The most common issue raised when I talk to people about starting their own business is capital. “I just don’t have the money,” is a common refrain. This may be true if we think about everything in one large lump sum, but if we break our goals down into manageable chunks, we can accomplish a lot more. Prophets for profits started with three members contributing $25 every two weeks. That might not sound like much but when you save a small amount on a consistent basis over a long period it can add up to a significant amount. It only takes planning and commitment. Today we have 5 members contributing $40 every two weeks. At this rate we are taking in enough to get our business off the ground.
We started our planning meetings in August. In that time we have registered two businesses, opened a business bank account, set-up out our sales and use tax accounts, ordered inventory (t-shirts), bought most of the tools we will need for production, and set-up our website; all for $80 a month per person. As I am writing this, I’m realizing how much of an accomplishment that is. We started with nothing. Six months in and we are very close to our goals.
There is one thing that I think a lot more people should consider when thinking about starting a business. A team will always beat an individual. If you don’t have enough money to put to the side yourself, find a team to build with. 5 hearts and minds working toward the same goal will always beat 1 person doing everything themselves. If you ask any business owner a story about how they got started there are always those there along the way that offer a helping hand and/or advice to help us along the way. Why not join together with those you love and trust to build something for the future?
Along with saving consistently a business must also keep excellent records. That is even more of a concern when capital is limited. When you don’t have a lot of money, losing money due to poor record keeping is unacceptable. A record of every financial transaction should be kept and reported on a regular basis. I also encourage every business owner that is starting out to register their business with the state and open a business account as soon as possible. This will allow you to take full advantage of the tax breaks associated with opening a business.
With a little planning and a lot of consistency and dedication, you can turn a little bit into a lot. All you have to do is get started and stick to your plan. Eventually you will reach your goals.