What Not to Invest In for a Small Startup Business

by / ⠀Startup Advice / January 20, 2013

Small BusinessWhen starting a new business there are many aspirations the owner has in store for the future of it. Careful considerations will have to be made in terms of policies, advertising, and business maintenance. While there are several items that require some kind of investment for a start-up business, there are many that it can do without. There are investments that may sound excellent and look good on paper, but can be detrimental to the well-being of the business.

1. Advertising

Some kind of advertising budget needs to be developed for the start-up business. Although funding can be quite limited, advertising is the means in how local customers find you.

1. Don’t invest in expensive plaques at popular establishments. While these could provide a few customers, they are usually not worth the investment to a small organization.

2. Don’t invest in extravagant promotional items such as planners and pens. These could be handy after your business develops a customer base, but could tap your funds pretty quick for little return.

3. Possibly invest in newspaper ads. Much of today’s media is found on the Internet. Putting money in newspaper ads could tap your resources. However, knowledge of your community could help determine if this is the right avenue for you or not.

2. Online Presence

Your online presence could attract customers through the use of SEO optimization of your website. However, this process could take weeks and even months to become fruitful. Most of the effective methods of marketing the business online can be done without investing a single dime for a SEO professional service. Even eCommerce sites could take a great deal of time to get the ball rolling for traffic visitations.

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1. Don’t invest a lot of money for SEO practices. Some services can be a wise investment, but paying for the whole nine yards could tap your bank accounts.

2. Don’t use money for online promotions dedicated to other departments. Develop a specific budget for online advertising each month. If the budget is maxed out before the month is over, wait until the next budget cycle to continue advertising.

3. Invest in open source solutions for website and eCommerce. Many of these solutions work just as well as paid-for ones, but won’t cost you a cent to install and maintain.

3. Hi-Tech Toys

While it may be ideal to have the latest and greatest cash register, bar-code scanner, or productivity server you need to ask yourself if you can survive without it. For the first six months, your business will need to provide stability for itself and extravagance may be detrimental.

1. Don’t buy “efficiency equipment” until you are sure you need it. After six months, you will have a better idea of what efficiency will mean to the business.

2. Don’t get suckered in by sales people who want to “help your business grow” by selling you efficient equipment or services. They are in it to make their own pockets grow through your own fears about a business that may fail.

3. Don’t surpass your equipment budget no matter how nice the gear looks. For a start-up business, your budget needs to be as frugal as possible to help ensure there is a future.

Investing capital into the continued success of an infant business requires a strategy. Options need to be weighed in order to find the most efficient method of using money. As most businesses fail within six months, you need to develop a plan that is proven to be successful and not theoretical. Do what’s best for the survival of the business, not what could possibly make money.

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Ken Myers is the founder of Longhorn Leads and has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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