After making a comment about saving some money, I realized that most business people (or at least the ones I’ve dealt with their taxes) spend too much money on things that don’t need for their business.
Let me give you an example from back when I was starting up my comic book delivery business. I had saved money and was ready to buy a cash register for a swap meet, a credit card acceptance machine and the wiring for it, stock up an inventory of every comic book, poster and pog I could think of. After calming down and realizing that I would go broke in trying to get everything – not to mention to pay monthly fees for the credit card processing service AND a service charge for each transaction, I settled on the following:
1. Preorder of comic books of about $600 of merchandise, trading cards and posters at the retail level so my initial cost with a 50% discount (if it was that high) would be $300.
2. Licenses for selling comic books and working swap meets (my initial source of looking for clients who wanted me to deliver comic books to) – free.
3. Site fees to set up at each week at either Pierce College or the old Winnetka Drive-In swap meets – $10-20 a week for a table so in a month maybe $80.
4. A cash register – $250.
I mentioned this to a family friend and he said, “Why do you need a cash register? What’s wrong with a metal box or even a cigar box?”
He was right! I ended up saving another $250 which I could turn into trading cards which I ended up selling.
I ended up getting clients from the swap meets. Unlike a lot of other people who had jumped into the comic book business to make money, I did not go broke from over-spending with my start-up costs.
In your business, do you really need a plush office? Is image important to what you are selling? If you are an attorney or in marketing, you might need something for potential clients to see that you are serious. You don’t have to go overboard like some Century City attornies use to and have marble flown in from Italy and placed in your building!
Think of ways to start up or continue your business that don’t cost money. Be creative. There are plenty of one dollar, 99 cents and inexpensive stores where you can find goods to fill the gap that expensive stores sell. A lot of times the products are the same and you are just paying more for the name recognition from buying it from that particular store.
Little things like that may sound cheap but if you are starting up from scratch, trying to take care of a family of four, have a special needs daughter or any or all of the above, you want to make every penny count. It will pay off down the line as well because other business people will respect you for watching your money. Potential investors will see that you can be trusted with money and won’t blow it all for things that won’t help your business.
One last point. Nothing beats natural “word of mouth” advertising. The internet allows people to voice their opinion and tell you about goods and services. Sometimes some of the feedback systems can be manipulated but if you read between the lines, take the time to e-mail people or just ask your friends, you will see that honesty in business is rewarded with repeat business!
If you make a good product or offer a good service, people will come back (if they have the money). Not only is it a great and profitable idea (like the great and powerful Oz?), it will happen without you spending a cent (or euro, etc)!
For something that costs more than free, please check out one of my books from my site!
Questions or comments? Let me know about them! Thanks for taking the time to visit and for more information or to get back to the beginning of the blog, go here.