~by Haley Lynn Gray~
When it come to business spending, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. And I certainly learned my lessons.
When I first started my business, it was easy to spend lots of money. And after a brief amount of time, I had lots of people contacting me wanting to sell me things that they claimed my business “NEEDED”. They made tempting offers that sounded amazing. They promised me clients, visibility and getting my business out there without having to do a ton of legwork. I was offered advertising for things that sounded like they should work – like buying ads for my home care business on the side of the pharmacy bags. We had offers for IT support, promotional items and more. If you can think of it, chances are we had someone calling us to offer that product or service. We even had people calling to offer us things that we hadn’t thought of. It’s pretty impressive, really.
11 things you don’t need to spend money on when you first start your business:
1. New computers. Unless your existing computer is on its last leg, you really don’t need a new computer.
2. Expensive Logos. I spent a good deal of money on a new logo when I first started. I still deeply love that logo, but it was a lot of money that would have been better spent elsewhere for a brand new company.
4. Expensive business cards. Go with basic cards from Vistaprint or Staples. The cheaper the better.
5. An expensive website. You can sign up and create a basic website through WordPress in just a couple of hours. You do NOT need to spend a fortune on this. If you’re totally technically challenged, then you can get someone to do this for you for a minimal investment of a couple hundred bucks for just a landing page.
6. Promotional items. Really, they’re nice, but you don’t need them for your business, no matter how much you think you do.
7. Paid ads. The Return on Investment (ROI) on nearly every single paid ad we’ve tried is horrific. You’d think that paid ads would work because there is SO much money spent on advertising. The reality is that TV, radio and print ads pretty much do zip for most businesses. Save your money.
8. Business class internet. If you’re a “solo-preneur”, you should save your money and just get basic internet service. You DO need internet for most things if you’re working out of your home.
9. A land line phone. Most people use primarily cell phones for their businesses. You can get a number that forwards to your cell phone, then have an app that dials a customer back from your phone and shows the phone number you want them to see.
10. Yellow Pages or phone book ads. We spent a massive amount of money there and got zero return on our investment.
11. An expensive CRM. I paid a small fortune for a Customer Relationship Management Software. My employees hated it, and had trouble using it from day one. Total waste of money. And we were still stuck paying the full bill for software we hated and didn’t use.
5 Things you DO need to spend money on when you first start your business:
1. Incorporation. Get your legal ducks in a row and make sure that you and your business are protected.
2. Insurance. It may be tempting to skimp on insurance, but this is one area where you absolutely should not skimp.
3. An Accountant. If you don’t want to pay for an accountant, then get Quickbooks set up early in the game. This will save you time, money and taxes.
4. Setting up a bank account (with related fees). You may be able to negotiate fees and such, but keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances is important because you need that to provide legal protection and a tax protection.
5. Contracts. Depending on your type of business, you need to have policies and procedures in place. You’ll also need to have all of your contracts written up. Good contracts make good business. You don’t want them to be totally one-sided so no-one will do business with you, but they do need to cover your assets.
Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.
Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
Connect with Haley:
Work with Haley: http://leadershipgirl.com/work-with-haley/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Leadershipgirl