It Takes Money to Make Money
You can count on building your little business on whatever resources you have on hand. You have friends and relatives who will come give you an afternoon or a morning or even a Saturday. Plan on starting out small, I mean, kitchen table small. Tell yourself that after the tenth sale you will begin a reinvestment program, meaning a percentage of the money you make will go to making your business better. Buy a new printer, another computer, restock the office supplies. Remember to keep your expenses small and you will create a bigger profit.
If you have a day job, you have small business funding, just not a lot. Putting aside $50 from each paycheck may not seem like much, but at the end of the year, you have enough for a website, modest marketing, and pencils. You want to have the mechanical tools to do the job of your business. Go file your fictitious business name. Go reserve your online business name, too.
There may come a time where your business simply falls off and there are no customers in sight. If that is the case, go work parttime somewhere or find a temp agency job and just get some money coming in. You must be determined to do whatever it takes in business. Switching back and forth from owner to employee is not the easiest thing, but it will keep your head above water.
The Lawnmower Guys
Years ago I sold new homeowner sales data to a three-man yard maintenance business. Nice guys in jeans and matching shirts leaning up against ten-year-old pickups filled with lawn mowers. I showed them how to load the information into Excel and Word and generate labels and form letters to try to get more business. This was the hardest training I have ever done in my entire career. I thought these green-thumbed guys would throw up their hands in frustration over merging letters and labels. Nope, they were determined and kept at it until they go it.
Years passed, I moved on and one day I walk out the front door of an employer and there stands one of these lawnmower guys, raking the trimmings from the bushes. He remembered me with a big smile and I asked him how was his business doing. He pointed to the brand new truck and trailer full of maintenance equipment. He said that he had won the maintenance contract for the company I was working for. Plus, he said that he now had ten trucks and crews all around the county working various sites every day. He shook my hand and said that those labels and form letters paid off and he found some of the people who bought homes were actually business owners and that gave him the foot in the door.
I spent forty-five minutes teaching a couple of guys how to get more business and darned if they didn't go out and do it. He spent the money, put in the time to learn another strategy and it paid off. It takes money to make money.
The Big Time Hustle
One other crazier friend of mine is a sort of a business handy person jack of all trades smarty pants that makes me look like a beginner. She is a last resort process server when nobody else can get the papers into the subject's hands.
She runs down to the courthouse every day to get the list of freshly completed process service and pounds it into her notebook CRM, then emails that to another list of attorneys looking for people. She pulls in about $500 just from the Paypal payments alone.
She also runs a Hawaii vacation/auto insurance/magazine pure commission call center from 3 phones in her living room. "If I did just one thing, I'd go crazy. I really like to hustle people, I throw food to the blood sucking vermin of the world, and I make a truly obscene amount of money."
She pays her gas, Internet costs and 800-lines costs religiously each month. It takes money to make money.