Posted on 3/15/2020, 9:57:56 PM
No matter how innovative and amazing your idea is, you may be timid to launch your startup because of the financial horror stories you’ve heard from entrepreneurs. Startups can be unpredictable and they can quickly drain your bank account. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place so you can continue to live comfortably while chasing your dream. Because let’s face it, a tired and hungry entrepreneur has to work much harder to reach the top.
Money issues are not avoidable in the world of business, but how can you keep from suffering so greatly with financial woes in your climb to success? The answers are all in the planning and design. Here are some expert tips to easily crush the startup game and make your way into the market.
In the modern world, everyone has a side hustle. According to a survey done by Dollar Sprout, a site dedicated to budgeting, money management, and investing, 57% of Americans had a side hustle in the year 2019. And the majority of this percentage were people ages 18 to 34.
Side hustles are a smart way to get a startup off the ground before you kick your steady income out of the playing field entirely. Many side hustles become fulltime jobs, but of course, it takes time to build. Holding onto your reliable 9-5 allows you to live comfortably and stably while pursuing bigger goals.
Many successful leaders build their startups in this fashion. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, pursued his passion for athletic footwear by selling Japanese running shoes out of the trunk of his car at track meets while he was still working as an accountant. The beginning stages of his success were not glamourous, but he was able to continue to grow his business because of the stability of his accounting salary.
Reducing expenses may sound complicated when you’re trying to get your brand name into the overflowing market, but it doesn’t have to be. You may have set up an initial business model to guide you forward, but then realize that with other costly expenses popping up unexpectedly, you don’t have the funds to cover it all. And, that’s ok. There are ways to cut costs without damaging your brand.
First, you need to set your priorities -- what are the essentials to making your brand a success? Once you decide your priorities, which shouldn’t be a list longer than three, you can look at the other ways you are spreading your money to see what can be cut from the budget.
There should be a few expenses that can be cut out entirely, at least for the present, in order for your brand to grow. If you have a hard time identifying expenses that can be backlogged, then try limiting the money you are supporting those expenses with.
For example, if you are looking to reduce your social media marketing expenses, perhaps focusing on Instagram over Facebook because of the high engagement level you have established will help to aid financial worry and bring in more customers. Then later, when your brand is profiting more, you can add Facebook back into the marketing mix.
Startups are ultimately fueled by passion and creativity. And that’s why it’s vital to stay true to that original vision and get creative when it comes to budgeting, marketing, and brand.
Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, noticed that by wearing nylons under her pants, she gained a slimmer look. This lead to the creation of her famous product that women have been relying on for years. Blakely simply cut the stockings off a pair of nylons and kept the top to wear. She later modified and optimized the idea to design Spanx.
Blakely’s startup started with creativity and a passion for fashion and feeling her best, and her business stayed that way. Blake pitched to a businesswoman named Diane at Neiman Marcus when she was first trying to find a selling place for her product. When Blakely realized her planned pitch was not selling Diane, she got creative. Blakey asked Diane to follow her to the bathroom where showed Diane the difference between wearing Spanx under her cream-colored pants and not wearing Spanx under the pants. Diane was blown away by this demonstration and agreed to try out Spanx in seven of their stores.
Blakely created her success through an innovative pitch. But, there are other ways to use creativity to your advantage. Creative marketing ploys such as pop-up events or give-aways are very common in the world of startups, which help to get a brand recognized. There are also creative solutions to cut costs such as working-from-home, cut printing costs by making a business entirely digital, and trading with other businesses rather than paying for services.
For more information on how to pursue your startup without going broke, check out these Sumizeit summaries:
“The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau
“The Airbnb Story” by Leigh Gallagher
“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
“Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz
“Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight