So you want to own your own business, huh?

Yesterday we published a guest post by Karen Post, a regular Throttle Media guest author (No, I can’t help you. 9 reasons passing on cash will make you richer. – Karen Post).  This post was a big hit around here and we discussed it at length and one thing that was evident is that we all not only agree with this post but we can relate to it.   The fact that we are a media company brings us all walks of life in terms of people reaching out to us and wanting to advertise and market in one way or the other.

One of the conversations that we had yesterday that stemmed from Karen’s post was businesses that have little or no money to market themselves.  I cannot tell you how many times we have had new startup businesses come to us wanting to use our services to get them off the ground, to market their services, but had very little money to spend.  We have heard it all:

“Well I am just getting started so I have a very low budget”

“I want to test this out first and see how it works before committing to anything”

“I can only afford around $300, what can I get for that”

“Can you split the payments up?”

“I will pay you $X for each converted lead I get”.

I don’t want to sound uncaring or rude, or selfish, but if you don’t have the money to advertise and market why are you calling us?  My time is valuable, this is not a charity, I am not here to offer free advice, this is a business and we have a product to sell.  If you cannot afford to purchase the proper marketing and advertising for your business, than you were not ready to go into business.  Just because you filed a DBA in the county you live in and opened up a bank account with $100 does not mean you are ready to be in business.  Before doing anything you need to have the following done:

  • Research the type of marketing you are going to invest in over the first year or at the very least the first two quarters.
  • Identify the market needs of your business
  • Objectively evaluate and research your concept; is it viable?
  • Investigate and understand the risk factors
  • Create a business plan including a marketing Plan of Action (POA)
  • Fund your business through
    • Savings
    • Investor
    • Small business loan from a bank or Credit Union

If you have not done the above then you are not ready to open your doors for business, how can you go in business if you can’t afford to market the company you have created?  Calling a marketing company and having a sales person go through the time and trouble of explaining what type of services are available to you and having them dedicate their time and then disclosing that you can only afford to spend $300 is problematic to me for a number of reasons, the first is I find it to simply be bad business manners if you will to take up someone’s valuable time who is trying to earn a living when know you can’t afford to spend more than $300, the second issue is even if you find some cheap marketing that you can do for $300,that is exactly what it is, it’s cheap marketing, what exactly do you think you are going to accomplish for $300?  You are clearly not being realistic.

Karen’s article rang true for us in many ways yesterday with that I just wrote about being one of the big things that stands out for us here as I am sure it did for many of you who read her article yesterday.  Starting a business is a serious thing and it’s not for everyone, having an idea is not enough, everyone has ideas, not everyone has what it takes to capitalize on those ideas.  A good resource for anyone thinking about going into business is “10 Steps to Starting a business”.

Those of us that are in business did not just wake up one day and decide to start a business, it took a lot of time, effort, knowledge, learning and money and we have all gone through a learning curve to get to where we are today, and this is not something you can skip.  It’s like deciding you want to be a doctor, you have to go to medical school first, there’s no way around this, you can’t just start calling yourself yourself a Doctor, you have to go to medical school, you have to intern for several years before you can call yourself a doctor and it all requires time, experience and money.  Hanging out your shingle in business in not any different, going into a business is serious business….

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About Joe Melle

Joe Melle has founded and ran several successful businesses, and has had an interesting career in direct contact media, call center operations, sales operations, customer service operations, customer retention, and quality assurance; he has written over 140 business articles, previously served as a part time adjunct professor for a university teaching business, marketing, and management courses to both graduate and post graduate students.Email Me