I found myself questioning why we bought proper ‘Post It’ notes last week and not cheaper sticky labels. The memories of starting NOTHS flooded back and the hours that I spent budgeting; recording every single penny that flowed in and out of our doors. Understanding that we needed to cut down on the ‘quality’ of pens and so forth, so that we had enough in the bank to pay the electricity bill. The IKEA runs every weekend to get another desk or a fake orchid (as there was no way we could afford real flowers)! We had no money and I’m thrilled we didn’t now I look back. Not because I enjoyed crying myself to sleep or becoming a crazy Excel spreadsheet witch on everyones back or our treat being a pint in the Old Man’s pub!
No, it taught me that in small business you must respect every single pound and its power. We understood that saving a pound here and one there meant that soon we might be able to try something new in marketing or buy some advice we needed. It bonded the team as we knew we had the power (if we were clever and thoughtful) to make each pound saved or spent advance us… even if it was a tiny step.
So often as we grow we forget the power of being careful. We become more relaxed and sometimes careless. Being an entrepreneur who is starting a business on a shoestring budget is tough, but I promise you (as some of you will already know) that you’ll learn lessons that will keep your business healthy.
Maybe today pick something that you need to do or buy, then look around your office, your processes or staff and ask yourself to pay for it with the money you could save, if you tightened things up! It feels good to go back to basics.