Starting a business is a big risk, especially from a financial perspective. Finding a way to finance the start up costs without affecting the quality of your services can be what separates you from the businesses that simply “don’t make it”.
Though your thrifting skills aren’t really going to land you an awesome vintage outfit in this case, knowing what to look for second hand and where to find it is worth a lot when in this stage of the game. There are definite “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to finding cost saving measures in the start up game.
Here are some tips that can help you navigate the waters:
- DO consider getting used equipment
Don’t go buying stuff until you have considered the option of used industrial equipment for your company. There are plenty of reasons that other businesses could be reselling their equipment, from upgrades, relocation, closures, etc. That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the industrial equipment. When you buy from a certified used equipment retailer, you have the added confidence that there is nothing technically the matter with your investment. And now that you have decided against buying brand new, you have some extra money in your pocket for other things.
- DO Look for a Vacant Location
Though you might dream of building your own car garage, donut shop, or even book store, you would do better to put all your new (that is used) equipment in an existing building. Not only will this often be the most affordable option, there is often already traffic coming through the area as well as a sense of heritage and a story to lean back on. Sometimes these come included with certain large pieces of equipment depending on the previous use. These you can either use if they are compatible with your needs, or sell to a certified industrial equipment reseller.
- DO get second hand Décor (IF!)
This point comes with an IF statement. Unique, vintage finds like antique mirrors or art pieces can add character to your company’s location or offices. However, unless it’s part of your brand or you have the opportunity to get the numbers that you need, do not mix and match tables, chairs, etc. While it might work in some back room offices or funky restaurants, it can create a “cheap” looking impression which we want to stay away from. Keep your vision close and your taste refined when creating a space for clients and employees to want to come back to.
- DO NOT go second hand with software
Might sound strange, but you might find yourself with the option of taking over someone’s license of specific software. Unless you know that it’s exactly what you want, do not go second hand with this. Some software is very specific and extremely customized to the needs of the user, and unless you have endless time or a lot of skills in this, it will probably create more heartache than solutions.
- DO NOT cheap out on Branding
Though you might consider a cookie-cutter approach to branding your business, whether that means working with an agency that applies the same formula everywhere or borrowing elements from other companies, this is not an aspect to try to save money on. Designate a healthy budget to creating an identity for your company, regardless if it is a restaurant, tool shop, or fashion boutique.
Thanks to savvy actions and knowing when to shop second hand and when to invest in something new and original, your journey as a business owner can be off to a quick and steep start. By knowing where to rein in the budget and where to let the real investment begin, you can give your brand more resilience and benefit from how you position yourself in the market.