Starting a business – here’s a tip you won’t see elsewhere..

The hardest truth to face is you have to motivate yourself.

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This isn’t my first time in a start-up or my first time as a Director.

It IS my first time financing the whole kit and caboodle from my own pocket and that changes your perspective somewhat.

Before I started my business I took advice. In fact I took plenty of professional advice and listened to the feedback. – All of the feedback.

Especially the hard to hear stuff.

I had plenty of people who would happily wave me on my way telling me that my plan was sound, my ideas were good and I was going to make a success of this.

Of course I started out on an adrenaline high with the world at my feet.

I also knew that:

  • The first customers are the hardest to get.
  • Compromise isn’t a dirty word, it’s a fact of life.
  • Sometimes money isn’t the most important part of a transaction.
  • I would be lucky if I covered my expenses in any month in the first 6 months.
  • You fail more than you succeed.
  • I learn as much from a failure as a success.
  • Keeping an eye on the bottom line is really important.

The one decision that I made at the start of the venture was that I would pay all the bills up front wherever possible. In a world where suppliers want you to take out a monthly subscription or split that bill 12 ways I opted to pay everything out at the start.

Why the heck would I do that?

Why would I spurn free credit? Why would I see a huge hole appear in my finances at the start of this journey when the money could be sat in the bank earning me interest?

Two reasons:

  • I find it demoralising to look at a bank statement showing the life blood of my company bleeding out monthly faster than it comes in – as I know it will until I grow my customer base.
  • And

  • Having spent the money motivates me.

All humans are emotionally geared to work harder once they have fully committed to a decision. Paying monthly to me doesn’t feel like full commitment. Paying in advance does.

There are downsides:

  • You have to trust your suppliers.
  • The money is spent – you can’t get it back to spend on other things.
  • The decision is an emotional one rather than a logical one.

When it’s my money on the line and my motivation is a key difference between success and failure, going all in rather than feeling the monthly “death of a thousand paper-cuts” makes the best sense.

It’s not the best financial sense and I can see my accountant with his head in his hands as he reads this, but at the end of the day business is more about emotion than figures.

If you want good financial advice visit my accountants Albert Goodman.
They have a wonderful service for start up businesses and is one of the only things I agreed to pay monthly for.

If you want to have your own blog but don’t know where to start, don’t have the time or lack the writing experience contact me and together we can get you going.

It won’t cost as much as you think and done right could be one of the best investments you make.

Martin House – martin.house at social-networks-analysed.co.uk

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