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How small businesses wish they’d spent their first £500

Members of small business support group Enterprise Nation told us how they wish they’d spent their first £500.

Improve your web presence

If I had my time again I’d spend it on a website. It’s so easy and cheap to set one up these days with an off-the-shelf template, take some pictures on your phone, load it all up yourself, it’s super-easy to do.

Claire Burrows, Air & Grace


I’d invest it in e-commerce and a good website. Everyone goes straight online nowadays to buy, compare or research. We’re mainly an ecommerce platform, but it took us quite a while to get our website right trying to design it ourselves. I’d suggest investing in full design, not just advice, as this is the basis for your business whether you are selling online or just sharing information about your business.

Sabrina Bluck, CoCo Loves


I wish I’d spent it on digital marketing. If only I’d known then what I know now.

Janan Leo, Cocorose London



Get to know your customers

Personally, I’d spend it on pay-per-click advertising. It’s not a big budget, but at least it’s going to give you an insight into your customers’ behaviour, you’re going to find out where they might be having problems on your website and you can use that data to try to improve it.

Ana Rodriguez, Santamaria Shirt Makers


I’d spend it on testing. If you don’t test the market, you will fail.

Quentin Pain, Legendary Business Owners




I should have spent my first £500 more efficiently than I actually did. Thinking back, now I would split the money across creating a really strategic marketing plan and then ordering more of my best seller since my minimum order quantity is costly.

Maryhan Baker, Brainboost Box


Providing you’ve already got your laptop set up, and you have a comfy chair (that’s key), then I’d spend that first £500 on my brand. That is roughly what I actually spent on establishing my brand identity and I’ve had a lot of very positive comments since.

Hannah Whitehead, Good Deed Dating


Save it! You’ll need it in a year’s time. My first £500 was probably wasted so I’d say bootstrap as much as possible. Save that £500 for when you really, really need it.

Theo Wasserberg, Tahouts



Enterprise Nation launched in 2005 and has since helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder Emma Jones MBE, it’s also a leading campaigning voice for small business with the Government. See more Enterprise Nation stories

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