When you start out in a business venture, it is important to keep a few ideas in mind. These will help you begin in a powerful way and maintain in an organized fashion.
You already have a great product or service, and it’s time to figure out how you will build a business around it. Building a business is like building any kind of building.
You need a sturdy foundation and a sound structure. All the decorative pieces will be added soon enough, but without the proper framework, your business will be, well, decorative – appearance without substance. In time, it will eventually collapse on itself.
After you come up with your product or service, your next aim is to make a profit. You’ll need excellent customer service, too, but in this article we’ll focus on becoming profitable.
First, create a budget and stick to it. Don’t add frivolous expenses or you are just digging a hole for yourself. You can’t pretend to be a big company right away with all the bells and whistles – the nicest equipment, the finest in office space, or the best apparel.
It’s much like the newlywed couple who wants to have the nice home and all the luxuries their parents now have. What they don’t realize, to the degree they need to, is that their parents worked hard (which may have taken many years) to have the income to afford what they now have, and that their parents had to start out small with the basics when they first got married.
If you don’t stick to a budget, you could be in for a real surprise – running out of money and not being able to afford your foundational expenses.
Next, think about solutions that work for the here and now. You may want to forego individual offices for cubicles until you can afford a bigger space. You may want to forego travel expenses for a far away conference and instead cozy up to your computer to attend a webinar with comparable content.
Third, according to Jennifer Post’s article for Business News Daily, go inexpensive but not cheap. There’s a difference. Cut corners where you can, like buying inexpensive copy paper for office memos, but don’t try to save money on “free” software. “They’re free for a reason” Post writes, quoting Raad Mobrem, CEO and co-founder of Lettuce Apps. Buy good-quality office machines, for example, where you won’t have to spend extra money on repairing them or replacing them when they completely break down earlier than expected.
Lastly, always evaluate and re-evaluate your budget and expenses. Keeping detailed track of your expenses will help you see what is going to waste and what have been good investments. Determine to set a percentage of your profits aside in savings for long-range goals for updating your business’ assets.