13 Nov 2017

📣 Guest Post by Jason Lewis at Strongwell

Even in a world of Kickstarter campaigns and angel investors, it's important to know that most small business owners will seed a good amount of their own money into any new venture. Most smart small business owners will pay themselves last, for the sake of the business. That's why many new business owners often find themselves struggling to make ends meet. If you're thinking of beginning the journey to small business ownership, here are some tips to make it less of a struggle.

✅ The Market Must Always Dictate

"Why is my idea not making me any money?" you may ask. The reality is that plenty of good ideas aren't successful. Smart and creative don't necessarily translate to lucrative. In the early stages of any business, it's crucial that the market dictates your moves and that your passions and frankly, dreams, must play second fiddle. As The Balance puts it, "you simply can't start a successful business if there are not enough people willing and able to buy your products or services in your service area." Do what works at first. Once you have a solid footing, then you can begin to take your business on your truly desired trajectory.

✅ Run Your Small Business from Home

Want to save on overhead? Office furnishings? Staff? If the answer is yes (and it should be), then you should consider running your operation from home. These days, small business owners are less beholden to the traditional brick and mortar storefront. You can coordinate almost everything - taking orders, shipping, and even face-to-face client meetings online. If you choose to do this, it's important to treat your home office like a real office. Set work hours and treat it like a job. Here's a great guide for working from home.

✅ Find Income Wherever You Can

The hard fact is that new businesses rarely make a solid profit - certainly not a strong enough profit to sustain a life or a family. You may be forced to dip into savings not only to begin your business but to fund your life as well. But savings run out. You will have to find ways to make additional income - wherever that may be.

For some, this may mean borrowing. Part of many small business loan strategies involve borrowing enough to provide yourself a living cushion. If you don't want to take on too much debt, you should consider working a second job to make ends meet. Trying to run a business is typically a job that requires semi-regular hours, so you may need to be creative. The sharing economy has provided on-demand job opportunities with flexible hours. You may need to Uber drive, for example, to make ends meet in the beginning. Start here for a bunch of ways to make extra money on the side.

✅ Ask for and Accept Help

Do not be too proud. It's a bad trait for a new business owner. If you have family (or even friends) that are willing to help, don't turn them down out of some sense of misguided pride. You don't have to frame it as a handout and you can even work out a situation where the money given is tied to an investment in your company. It may not sound like the ideal situation, but there's nothing wrong with accepting charity from people who truly want to help.

As a new small business owner, money must be on your mind at all times. You must pinch pennies. Every pen and piece of paper bought, every online service subscribed, and every item shipped may seem like a negligible cost - but they all add up. Be frugal and smart with how you spend your money. You may be forced to borrow, accept help, and work multiple side jobs. If your business is truly your passion, these will be sacrifices that pay off in the end.

🔎 Sources


Jason Lewis is a personal trainer and caregiver who shares his fitness knowledge at Strongwell.org. After working in the industry for years, he decided to strike out on his own as a seniors' fitness specialist. Jason enjoys building his business, giving fresh advice, and sharing new ideas with other entrepreneurs who are just starting out.

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