I really hate the phrase “you have to spend money to make money”. While there is some rudimentary truth to the statement, it assumes such a lack of creativity. Certainly there are some basic and unavoidable expenses that come with starting a business, and definitely there are some businesses that simply require good old fashion start up capital. But that’s not what our focus is here today.
So the question becomes, what do you spend your money on and how do you prioritize your funds?
You will learn quickly that there a billion zillion people out there that will try and convince you that their “4 Step System” is the only thing you will need. Or, that everything you try and do by yourself will never work. Of course many of these people are very talented and probably could help you BUT if you don’t have the money to spend on them, then you simply don’t have the money to spend.
What I learned on my shoestring budget is that there is a WEALTH of free information and low cost resources floating around on the internet. Between blogs, books, and good old Google, you can learn many of the most important skills and such.
Okay, now for my 2 cents. In my (admittedly bias, but for good reason;) opinion, there are only a hand full of things worth spending money on while you are just starting out (this list of course expands as you expand) but the rule of thumb is this:
You don’t really know what you will ‘need’ until you do. So let things start to flow before you blow loads of money.
In the meantime, here is my “MUST HAVE” list:
- KILLER properly branded website
- Solid branding (going beyond the visuals into who you are in the marketplace).
- 2 to 3 great business books! My top two are, The Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders (don’t be fooled by the title, this is a fantastic business book:) and The $100 Startup by Seth Godin.
- Kindred Business Buddies
If you want to hear more about my thoughts on spending and other priceless lessons I learned when starting my business, you can here.