Wednesday, January 30, 2008


So how do you set up a business without going broke?*

The answer is to get as much of your equipment used as you possibly can.  If you have generous friends who can lend you stuff, so much the better.

For example, when Alan and I were setting up the bakery, we saved twenty-thousand dollars by buying a used mixer over a brand-new shiny one.  And, of course, that was twenty-thousand dollars that we didn't actually have, so we were twenty grand less in debt than we otherwise would have been. 

The coffee-grinder was a loan from a friend.  And so it went, a bakery set up on the cheap.

I see so many people who view starting a new business as an excuse to go shopping and it gets them off to a really bad start.

The way I see it, your business is meant to support your life, not take it over or substitute for it. 

In other words, I'd rather have the used, the make-shift, the whatever I can find in my business workings and still have the hope of a really nice dinner out once in awhile.

Make sense?

*OK, actually, I don't know anyone who's started their own business who hasn't been technically broke on opening day.  Most of us go into debt to start our businesses, but as long as we can meet our monthly obligations, well, that will be the working definition of "not broke".


vie chaotique said...

You are so right. We have zero dollars and decided to buy a storefront I found an amazing deal. Then this morning it hit me I can buy one that is less than my ideal and save 100,000 that we don't have. I will let you know how that goes. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Barb McMahon said...

They're crossed as we speak!

Best of luck to you!