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Starting a business debt free but not stress free.

Posted on 13 February, 2018 at 15:20


Debt isn’t always an inherently bad thing for a government, business or even for an individual person BUT just like anything else too much of a good thing can become bad. Avoiding it is a business scenario almost impossible save for a very few exceptions. Thankfully I have been one those few that has avoided the debt it normally takes to launch, maintain, and grow a business. My “office” is entirely mobile in my business model to avoid the overhead of a dedicated office space. By saving me upfront and recurring costs associated with leases, utilities, and equipment I can focus on my cash flow more quickly to give my customers more options with payment. This also allows me to reinvest more of my cash flow into additional product and service offerings pushing future growth opportunities. I also negotiate with local, regional, and national vendors to fulfill the needs of the print orders I receive instead of investing large amounts of capital, upfront, to obtain, maintain and operate printing equipment. I work with others that have already overcome those initial investments and workflow efficiencies that I can then offer back to my customers. In this relationship these printers also gain a salesman that is not fully employed by their company. These decisions did open me up to a lower startup cost but it does not mean I have less stress, over the business, than if I had a physical office/production location. I am at the whims of many moving parts that I cannot directly control with my own hands with how my business is setup. I have to be more proactive about being detailed and communicating those details as accurately as possible across many different platforms. My customers contact me via a cell number, email and social media. So, I have to make sure I am understanding them fully before moving forward with requests or valuable time and ultimately money (on my end) will be lost. To control margins and continue to grow I have added risk that the vendors I work with have the same level of competency, skill, and self-motivation that I have for MY customers. That cannot be assumed and goes back to being clear in my communication to ensure all needs are fully known to become ultimately realized. I also have to say I have been very lucky to have had many years of experience doing work that is nearly identical to what I now do through my own business. Learning the back end requirements of many different segments of the design and print market are not common nor is the opportunity for one to dive off into a business with extremely minimal upfront costs. I have had amazing support from a network of individuals, including my spouse, that bought into the model itself and what it affords my customers in comparison to other forms of print procurement. Time will tell if the model holds true and how successful it remains.

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