My business isn’t big. At. All. It’s really humble, in fact. When I started Words on Paper, I promised myself I wouldn’t take out any loans or spend our grocery money on it. At one point I had very little money left (that happens when you start with very little), so when I launched my Kickstarter I told myself that if it wasn’t successful I’d have to rethink keeping the business operational. Fortunately, everything worked out. Thanks to that experience, I have a little to say on how to build a business debt free and risk free.
One caveat: There really is no such thing as risk-free. This is life, so, that’s just the way it goes. If you build a business you care about, you put your heart on the line and hope that people accept your humble offerings. Even if there isn’t much financial risk, you risk how much this business will affect your life and your heart.
But I’m not talking about the emotional renderings from starting your business. I’m talking about how to start a business that’s not going to kill your bank account. I’m talking about how to start a business that—whether or not it succeeds—isn’t going to send you into bankruptcy or the poor house.
Are poor houses still a thing?
Because chances are, if you’re reading this and hoping it contains a brilliant, untold secret, then you’re hoping to start a business with either little start-up capital, or you want to make sure that all your hard-earned investment money will return something so you can keep feeding your family.
This isn’t some never-before-seen idea, but it’s been completely lost in the age of the start-up boom. People see overnight success and they think they have to replicate that. But a business that pops up overnight can deflate just as fast, so as you desire to build a business debt free and risk free, keep this one little term in your mind, and it may save you trouble, money, and your business.
The word? Scale.
See? Nothing new. But if you make your business scalable, you can manage the risk and prevent building any debt. Who said you had to launch a six-figure business right out of the gate? Maybe you’re itching to quit your current job but you still need to put food on the table, so I get the desire to want to jump right in. I’ve been there multiple times.
Why Should You Scale Your Business?
Scaling your business saves you time – no more sacrificing your family to build your business. You build slow in the extra hours you have instead of stopping everything.
Scaling your business allows you to research the market – is this a business the world really needs right now (you won’t miss your opportune time to launch, this is a long-term business, not a one-time product)?
Scaling your business allows you to save money. You spend money as you make money.
Scaling your business allows the business to grow organically. You’ll get genuine customers you don’t have to buy. Friends will tell other friends.
Scaling your business allows you to form the business into something you’ll enjoy doing long term. You get to think long and hard about the vision, about what you really want to do.
Scaling your business keeps you from spending 60 hours a week working because you’ll already have set workflows. When you grow slowly, you have to put in workflows, otherwise you never get anything done.
What great things have you discovered about scaling your business?