What you have is less important than how you use it, and this is even truer when starting a business. Your resources are limited, your needs are many, and the unavoidable truth is that you will have to cheap out on something – possibly quite a few somethings.
There are some areas, though, that simply aren’t eligible for the inevitable budget cuts. The problem is knowing which areas those are.
This isn’t just your first task when starting a business. It’s pretty much your first task in any endeavor. What are your top priorities? What can’t your new business live without?
What are your computer needs?
If the only thing you expect to be doing with your computer is basic bookkeeping, then you may be able to cut corners and get by with a used or low-end computer. If you plan on maintaining your own business website and managing your own social networking, and especially if you’ll be using your business computer as your point of sale system, you’ll need something powerful enough to do the job and fast enough to keep customers from becoming frustrated.
How about other necessary equipment?
First, determine what actually qualifies as necessary equipment. It’s tempting to want to start your new business with fresh, shiny new toys, but unless you make your own copies on a daily basis, investing in a high-end copier could be a big waste of resources.
Don’t Nickel and Dime Your Business to Death
You can and should focus on the details, but the big picture is always there looming. It may be tempting to squeak by on what’s cheap and readily available, but in the long run, you’ll regret that choice. Making the best use of resources when starting a business requires a willingness to invest in what’s important.
Any outside B2B consulting or other services you hire, for example, need to be worth the investment, or you might as well not bother with the service at all. The same holds true for any staff you hire. There’s a popular concept in the business world that you should always remember when dealing with people. While you may want it fast, cheap and good, you have to choose two.
How does this translate? Simple. Hire the cheapest available and the work will be either not very fast, or not very good. Cheap IT consultants will set you up with complicated systems and then decline to return your tech support calls. Cheap marketing firms will employ underhanded tactics that get your site de-indexed instead of ranked.
That’s not to say that you should spend wildly and blindly, nor that you need to always choose the most expensive option. It simply means that if you run across a potential service that charges noticeably less than the competition . . . well, just realize that those low rates are probably not the result of kindness and charity.
In short, do your research, don’t skimp on the important details, and don’t spend on the frivolities. Keep your priorities in mind at all times and you’ll have much greater success in starting and maintaining your business.