How to manage a budget in the early going as a business owner.
The article https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/317785 touches on a lot of relevant points with regard to expenditures and how to deal with them for startups at every level. Budgeting is a lot of work in and of itself, but what else can you do to prepare for the inevitable hardships you may face?
Entrepreneurs often get caught up in their product, growth numbers, marketing, etc., but they all have to address monthly bills that don't stop coming in. The article points to some things you'll want to keep in mind going into your venture to mitigate the financial problems you may face with fixed costs, payroll, and other unforeseeables, such as establishing a credit line as soon as possible (usually after six months of business and some other fairly nominal financial benchmarks), going into business with as much savings as you can (six times expenses is recommended), and keeping spending on growth.
My personal business experience as wells as my business experience as counsel to clients is that these preparatory measures are great knowledge in advance, but what do you do when you're in a bind and you've got tough decisions to make? I think the advice to stay away from the nice-to-haves is a really important point. I ask myself, 'what do I absolutely need to make this business function for my consumer?' And that answer may not always be consumer facing. What I mean is that sometimes there are business functions, such as a client management system, for example, that if eliminated, would be detrimental to the consumer experience, simply because it may hinder your ability to do your job of catering to your consumer base to maintain your standard of service.
So once savings and credit are future solutions for a right-now problem, how can you change your budgeting to keep your focus on growth and keep the must-have aspects of your business? Fortunately, there are many online services that are geared toward answering these questions. From CRM, to data storage, to product delivery, to website building, SEO, and payment processing, and even accounting and legal services (ahem
www.whereslegal.com), there are tons of online services created to keep your business rolling along at affordable rates, while not having to sacrifice the quality of your business product or service, nor the growth trajectory you've got working. You can keep the must-haves with out sacrificing quality and continue to build your business while reducing your budget.
In the coming weeks, I plan to release special blog posts that focus on some of the great resources I come across that fit into this mold. Also feel free to share anything you find that you'd like to pass on to the community. I'm happy to post these companies and credit the source of the recommendation.
You can do this by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.