5 Ways to Gain Financial Breathing Room While Building Your Business
There’s quite a bit of debate over the true business failure rate. Some estimates peg the five-year failure rate as high as 90%. Others are much more conservative. Business broker Ryan Jorden cites data that pegs the five-year rate around 50%.
Either way, it’s a given that not every business will survive until its fifth birthday — or its first, for that matter. That’s why it’s so important for early-stage entrepreneurs to control their personal and business expenses during those first months, especially if they’re wholly self-funded.
Here are six steps you can take this week to cut expenses or earn extra income and gain crucial financial breathing room while building your business.
Cut the Cord (Finally)
Have you cut the cable cord yet?
If not, what the heck are you waiting for? There are more viable alternatives to cable than ever before. Most cost substantially less than a standard-issue cable-phone-Internet package, even when combined in DIY packages.
Besides, you’re building your own business here. Do you really have time to watch TV?
Apply for a Balance Transfer Credit Card
Millions of Americans struggle with some degree of credit card debt. If you’re having trouble paying down older, high-interest credit card debts, you might want to start fresh with a balance transfer credit card that offers a low- or no-interest teaser rate. Choose from among the best balance transfer cards and put together an actionable plan to zero out your balance before the regular rate kicks in.
De-Clutter Your Storage Space
Does your attic, basement, or storage unit look like the aftermath of a tornado?
You and everyone else. Set aside your next free evening or weekend to organizing and de-cluttering the space. Throw out the junkiest stuff, keep the nicest or most sentimental items, and sell everything else at a yard sale or online auction. Then, plow the proceeds into your nascent business.
Make Low-Stakes Sustainability Moves
What do turning down the heat, turning off the lights when you leave the room, and taking shorter showers all have in common?
They’re all really boring, really effective ways to reduce utility costs and help the environment in the process. And they don’t cost a dime upfront. If you have cash to invest now, you can go a step further and install water-saving fixtures, smart thermostats, and motion-controlled lighting.
Use Freelancing Platforms for Side Income and Business Development
Most budding entrepreneurs face a disquieting period during which they’re earning little to no money. They’ve quit their previous jobs, but have yet to attract clients, finalize contracts or partnerships, and/or bring their products or solutions to market.
That’s a scary feeling. If your skills align, and they probably do, you can counteract it by picking up side gigs on freelance platforms such as Upwork. Who knows? Play your cards right and you might just find your first serious clients there too.
More Growth, More Problems
Growth is good. Right? Let’s say, “mostly.” Growth means more revenue, more income, more exposure, more opportunities for further growth. It also means more headaches. As the saying goes: “more money, more problems.”
As your small business grows, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your bottom line. Sure, you’ll take in more revenue, but you’ll have more expenses: labor, overhead, supplies, services, taxes. You’ll need to use a host of cost-cutting tactics to keep them under control and ensure that, well, more of your hard-earned money stays where it belongs: on your personal balance sheet.