Updated: Feb 23, 2019
Did I ever tell you guys how I never wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No, seriously. I literally told my husband when we first got married that I had absolutely no interest in owning or running my own business.
For me, working in a corporate office, making a steady paycheck by helping a big corporation hit its goals was fine by me (as long as the corporation served the public good, or course). Sure, my boss was a pain in the butt sometimes. And it's true that I wasn't a fan of the 1-hour commute to the office and the 1.5 hour commute back home. And no... I did not find the work to be all that fascinating...
...but I was being an adult and paying the family bills, right?
3 years later, I was sitting in my living room building a website for a business that merged my passion for helping people, panache for money and my talent for giving advice into one awesome package!
Now, I was blessed when I launched my business. I was surrounded by entrepreneurs who knew that you could start a successful business with little to nothing.
But everyone else is not so lucky. In fact, there are a lot of lies about money and launching a business that have so many people (and their dream business) stuck in neutral.
It's time to call out some of those lies and replace them with real world truth so that, even if you only have a couple of dollars in the bank, you can get YOUR business started!
Here are 5 lies about money and business that have paralyzed your launch!
LIE #1: You need to rent or buy a brick + mortar space for your business.
For most businesses, that is simply not true. With some technology, a functional vehicle or even a local library, you can run almost any business without renting or buying a store front. Here are some fun examples:
If you love to cook, consider starting a meal prep or small catering business where you cook exclusively from home.
Want to start a dance studio or gym? There are many successful businesses that started in local parks and recreation centers.
Interested in coaching or counseling, use your cell phone, Skype, Zoom or even Google Hangouts to having your sessions.
Selling really awesome products such as jewelry, purses, custom shirts or even bath oils? Social media allows you to easily market your online store, which you can create in Etsy, Square or even on Facebook!
Are you a nail technician, make-up artist or hairstylist? Get mobile and meet your clients where they are instead of them coming to you.
Do you love tutoring students? You can tutor in your home, their home, the local library, a coffee shop or even the local park on a sunny day!
If you want to launch a business, 9 times out of 10, there is a way to do it without renting or buying a brick + mortar space! So before you add that extra expense to your business budget, challenge yourself to come up with a creative solution
LIE #2: You have to buy all the supplies now.
This one comes up often with people who have businesses that are heavily dependent on having the right supplies on hand, like make-up artists, custom jewelry or bag designers, hair dressers, etc. Without the supplies, there is no way that they can deliver on what the client is asking for.
That's an easy fix! If you have your first few clients pay part or all of your service fees up-front, you now have money available to buy the supplies that you need.
This becomes especially easy when you place some limits on your offerings when you first start. Let's say you design hand-made purses. If you initially limit your purses to 2 materials in 4 colors in the beginning, it's easy to stock up on the those materials with your first few orders. So maybe you start with canvas and fabric purses in blue, red, black and gold, then in a few months, you'll add red and blue suede into the mix.
Upfront payment + limited options = instant supply money! You're welcome!
LIE #3: You have to buy all of the fancy equipment now.
Maybe your business isn't supply heavy, but it depends on a lot of really expensive equipment. People such as photographers, DJs and printers absolutely know this struggle!
The first thing we're going to do is get the upfront payments, ideally for multiple jobs or gigs before you even start the first job. Maybe you can offer a pre-launch sale to get a lot of jobs lined up early!
Then, if we still can't afford to buy the equipment, we're going to RENT the equipment for your first few gigs. With a quick Google search, you can find almost anything for rent in your area. Just make sure your pricing is high enough to cover the rental and create a savings for your eventual equipment purchase.
LIE #4: You need professional help with branding & marketing.
Ok, let me be honest. Marketing is not my spiritual gift. I am continuously learning how to be better at marketing, but I'm not doing it through marketing consultants, professional-grade graphics tools or really talented web designers.
Nope, this has been a DIY effort.
There are thousands of articles and free webinars on marketing, web design and graphics creating that you can get your hands on. Books have been written about every business topic under the sun and you can buy them for $7 to $20 each!
And don't get me started about the free tools! In fact, I have a list of 20+ free tools that you can use to grow your business. The list includes tools like Canva, which I use to design all of my ads and social media graphics in minutes!!
Now, if you REALLY need help with something - like designing the logo for your business, there are some low-cost options available for you. Check out Fiverr.com, a hidden gem of super talented freelancers who provide exceptional work in 24 - 48 hours for as little as $5. The Selah logo cost me $27 and I've been rolling with it ever since!!
LIE #5: No one will find you without ads.
Ads are not your friend...yet!
Ads can get really, really expensive FAST! I once spent $100 on a series of Facebook ads that only netted me 2 event attendees for a total of $83 in revenue. TOTAL BUST!
Your goal in the very beginning is to build your audience organically!
Leverage social media by building business profiles on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, then driving traffic to those pages through your current (and future) contacts..
Utilize the power of word of mouth by telling all of your friends, family and associates about the business and encouraging them to share, share, share!
Attend local networking at events that you find through your network or on Eventbrite and Meetups. These events are usually free or really inexpensive (like $25 with a cocktail).
Collaborate with other entrepreneurs that you meet who have a similar and preferably larger audience. Whether it's on a free project or a paid one, you're still going to grow your reach just from being connected to that more experienced entrepreneur!
Ideally, you want to save those Facebook and Google ads for a time when the money is flowing in and you're trying to scale the size of your business rapidly! But from day one, those ads aren't simply an extra expense!
Tell me, which of these money lies have you been struggling with? Share it in the comments so that everyone knows they are not alone on this journey!
Tiana B. Clewis
Ready to become a #dreambuilder in your money, your life and your business?