Spend Money, Make Money… ?

Spend Money, Make Money… ?

Today I want to have a chat about the good old saying that you have to spend money to make money. In one aspect it is true, but on the other hand, when you are a start-up and have very little cash, it is hard to know what to prioritise in your business to spend money on.

If you are anything like me, you had a great idea and a bank balance that just laughed at you when you decided to start your little biz. This led me to be super creative and very picky in what I spent money on and what I put on my wish list for further down the track. If this is you, keep on reading!!

Maybe you are reading this and you are starting up with a good buffer of income, that is awesome! But, don’t use it all on things that you can do without until your business starts making money… you should keep on reading too!

I encourage you to grab a piece of paper and a pen, I’m going to give you some work to do!

I’ll wait (hehehe)…

Draw a line down the middle of your piece of paper, with two headings. First heading is NOW, the second is LATER.

In the NOW column, I want you to write down the things that you ACTUALLY need now. Not the things you want, the things you need. If you need some examples, let me talk you through when I started up my beanbags business. Display stock was also needed, this was NOW. I couldn’t sell them if I didn’t have some physical ones to test, play with, fill and take photos of… which brings me to photos. I needed photos NOW, but did I need a professional photographer right now? No, I did not. In the now column I can put ‘display stock’, ‘beans’. Then ‘take own photos’, ‘stock to sell’ and ‘professional photos’ could go in the later column.

I was planning to sell them online, which meant I needed a way to sell them online. An ecommerce website was needed. I had very little money, so I started with super cheap hosting. Then I built my own WordPress website with an ecommerce plugin. This was LOTS OF TIME, but that is the trade off when you have no money, hey. So in the NOW column I would write ‘hosting’ and ‘domain name’ & basic website. I managed to get it to work with all the free plugins, so there was no more outlay there. If you want a super duper fancy website, you could write ‘website upgrade’ on your LATER list.

Then we have Google Business site to set up. That is free. A Facebook Business page and Instagram page, these are also free. Think about marketing, do you need some marketing materials. What do you need now and what can you wait for? Do you need a banner now? If you are doing markets then a banner may be a good idea in the shorter term. How about packaging options. Do you need a thermal label printer straight away, or can you survive on hand writing AusPost satchels? Write down your things on each of your lists.

How are you going? Is there anything else you can write down on your lists that you can think about? Think about the start up and running costs for the first 3-6 months? Has this helped you to break your startup costs down into the now and later columns?

I’d love to hear if this helped you!

Little Biz is all about down-to-earth, practical help for small businesses. If this post has helped you get clarity on small biz startup costs and priorities, consider signing up to our Little Biz Foundations course – it’s full of hands-on, practical help to set your business up for success!

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