Starting A New Company On A Budget

starting a new company lessons entrepreneur journey startup grind

Lessons Ryan Joos has learned during his various entrepreneurial journeys. 

Plan On No Income 

I started Vulpine Marketing shortly before the Coronavirus madness took off in America. Many of the businesses that I intended to target for my business were dramatically impacted by government orders to shut down their facilities. Physical therapists, dentists and other medical professionals closed their doors and were generating little if any revenue. Naturally, these businesses were not investing in digital marketing. If I had heavily depended on having much income during this time, I would have been in a terrible spot. Despite the difficult times, we did have steady clients and revenue. But it certainly would not have been enough to support my family and I. The simple fact is that startups will often take time before they generate steady revenue. Make the necessary plans to not have to rely on that income. 

Live Like No One Else 

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru has said, "If you live like no one else, later, you can live like no one else." 

My family and I made some incredibly unglamorous life decisions. We sold our home, moved in with family, settled for having our older vehicles, passed up opportunities to travel, didn't buy new clothing and so many other things we didn't do because we were dedicated to growing the business. Set your pride aside and live an unsexy life. If your company takes off, it could provide an incredible life that you otherwise may not have been able to obtain. 

Don't Quit Your Day Job Just Yet 

Having steady income is valuable. You can then use that money to invest into your growing business. My top suggestion is to use your day job as the main investor into your new venture. As a new company, you'd love $20k across a year to put back into the company. Your day job may be able to provide that for you if you play your cards right. It might mean that after working your 9 to 5, you come home and put time into your new company for a while. But having that cash flow can be very valuable. 

Expect Setbacks 

Once you do start generating income, invest that revenue into emergency business savings. The last company that I worked for had months and months of emergency savings. If there was ever a hiccup in the financial market, the company as a whole continued to sleep well at night knowing it wouldn't be the end of someone's job. 

Don't Try To Be All Things To All People 

A big mistake is trying to build your company catering to anything with a pulse. If you are trying to serve everyone you may end up not doing that very well. If you really dial in who you are targeting, everything else becomes easier. Your marketing, your messaging, your product offerings, everything becomes easier because you can understand more deeply what your narrowed audience wants and needs. You have to find your tribe, make it one that you truly want. 

For example, in almost every market there's a big opportunity to be making budget websites for small companies that need a super basic web presence. It could be a huge temptation to work with that audience. Here's the thing though, I love super small business and super small business owners but I often do not enjoy working with them. Many times they get fixated pretty heavily on price and not value. The type of work that I do provides a lot of value but comes at a meaningful financial investment. If price regardless of results is the number 1 motivation factor, chances are Vulpine Marketing isn't a great fit. There are companies that value great partnerships and quality work. I'm avoiding the temptation to take the money on the table and choosing instead to market to an audience that I would rather work with. 

Enjoy The Journey 

Entrepreneurship is exciting and awesome. Running a business on a budget is a challenging life that is filled with incredible highs and devastating lows. Whatever you do, enjoy the journey. Choose to be happy and optimistic no matter the outlook. Don't allow your happiness to be solely connected to the success of your business. If it is, you are opening yourself up to a lot of potential hurt. Let your true happiness be based on the relationship you have with God, your spouse, your family members. Those are the things that are the most meaningful! If you do that, you will be more happy and more likely to succeed.

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