Don't let your customers find a competitor. If you provide good customer service, they will
remember you for that, tell their friends, and your business will grow.
The Life of an Owner/Operator
I can clearly remember my very first day being self-employed. I was a nervous wreck, sit-
ting at my kitchen table wondering, “What's next?” My first hurdle was just being over-
whelmed with where to start, what to do first, and when I was going to get paid. These con-
cerns had to be put out of my mind, and personally I'm the kind of guy who needs to focus
on what can be done in a logical manner. It was a discipline that has kept me employed in
the past, so I applied it to my new business.
There's no question that finances will quickly become an issue in your new venture. This
topic is never easy, and you constantly hear “it takes money to make money.” Well, this is
true in many ways, but a good business plan and a lot of hard work are what really make
money, and you may not need as many “Benjamins” as you think to get started.
Here's a quick table that will give you a rough idea of what your monthly spending will be
when starting up your business. Take a few minutes to think about all of your life expenses
and trim the unnecessary items for now. Unless you are made of money, the luxuries should
be put on hold and your free cash should be used on your business—your future. Let's take
a look at your monthly expenses.
Being successful takes a lot of hard work, but for me in the beginning it was mostly worry-
ing. There's no denying one thing—being self-employed means that you're always work-
ing in some form or fashion whether it be in bed, in the shower, or at your desk. If you have
a brain that can run twenty-four hours a day, it will. Until you see some success, you'll
need to train yourself to not panic and to attack the tasks that are doable.
Sample Monthly Expenses
It's a great idea to get your expenses in line so you know what you can afford and when.
This simple spreadsheet gives an idea of what your expenses may be. Just add or subtract
your personal expenses and your business expenses as required. This example shows be-
ginning cash, aka your “start-up cash,” as $10,000, removes your monthly bills and start-up
purchases, then reveals your remaining income. Notice that your income is $0 in this ex-
ample. You'd change this to your actual income after you take your first paycheck!
1st Month Expenses
ExpENsE AmouNT DuE DuE DATE sTATus Personal