clickup - Clickup stood out to us over a year ago, as the all in one solution for our daily operations, client tracking, accounting, marketing management, calendar tool. It is the one and only solution we look to for running our business, tracking clients, and managing projects. Oh and, by the way, it's free.
Accounting & Finances

For the longest time our team settled with using a Google Sheet for managing our expenses, revenues, tracking receipts, and everything else in between. Google Sheets is an incredibly powerful tool that anyone can use to track every little detail about our day-to-day spending. However, over time as the quantity of transactions increased, we opted in for automated alternatives.

  • Google Sheets - Our beloved startup dream tool.
  • Freshbooks - An all-in-one small business invoicing and accounting tool you can use on any device.
  • Quickbooks - Similar to Freshbooks, perfect for managing your small business finances.
Payment Processing
  • Paypal - Perfect for all online transactions.
  • Stripe - Looking to sell products online, then this platform is one of the most robust and easy to use.
  • Skrill - A well-known high-quality Paypal alternative.
  1. Google Website - Fast and free website templates you can throw together during Saturday morning between brunch and lunch time.
  2. Squarespace - Super powerful, high-quality, responsive template websites that look good, and feel good for customers.
  3. Wix - Similar to the option above in many ways, a very strong contender and high-quality website builder.
  4. Wordpress - For those of you looking for something a little more customizable, taking a step away from templates and into the realm of custom.
  5. Shopify - Perfect for anyone looking to start an online E-commerce platform (brick and mortar stores looking to go digital).
  6. Humanatronix - We have to throw ourselves into the mix, if your on this website, then you may know we build websites as well.

The Strategy

Now I know that everything I listed above is daunting. Inside of Humanatronix Media, we have a team of experts managing just a few of the options listed above, and it's their full time jobs, let alone developing new products, services, reaching out to new customers and closing deals. So the worst thing you can do today, is try and use it all at once. It will burn you out and leave you wondering why people try being entrepreneurs in the first place. This is why you need a plan.

Manual or Automated

There are two ways of moving forward.

  1. Create content and manually place it in front of people and hope that they are the right people and will be willing to pay you for the product or service showcased in the content.
  2. Allow algorithms to do the work for you and simply define the parameters in which content gets displayed (paid advertising).

Both of these options have many things in common, however, are executed entirely different. These commonalities are called customer demographics.

Reach Your Customers Where They Are (Not Where They're Not)

Find your audience. Who is the person that is most likely to buy your product or service. Launching a cleaning company for families? Then advertising on Instagram is probably not the best way to be using your resources. Advertising an alcoholic beverage to individuals under the countries age limit will have a very poor return on investment to say the least.

Each Social Media platform has it's own demographics and engagement, some of the Social Media Demographics for Marketers you can find on SproutSocial. Each paid advertising platform allows you to define the types of people your advertisement will be placed in front of.

The first thing you will need to do during the creation phase of your business, is be able to justify to yourself and to others around you what your product or service is and exactly who it will be able to help. You can learn more about to get this done pretty quickly with our Business Brand Identity Workbook.

Organic or Paid

The most successful companies us a balancing act of both Organic and Paid posts in their social median marketing strategies. One of the few data points we like to stick to is to treat them at 19:1 ration, in which you can expect that your audience will grow at a rate of 19 people from paid advertising initiatives, to each 1 you may get through organic marketing.

Organic Social Media Marketing is about posting high-quality content regularly and to stay engaged with an audience or community. Organic works best when your not trying to just sell something, the worst thing you can do is look like a used car salesman during Thanksgiving when people are expecting to be told stories and not pitched on something they could care less about.

While Paid Advertising is about reaching individuals who either have a need that match your products or services, or to simply blanket a geographic area or demographic to bring awareness more quickly to your company.\

Timeliness and Relevancy Matters

Both options of advertising above benefit from being timely. Creating targeted advertising with themes and products that bring value and solve problems during the times that they are needed most will always perform better than trying to sell snow shovels in the spring.

Launching Your Business

If you've reached this point in the article, then I imagine your someone who may be seriously considering taking the leap and are interested in launching a small business. If that's the case and your looking for some support beyond what this article contains, then feel free to reach out to us a Humanatronix Media any time and we'd be happy to answer any and all questions.

Looking for Somewhere to Start

We've gone ahead and decided to compile a short list of small business ideas that we've found to be quick successful. Treat these ideas as models or templates in which you can swap out the products or services we've described with your own.

Drop Shipping

You've probably heard this term before, it's essential a business that only maintains a front-end interface (a website) in which individuals can purchase products, which are then made and sold by another company. The Drop Shipping company only handles the marketing and payment processing through a website.

  1. Launch a website through a template company such as Shopify.
  2. Use a Third Part product company like Printful to manufacture clothing, print your custom designs and then ship it customers.
  1. Launch a cheaper website using a Squarespace or Wix template.
  2. Find a Third Part product company in which you can either order premade products to resell, or have products custom made such as CustomSockShop.

For relevancy, you can change what products are displayed in order to priorities items that will sell best (i.e. Christmas themed socks starting late November, "Best Dad In The World" around Father's day, hearts and roses in February, etc.).


Think about everything that needs to get done on a day-to-day basis, what are the moments that make you groan in frustration. Any pain points that someone deals with on a daily basis is an opportunity.

  1. Editorial Services - Copyediting, Proofreading, Indexing, Ghostwriting, Book Design.
  2. Launch a website with a contact form using one of the template website builders mentioned above.
  3. Promote yourself online over social media, paid advertising and reach out to companies with a lot of outbound content (companies that post articles/blogs multiple times a day).

Here's a short list of Service ideas you can run with, using the exact same points above:

Event Planning, House Cleaning, Electronics Repair, Virtual Assistant, Graphic Designer, Voice Actor, Dog Walking, Bicycle Repair, Boat Cleaning, Music Lessons, 3D Printing, Computer Training, Hairstylist (House Call), Massage Therapist, Photographer, Rug Cleaner, Day Care, Per Sitting, Etc.

As long as your priced competitively and have neighbors who need any of the above mentioned services, you have the foundation of a business.

Have an idea that you want to try out and would like some of our help to get started? Then reach out to us a Humanatronix Media, and we'll be happy to talk.

Related Resource
Business Branding Workbook

Jump straight in to developing your business brand identity by using this Business Branding Workbook.

Related Course
Brand Identity Development Fundamentals

Jump straight in to developing your business brand identity by using this Business Branding Workbook.