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Making Your Startup Dollars Count

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When I started my small business with another partner, we worked very hard to make our business succeed. Just like each of you have done or are doing currently.

When we started, our major struggle wasn’t getting the money to begin but it was allocating the money in an effective manner. In the beginning, there is a huge pot of money that can easily be spent and it seems everyone has an opinion on where to put it.

I am going to share with you the advice that I received four years ago that has made our business a success. You can take it or leave it. I am just letting you know what has worked for this young business.

When our start up money came through, we felt a little overwhelmed on where to start. Our first inclination was to begin with finding a site to set up shop. This is the wrong first step.

You must first sit down and decide how long you need this initial money to last. If you are not expecting to make money soon after your opening, save some of the initial funds for any cost that must be endured. You may not be thinking about that utility bill in December that is going to sneak up at the wrong time. Just keep those little surprises in the back of your mind.

Second, after you brainstorm for any pop up cost, take a look at what is left and that is what you have to start your business.

I do realize that starting a new business involves risk and that not every brainstormed surprise expense can be expected to be covered.

This is where the entrepreneur in you comes in and you must make decisions based on need. If you are not left with what you feel is enough, take a little from the other and find your medium where best to succeed. When left with the funds to start and a small security blanket, it is time to begin finding product.

Our business had a good amount of product that needed to be bought before we could open our doors. Some may only need little product for the initial start and this makes opening a lot easier.

We bought our product in two cycles instead of buying it all at once. This gave us the opportunity to see how packaging and delivery was handled and how much cost would be involved on a monthly basis. We then knew a monthly cost for shipping and handling and the experience to get to know our delivery person (which is very important).

After you get an idea about how much product you have and how much space it will take up, it’s time to find a location.

We decided on a residence for our business with two factors: price and location. Our emphasis was on price because our business was the first of its kind in our area. Our customers would travel a little to see us if they needed.

Location was still a factor because we had to think about getting our name out there with a limited marketing budget. Location, as you may know, can provide advertising by just being at the right place. We found a reasonable suite next to a Circuit City (take advantage of the traffic from others’ marketing) and opened our doors.

We saved some money for those surprises we talked about earlier and began our business. We did have a surprise or two so that money really came in handy at the right time.

We have since been successful enough to quadruple our size by moving to a new location and are beginning to put a little more in the marketing budget to compensate the cost of the move with new business, but that’s a whole other article.

Full of wit and humor, Brandon White is an entrepreneur and former editor and writer for iEntry, Inc.

Making Your Startup Dollars Count
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