Starting a business on a shoestring

The business landscape is a complex and challenging field, often intimidating for newcomers. One common deterrent is the belief that starting a business requires a large financial outlay. This misconception can act as a roadblock for many aspiring entrepreneurs. But is starting a business genuinely expensive, or is there more to the story?

a.) Sweat equity - time vs money

"Because you can start a business on very little...what you need is the desire and will," one entrepreneur commented during a recent conversation. In the world of business, 'sweat equity' transcends mere dollars and cents. It's a fabric made up of commitment, hard work, and steadfast dedication. Rather than relying solely on monetary funds, budding business owners should recognize the power of time and effort. To quote, "What you need is the desire and will. And I like to call that sweat equity, you need to put in the effort and time."

Many new businesses struggle because they invest heavily upfront without fully understanding their market or their customer. Money can buy many things, but understanding your client's needs, conducting market research, and truly knowing the product or service you're selling doesn't always need a monetary value attached. As another commentator mentioned, you don't "earn those stripes" without investing time.


b.) Using systems to leverage your time

Getting started doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. As highlighted, spending a mere "$83 Back in the day for three registration of my business name" and a few extra for domain registration set a foundation for a business. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer free opportunities for visibility and brand promotion.

However, while these systems are valuable, it's the strategy behind their usage that truly leverages your time effectively. The key is to not throw money haphazardly, hoping something sticks. As one entrepreneur shared about their company's approach, "We also take time because we know that's what a successful business comes from slow, considered effort, and then you get that momentum."


c.) Keep it simple and focused

In the rush to start a business, there's often a temptation to complicate processes or spread oneself too thin. One entrepreneur revealed that even though they were ready to launch their new program two weeks ago, they decided to delay it to ensure perfection.

"Focus, simplicity, and strategy" were highlighted as the key ingredients to success. This means taking time to understand and define the brand voice, ensuring clarity in messaging, and maintaining consistency in approach. As another expert pointed out, successful business programs, like empire builders, involve giving clarity, process, and structure. They concluded, "Using systems to leverage and keeping it simple and focused. We know we do that because it works."

In conclusion, starting a business on a shoestring isn't about seeking shortcuts or chasing quick wins. It's about understanding the essence of 'sweat equity', leveraging available systems, and remaining focused on the core objectives. As one commentator aptly said, "Quick Wins don't give you sustainability." In the realm of entrepreneurship, launching a business is akin to embarking on an enduring marathon rather than a fleeting sprint. Success usually goes to those who are consistent, focused, and patient.

Listen in to our Bite-Size podcast episode about Starting a business on a shoestring 

Watch this episode of our Business Bite-Size on YouTube to learn more:

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