As a new or even seasoned entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of pursuing your dream, passion or vision; however, you don’t want unnecessary expenses to cause you to run out of money before you get to see your dream become a reality.
When you first start a business, every expense seems necessary to help you grow and expand when in reality most will not help you; they’re only hurting you. It’s important whether you’re just starting out or years into your business to scrutinize every single dollar to determine if it’s truly taking you closer to achieving your dream or only killing your company’s future. Here are three expenses that I personally wish I ditched when I started my business.
1. Your Own Space
As a business owner, you want to be taken seriously; and sometimes it’s hard to imagine being taken seriously when you work from your bedroom; however, monthly rent eats up a significant portion of your expenses and doesn’t always give you a great return.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend that much money to meet with people outside of your home. Over the last few years, co-working spaces have grown exponentially; and they offer the perfect solution for the budding entrepreneur. Instead of starting out with designated office space that is costly, start with introductory plans that allow you to access meeting space as you need it. Many of these plans start as low as $45 a month.
You should sign up for co-working space initially with the smallest plan and then as your business grows, grow into larger spaces within the co-working space or a space of your own. It’s much better to grow into a space through your revenues and business activity than get saddled with too much office space before your business can support it.
2. Monthly Recurring Payments
The recurring payment is a silent killer for business and personal accounts. Signing up for Survey Monkey for $25 a month doesn’t seem like a big commitment at first; however, if you sign up for multiple sites like this, before you know it, you are paying hundreds of dollars a month for services that may or may not be contributing to your bottom line.
When you think about what monthly recurring payments you take on, you should think about those sites that directly help your business. Asking users for surveys seems like a nice thing to do; however, if those surveys are not going to add income to your balance sheet, then you should put them on hold until your business is more established.
3. Membership Dues
Building a business is all about networking, and there are countless business networking groups that will try to convince you that your business will suffer if you’re not a part of theirs. Similar to the monthly recurring payments, if a networking group is not going to directly help your business financially, then other than some interesting conversations, it’s a waste of money for you. I speak from experience as someone who spent over $1,000 on two women entrepreneur networking groups only to find that they were not only a waste of my money but they provided little to no business contacts that could help me grow my business.
Rather than invest in a networking group, invest some money to take your current network out for drinks or coffee to help expand your business. Your current network is more inclined to assist you and the drinks will cost you less than a professional networking group.
Mid December with the holiday season on the horizon and having read too many pieces about social media addiction, I was ready for a break. Every time I reached for my phone, I had a Pavlovian instinct to click on the Instagram icon and that's when I knew it was time.