In an earlier article I showed you how you can start up for under $40. But for the purposes of assuming that not everybody can barter for a free website host, let’s just say you need the bare minimum of $100. And let’s assume that you will need to pay recurring expenses, yearly fees, for keeping your business open. Next year you will need about $200 to keep the doors open. And in about six months, if you earn over $5,000, you will need to purchase a business license, and that cost can vary by state.
Let’s get started on adding up your expenses and then looks to see where you can pull these expenses from your budget. Chances are, you can skimp and save here and there over this next month and easily come up with $100 to start your business. The remaining fees will be earned from your clients. Let’s not think of this first $100 as an expense, but rather an investment into your new bright future and the lifestyle you dream about. Let’s make your dreams a reality.
—Michael S. Clouse
The Startup Expenses, Plain and Simple
The investment of $100 into your business can be divided up into the following:
- $15 for a domain name
- $49 for your first year of webhosting* (Some places throw in a free domain name too)
- $25 for basic business cards with taxes and shipping (If you refer a friend and they order cards, you can get $10 off your purchase)
- $10 for office supplies (Binder, divider tabs, binder paper, notebook, day planner, pens, pencils, highlighter, and sticky notes all at the dollar store. For $9 plus tax.)
Buying Out the Savings for your Business Investment
Having been homeless exactly three times in my life, mostly due to jobs not paying me my last check, I know how hard funding can be. You have two options here, the first is to start a crowd funder. This option is much more difficult and entails a long process and a lot more work. If you are interested, here is a book called Step by Step Crowdfunding: Everything You Need to Raise Money From the Crowd* can help you get started.
The second option is to save this money from your current budget. Most people are living paycheck to paycheck, but there money is there, promise. One of the simplest ways to save, but it takes more time, is to simply round each item up in your check book or financial records to the next dollar. So if your rent was $659.35, you put $660 down in your ledger. And you do this for every shopping trip, bill, or expense you have. Those nickels and dimes add up fast.
The alternate second option is to buy less. This means foregoing eating out for a month, buying coffee out in the mornings, or putting a couple of items back when grocery shopping. So if you see yourself reaching for a fast food latte, put it on your list to buy coffee and creamer to use at home. And if you usually buy a soda or candy when you buy groceries, put these items back and subtract their cost from your account and place it in savings. Start actively looking for things you don’t absolutely need to survive, and tuck those dollars away here and there.
If you are dead broke and unemployed, actively now find a part time job. Even if you are handing food out of a drive through window, bagging groceries at a supermarket, watching the neighbor’s dog, mowing a few lawns on the weekend, or taking in someone’s laundry. There is money you can make and save up to start your business. And you can use this part time job as leverage to meet new people and potential future clients.
Part Time Job = Full time Networking
A part time job is a gold mine for both start up investment funding and a network of people you can make friends with who can be potential clients. Remember the job is temporary and the job is pure gold and a rich source of potential for your business. Just don’t try to sell to them yet, simply start making the connections, trading phone numbers and getting to know people in your area. Keep good notes on where they work, if they own businesses, and minor personal data you can use to start conversations about them and keep your interest focused on them and their lives. Congrats, you just started networking.
To the degree we make our invitation inviting, it will be to the same degree that our prospects will want to be invited.
—Michael S. Clouse