Starting a tech company can be an incredibly rewarding experience. From coming up with an innovative product or service to building a team and navigating the business landscape, there are many challenges to overcome. However, with hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck, it is possible to turn your idea into a successful business, with almost zero startup cost.
In this blog post, we will explore free resources for those looking to start a tech company, and offer some tips and advice for making the journey as smooth as possible. Whether you are thinking about starting a tech business, or you are already well on your way, we hope that this post will provide some valuable insights and guidance.
So, let's get started!
Designing Your Product or Service (With No-Code)
No code platforms have revolutionized the way we think about building software. Gone are the days when you needed to be a skilled programmer to create custom applications for your tech business. Now, with the help of no code platforms, like AppSheet, anyone can create powerful and sophisticated applications without writing a single line of code. But how does AppSheet work? Simply put, AppSheet can help you build software without writing traditional code. Instead, you use a visual interface to create your application and connect it to your data from Google Sheets, Excel and more (think of a website builder but for apps). This makes it easy for anyone, regardless of their technical skills, to build custom software for their business. Google's AppSheet platform even allows you to explore a library of templates that can be copied and customized for your specific project. Now with AppSheet, you can build custom business applications quickly and easily. They even have a free plan for startup with less than 10 users.
Designing Your Product or Service (With Code)
Many tech startups with software development knowledge rely on Google Cloud to power their operations, thanks to its strong, user-friendly platform that enables them to bring products to market quickly. Additionally, Google Cloud is renowned for its environmentally friendly practices, making it a top choice for sustainable businesses. From databases, to data warehouse, to data visualization, to security and more, Google Cloud's top 8 products that startup use is a great place to start designing your solution. You will need a strong programming background to build apps on Google Cloud but with enough time and effort, the results can be truly impressive. Many Google Cloud products are also utilized by ReInvestWealth.
Take Advantage Of Google Cloud's Free Tier
Sure, the most used Google Cloud products can't be all free. And yes you're right, Google charges for using specific products. How else would Google Cloud generate $6B in revenues in the last 3 months alone? There is, however, the Google Cloud Free Tier. The Free Tier allows you to use certain products without incurring any charges, as long as you don't exceed the very generous usage limit. These limits are subject to change, but in our experience they only increase over time.
Do these products sound familiar? If you noticed them in the Top 8 list from the previous paragraph, you are not wrong! The Google Cloud Free Tier gives you everything you need to build a strong foundation for your startup at absolutely no costs. This is how ReInvestWealth started building it's free accounting software in the early days.
Free Tier Not Enough? Ask for Credits
You may be building a startup that requires more than the Google Cloud Free Tier products and that's completely understandable. What should you do?
The good news is that Google Cloud offers $300 USD in free credits to go ahead and try any of their products. The credits expire in 90 days which gives you 3 months to build and test your product.
This is a great way to continue building for free and experiment with different cloud solutions before you are ready to start charging clients.
Credits Expiring? Ask For More
When your credits expire, just ask for more credits! Google Cloud has amazing support for startups and offers many programs such as startup accelerators.
One such program is the Google For Startups Cloud Program. The program is split in two paths with the Start Path designed specifically for startups and provides $2,000 USD in free Google Cloud credits. The credits expire after 2 years (compared to 90 days from the previous offer) which give you more time to build and grow your tech businesses.
The Start Path program is easy to apply for and the acceptance rate is very high. We suggest starting with the $300 free credits first and then applying for the $2,000 credits. That way, you have 2 years and 3 months to build your tech stack, with absolutely no cost.
Google Drive Is Always Free
When first starting your business, don't worry about paying for a dedicated business email address. Many successful business owners still use an email address ending in Gmail.com. You'll also get access to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, at no cost, which can be used to collaborate with prospects, customers and business partners. You'll also have free access to Google Meet for taking virtual meetings and Google Calendar to schedule events. You can even create a free professional-looking website with Google Sites.
Once you are ready, you can upgrade to Google Workspace, which is Google's business solution for the Google Drive suite. Google Workspace includes a business email address and more robust security and access control features among other things.
It's Time To Sell And Make Money
At some point, your plan should be to make money by selling your product or service. Stripe and Square are amazing payment processing platforms that allow you to send digital invoices for free. You can even collect payments online through the platforms, however they do charge a small fee for this service. Alternatively, you can accept e-transfers, for free, in the early days of your business. Keep in mind that accepting e-transfers is a more manual process that involves closing invoices manually.
Marketing Your Product or Service
Marketing your business doesn't have to break the bank or cost any money at all. Just look at Elon Musk, he's is famous for saying Tesla doesn't spend money on advertising. In fact, there are so many free marketing strategies that you can use to get the word out about your product or service.
Utilizing social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok are all great ways to connect with potential customers for free. Post updates about your business, share behind-the-scenes content, and engage with your followers to build a loyal following. No need to pay and promote posts when getting started. Simply share valuable high-quality content on a regular basis and watch your audience grow. Blogging and writing well-written and informative posts can also do wonders for your business. Not only does it help establish you as an expert in your field, but it also provides valuable content for your website, which can help improve your search engine rankings. By consistently creating and sharing valuable content, you will start showing up on the first page of Google for certain key searches. These inbound marketing strategies take time to build but eventually your audience will find your business without having to go through paid ads.
Freemium tools like HubSpot CRM and SemRush can help you reach your audience faster than ever with a combination of inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Both platforms have free plans that offer tremendous value in terms of sales and marketing. Google Analytics can help you measure your web performance for free and Datakyu will help you create website tracking events to be used with Google Analytics, at no cost. There are hundreds of other marketing strategies you can use to effectively promote your business without spending a fortune.
Registering Your Business
You're doing great and ready to start making money. You have the choice to operate a business under your legal name as a self-employed individual, at no cost. That's right, if you use your own name on the invoices you send out, you don't need any registration process. You simply declare your business income and business expenses on your personal tax return, it's that simple.
You may however want to register a corporation, specially if working with multiple people and sharing ownership in the business. Consult GoodLawyer's article about self-employed versus incorporation to get a better idea on which option is best for you. Ultimately, speaking with a lawyer would be the best option and many lawyers provide free one-time consultations.
Opening A Free Business Bank Account
Whether self-employed or incorporating your own business, you'll need a business bank account to differentiate your business money with your personal money.
BMO's eBusiness Plan is an absolutely free business bank account that provides you with unlimited free e-transfers, free digital bill payments and free tax filing service. You can read our in-depth article on the best Canadian business bank accounts and credit cards for a detailed breakdown of the BMO eBusiness bank account and competing bank accounts. We also included a list of the best financing solution to help get your business started with additional funds.
Managing Money With A Free Accounting Software
The final item on this list is accounting software to help manage and track your business finances. Accounting software is important since many businesses wait until the last minute to start accounting and miss out on tax credits, government grants and government subsidies.
Using accounting software can also help you find tax-write offs and tax deductions which saves you money down the line.
ReInvestWealth's free accounting software for Canadian businesses is a great place to start accounting for free. You can automate bookkeeping, optimize tax filings, get data-driven feedback & much more. Start with simple, free accounting software and only upgrade as your business grows. You can also book a free consultation with a financial expert if you have specific accounting questions.
Bonus: Free Resources For Businesses
Don't forget to check out ReInvestWealth's free business tools and resources to help get started on many other business tasks.
Starting a tech business doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can get your business off the ground for free (or at least, very little cost).
Additionally, don't be afraid to ask for help or collaborate with others. There are many individuals and organizations out there that are willing to lend a helping hand to aspiring entrepreneurs. With a little bit of hard work and determination, you can turn your tech business dreams into a reality, all without spending a fortune.
So, if you're ready to take the first steps towards starting your own tech business, don't let a lack of funds hold you back. Get creative and make the most of the free resources available to you, and you'll be well on your way to success.