We’ve all seen the ads. They go something like this: “Start a business for less than $100!” or “All you need to start a business for only $500!” and the ever-enticing headline “Start your business with zero dollars!!!” (The three exclamation points are theirs, not mine.)
These ads draw attention, and seem to promise the world to those who desperately want to start a business. You think that now you can achieve your dream of business ownership. Stop and think, though. How much can you really expect to get for $100 – or for nothing?
A difference between starting and being successful
By reviewing and requesting information from many of these ads, I found one thing. They are all telling the truth. You certainly can start a business with zero dollars. However, starting a business, and creating a successful one, are two totally different things. Consider that just deciding to start a business, and saying what you’ll call it, is in essence, starting a business. To this point, it has cost you absolutely nothing. And now you can tell your friends and family that you started a business of your own.
Now, the next step is where the need for funding the business comes in. You will need funds to create marketing materials, business cards, a website, and a newsletter to promote your business. You will most likely need to hire a marketing professional to create these items for you. If you don’t have writing skills, you’ll also need a professional writer to help with the content. Do you have funds for equipment, office supplies, utilities, and insurance? If you’re in a profession that offers certification, licensing, and memberships in organizations, you will definitely want to join and learn from others in your field. Investing in yourself is a well-spent expenditure, and hiring a business coach is a must to ensure that you have the guidance and knowledge you need to move forward with your business. Other items you might want to purchase are logo clothing, advertising, networking memberships – and the list goes on.
Know your total investment
It is a challenge to create a budget when you don’t have a history to know what each of these expenses will cost. Investing in a franchise, business package, or license agreement is often a larger up-front investment, but one that you can budget. Knowing that your financials are in order, you will be able to concentrate on growing your business quickly while receiving the assistance you need through that wise investment. You will most likely be presented with various financing options, too, so you can pay a known, budgeted amount per month rather than facing the unknown when you have to hire multiple professionals to help you create your business.