fm Entrepreneur.com 16 May 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
In the book Main Street Entrepreneur, lifelong entrepreneur, business consultant & university professor Michael Glauser reveals how to achieve your dreams by implementing the 9 keys of entrepreneurial success.
Trying to run a lean business? Here’s a list of 14 valuable strategies I’ve seen successful entrepreneurs use over the years to launch & grow their companies with minimal costs. Read this list carefully, then decide which of these you can use in your new enterprise.
1. Free Consulting Services. Organizations like SCORE and your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offer free Consulting & Training. SCORE has more than 300 chapters in the United States, and everyone who calls, gets an appointment. There are nearly 1,000 SBDCs in the United States that offer free consulting & educational services.
2. Mentors & Advisors. Instead of paying for advice on legal, accounting, funding or other key business issues, use your brain trust of Mentors & Advisors as much as you can for advice, feedback, & meeting other useful contacts
3. Non-Monetary Incentives for members of your team will often work for equity or deferred payments rather than initial salaries. This will help you keep costs down during the launch and early growth stages of your business.
4. Commissioned Sales Force is useful when you’re ready to hire people to sell your products or services. This will attract people who really believe in you, your products, & your purpose. It also conserves cash by keeping your fixed costs low when you start.
5. Customer Partnerships during your launch or growth phase is an excellent cost-saving strategy. Select a few key customers, and offer them deals they cannot refuse: discounted pricing, special packaging, strong support, etc. In exchange for these deals, ask for long-term commitments to purchase your products. And whenever possible, get customers to pay early – ideally, even before you deliver their products or services.
6. Supplier Partnerships can save you a great deal of time & money: They can provide high-quality materials, help with product development, offer on-time delivery, & allow extended payment terms. Obtaining 30 to 90 days of trade credit is one of the best Cash Flows you can get.
7. Distributors, Reps, & Affiliate Partners will sell your products through their existing distribution channels, which can be extensive. This is a great way to build sales quickly and conserve cash – because you don’t pay the partner until your products are sold.
8. Use Free Software or inexpensive. It’s plentiful online. Various available programs can help you manage your finances, plan your projects, track your customers, etc. You can also take advantage of free trial periods for most Business SW. This gives you a chance to use the application for free for 30 days or more to determine if you really need it.
9. Barter or Trade. Bartering — swapping one thing for another — has been an effective way of doing business for centuries. In recent years, bartering has evolved into a sound strategy for finding goods, trading services, conserving cash, moving inventory, & locating excess production capacity. The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) helps match up companies interested in bartering for goods & services.
10. Borrow, Rent, or Buy Used. Find ways to use other people’s resources in addition to your own. Whenever possible, borrow rather than rent; rent rather than buy; & buy used rather than new. Some industries have excellent equipment available for a dime on the dollar. Also, go to Bankruptcy sales & Auctions, to see if you can find what you need.
11. Out-Sourcing is a multibillion-dollar industry. You can find out-source partners to provide just about any product or service you need. Out-sourcing turns what would normally be a fixed cost into a variable cost because you only use the service when you need it.
12. Work Virtually. In this new age of technology, it’s possible to work from just about anywhere: from home, in your car, at the airport, or in a hotel room. By working virtually + allowing your employees to do the same, it’s not necessary to take on the expense of establishing an office when you’re launching your business.
13. Minimize Your Expenses when launching your new venture. This isn’t the time to buy a new house or a new car or take on personal debt. The longer you can live with minimal expenses, the better off you’ll be. Likewise, don’t take on any on-going business expenses – unless they’re absolutely necessary.
14. Sell, Sell, Sell. In startup companies everyone is in sales. All your team members need to talk about your company, promote your products, & assume responsibility for producing revenue. Remember, low costs & early cash flow are critical to success.
Comments: Is there anything you can share about minimizing expenses?