Author: Perry Belcher
Description: How to Start a Business is a conversational step-by-step guide to starting a small business. Inside you’ll discover how to choose a business that’s right for you, how to name your business, legal setup, leases, employees and more.
The author Perry Belcher has started, ran and sold dozens of businesses and shares his experiences, mistakes and biggest breakthroughs.
Does starting a business with a small amount of money sound too good to be true? No! There are many home based entrepreneurs who have successfully started their own businesses with little money. We’ve interviewed entrepreneurs who bootstrapped their businesses for as low as $500, yet they are now raking in money from their businesses. The lesson? Do things right!
Of course, the ideal scenario is to start a business with enough money to enable you to move more aggressively and expand your business faster. But even if you do not have money, that should not prevent you from starting your own business. If you have great idea and a viable business plan, you can use Other People’s Money (OPM) to start your business. Or if you do not have access to OPM, you better learn how to tighten your belt and bootstrap your fledging business. Remember, while you may not be spending money, you still have to pay with something your time and energy.
Below are 10 areas Perry covers in his book:
1. Think twice before borrowing. It would be ideal if you will not have to borrow money to start your business. After all, you want your own business to give you an additional source of income, if not the main paycheck. You do not need another bill to pay.
But sometimes, you really have to borrow money to keep going. A major reason why many small businesses fail is inadequate capital. If you really have to, you must be prepared to take on the right kind of debt. Not all debt is bad debt. You have to ensure that before taking on a debt, you must see a way to pay it back through your business.
As much as you want to be optimistic about your venture, there is always the possibility that your business can fail. Instead of fattening up your bank account, you could end up selling your house, your car and withdrawing your children’s college tuition just to pay off the debts. Be a smart risk taker.
2. Be lean and mean. If you have limited capital, set aside any thoughts of a fancy store or great office. Start home-based and explore the advantages of working at home. Or if you must be “out there” selling your products, rent a small section at a flea market or fair. You may consider renting at the mall only when you see money coming in.
In terms of legal structure, you can save tons of money by starting as a proprietorship. A Corporation is expensive to set-up, requires vast amounts of record-keeping, and will tax you twice as an individual working for the business and as a corporation.
Plus, you have to operate as tightly as possible. As a sole business owner on a budget, you do not have the luxury of wasting supplies, making unnecessary long-distance calls, and spending office money without a thought. Now every expense comes from your own pocket.
Spend money only when you really have to. In fact, you can save tons of money if you select a business based on equipment that you already own. For example, consider starting a photography business if you already have your camera and photography gear. You may want to start a daycare business if you already have enough space in your house rather than spending money at the start of the business constructing new rooms in your house. If you must buy equipment, do so only when you have already landed your first account. Otherwise, consider renting it for the moment.
3. Choose your business carefully.
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