Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bootstrap StartUp Secret #2

Make Cheap-Cuts Not Short Cuts

You read during Secret #1 that I suggest you find ways to NOT spend money over all the methods of spending a ton of money on your start-up. I call these techniques Cheap-Cuts™. Short-cut implies not doing it well—cutting corners that won’t show but bring down quality. This is not good for your business. Neither does just completely believing all the advice you hear.

I’m going to share with you today five of the 50 Cheap-Cuts I teach in the The StartUp Genius Online Bootcamp. These are some of the key places you can make Cheap-Cuts and not hurt your business.

Cheap-Cut #1 Do not create the standard, expensive involved website: While everyone expects you to have a website, the majority of those out there do not get you any business. You see, people rarely buy because they stop by your website and read the “About Us” tab, the “Services” tab and since the “Contact” tab is usually the last one, it’s a very rare Internet surfer who makes it that far to actually contact you. Face it, if they don’t contact you in some way, there is no business—just an expensive, typically useless website.

Cheap-Cut #2 Use pre-designed, inexpensive graphics for your initial logo: You can tap lots of resources for this type of solution. On some sites you pay as little as a couple bucks for a download. Use the graphic in a way that matches what you paid for, and I promise you they are not that hard to find or get, as revealed in the BootStrap Start-up Program. The average business that spends a lot on graphic design in the first 2 years wastes all that money. In 24-36 months re-design is needed and you don’t want to spend on this stuff twice at this stage.

Sadly, many first time entrepreneurs get hung up on this one and then don’t spent the money when it’s time. So skip paying twice. Make do with the highest level you can at the start. When the business has created the money, get an expensive art director and design.

Cheap-Cut #3: Do not buy more stuff :At the beginning you are likely to have more tax deductions than income to count against those deductions. There is no point to wracking up a ton of loss over what is allowed for your level of income. Just don’t do it! Use your existing computer. Use as much furniture from home for your office (at home or not) as you can.

Until that income level goes up to offset expenses and write-offs from these purchases, spending on this stuff means it takes longer to make a profit—which is how YOU get paid.

Cheap-Cut #4 Do not buy new stuff: Like using the furniture, computer and other equipment you already have, if you do need to buy more things for the business, buy used. Every town I’ve lived in has had used furniture dealers. Nice ones, not just Goodwill or Salvation Army. I have a solid oak legal filing cabinet in my office today that doubles a printer stand. It was a steal since it was used. Only $125. There’s no way I could get one new for that price. The unit is going to last a long time and I didn’t have to go into debt having an organized work space.

Cheap-Cut #5: Look into leasing equipment you have to get new: While this isn’t my favorite way to handle problems, you may have a situation where this is absolutely the smartest way to go. For example, a business that truly needs a high-volume copy machine or other higher-end office equipment, look into a full-service lease and compare it to purchasing. Often the monthly price will be a little bit higher with the advantage that you don’t have to pay extra for service calls and parts.

If you are used to taking care of everything yourself at home, don’t let that mindset trip you up for your BootStrap Start-Up. When a high-ticket item is unavoidable for your new business, ask for lease options. Upgrading is often easier and changing your mind can be a lot less painful.

As you can see, you can spend less in many ways. Learning from others experience will make or break your first start-up. Just be sure to ask questions about all that advice you’re going to get. I encourage you to keep reading, studying and checking your options for the most effective ways to BootStrap Your Start-Up.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue

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