This is the third in a series of periodic posts on rebuttals to common “yeah-buts” that I hear from people wanting to work from home.
“Yeah, but, I don’t have enough money to start a home-based business.”
It’s unfortunate, but often things end up coming down to money. Basing your future on how much cabbage you can scrape together may not be the best way to look at things. But in today’s world, you sometimes have to. One of the great things about a home-based business is the low overhead. Most home businesses can be started on a shoestring (though some may need a longer one than others). The key is to be frugal, bootstrap, and find a way to get the initial investment you need to get up and running. Now assuming that like most home-based start-ups your actual cost of entry is pretty low, here’s a couple of ways to fund it yourself.
Now I can hear all you financial advisors out there cringing at this, but it’s one of the most common ways to fund a home-based startup. Contrary to popular belief, credit cards themselves are not evil. It’s the misuse that causes the problem. So using plastic to get up and running may be a good solution, with a few caveats:
- I’m going the benefit of the doubt route here, figuring if you are disciplined enough to run a business you can handle a credit card. But really think about it, and look at your recent past to see if it’s a good idea for you
- If you’re drowning in debt, another card is probably not a good idea.
- Use it only for your business and nothing else.
- Be frugal – no better yet – be a cheapskate.
A Better Option – The Mocha Fund
Another way to get some money to fund your home business is to stop drinking so many darn mochas. I know lots of folks who spend an average of $3-4 a day on their venti cafÃ© mochas. That’s around $17.50 a work-week and $910 a year. Now, granted, there is vacation time and those days you don’t make it to the coffee place. But even conservatively, that’s $500-$700 a year.
So instead of getting coffee out, buy a decent coffee maker for home. I worked with a lady who used this idea in a very creative way to get her business off the ground. She stopped getting coffee on the way to work and bought a really nice coffee maker. Then she’d buy good quality, organic, shade-grown (and fair-trade) beans. She also kept a jar with a “Mocha Fund” label on it beside the coffee maker. Every day, she’d stick in 5 bucks, rounding up what she usually spent, and within 3 months had the money she needed. Now, I agree this is an extreme approach. But she liked the discipline and the action of actually keeping her money in a place designed to show her resolve about starting her business.
You don’t have to take it that far. But cutting out things like daily coffee from the corner place, or bringing lunch instead of eating out every day, is an easy way to get the cash you need to get going.