So, you started your own business! You should be proud of yourself. Now, as you know the first twelve to eighteen months are the crucial ones. Statistics show that if you can make it that long, you have a great shot of being in it for the long term. One way that I can help you with this mission is what NOT to spend money on when starting out. I for one thought I needed all the latest and greatest to make my company a winning one. Well, it couldn’t be further from the truth. While being frugal with your capital and revenue is not fun, it is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a great thing. Spend your money on things that will add value to your organization and in the long run, earn you money. Its easy to figure out what to spend money on, but sometimes it is necessary to remind ourselves of what we don’t necessarily need.
1. Staff. Do you really need an accountant, bookkeeper, secretary or IT professional right away? Think about outsourcing jobs that are not essential to the running of your business. Virtual assistants and secretaries are quite prevalent and necessarily much less expensive than hiring somebody for eight hours a day, five days a week. When it comes to the bookkeeper or accountant, these are indeed very important positions. I don’t know what I would have done without mine, but with that said, you don’t have to put an expensive retainer agreement together. A bookkeeper can come in once per month to balance the books if you can’t do it yourself. When money is tight, you will learn to wear many hats. It might be mind numbing in some cases, but you will learn a lot.
2. Office Space. If you are truly adamant about not running your business out of your home, which will indeed save you a kazillion dollars in start up costs, than I would suggest finding a desk/cubicle situation in a suite of other offices where you can take advantage of all the services including a conference room, that usually is included in these situations. But this is NOT a cheap option. If ego is getting in the way of a fabulous home office, even if it is in your garage, get over it! Some of the largest companies were started in a garage. It’s true. Google it.
3. Advertising. Any sort of advertising is generally expensive with regard to your return on investment. You must do a lot of research and figure out if the demographic that will be seeing the ad can turn into potential clients. I would save money in the beginning and put your energy toward networking. Join your local Chamber of Commerce; Create a great logo and corporate website on which you will blog, blog, blog and link to your social media outlets such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These are free and you can leverage your contacts and expand your universe. For my money, there is absolutely no substitute for creative marketing campaigns, whether they are grassroots based or guerrilla in tactic to get some buzz going. Further, in lieu of advertising, try writing some articles and distribute them through free article directories and press release services, which you can link to your website. Aha!
4. Expensive Software. With so much free online software available why spend hundreds of dollars on the name brands. With this said, however, if certain software is particularly important to the running of your business, then by all means, buy it as long as it is in your budget. If you can afford last year’s version, but not the latest one, buy that for now. I am really speaking to those of us who don’t need Dreamweaver, when creating a blog.
5. Expensive Collateral Materials. I am not talking about the inexpensive business cards that you have made up for yourself on your computer. What I am questioning are the pricey name cards on thick textured cardstock in multiple colors, only to have them be stuffed away in a rolodex. Nor is it necessary for the success of your company to produce pricey four color fold outs extolling your services. Trust me when I say that you can create beautiful informational pieces inexpensively. You may want to check with people in your professional networking groups if they have ins with printers and the like so you can save even more money.
Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess!, a nationally acclaimed full service event planning and catering company and is a regular on air contributor to national TV shows discussing all things lifestyle, entertaining and how she assists small businesses, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs go from 0 to profitable in record time. Majcher currently spends any free time she might have, usually between 10:45pm and 11:15pm on Tuesdays planning her own annual blowout party every November.
Take a look at the company’s website at www.thepartygoddess.com to see what The Party Goddess! does for clients, and get some great ideas for your next party or event.
If you are thinking of becoming a party or event planner or just want to learn more about it, go to: http://www.howtobeapartygoddess.com. Here you will learn what it takes to be a rockin’ party planner and how to start a new and profitable business.
If you are a small business owner, entrepreneur or solopreneur and want to take your online, service oriented, manufacturing or creative company, from 0 to profitable in record time, check out Marley’s much followed business site at http://www.butareyoumakinganymoney.com.
You can always email Marley at firstname.lastname@example.org