Clever money management helped me start up on the cheap
Having just graduated from my masters course, I had absolutely
no money - and not very much business experience, either. Staying
in the student mindset meant I could live - and run my business -
frugally until money started coming in.
After I graduated, I had £100 left, but I knew I wanted to start
a business. I formed Boogles in the same month as graduating, and
the fact I had no experience of running a business at meant growing
the business, adding people to the team and finding the money to
pay my growing number of employees every week was very
My mum helped me start up by lending me £50, and I made use of
the numerous 0% credit card deals available at the time, putting
all purchases on cards and transferring balances continually for
months at a time. In addition, I put money aside to pay off the
card when our time ran out.
I knew it was only a temporary solution, so I worked to reduce
our credit terms and get paid more quickly by setting up a direct
debit collection system, and putting in a card machine terminal so
we could accept credit cards. I paid staff weekly, and then changed
gradually to monthly.
I also turned the trading cycle around by taking longer to pay
creditors and collecting money faster from debtors - sometimes with
incentives. When our first bank (of 3 years) refused to give us an
overdraft, I changed banks, and was immediately given a £10,000
It's not about how much money you have to start up your
business. It's about how you manage that money. A fool and their
money are soon parted, they say, and if you're running a business
and don't know how to manage your finances, get a bookkeeper in to
help you. You're much more likely to survive difficult times with a
close eye on cashflow. And if your bank isn't being very
sympathetic - switch!
Make it as easy as possible for people to be able to pay you.
Accept credit cards, and have clear credit terms. Don't be too
generous - you don't have to give people 30 days. And, wherever
possible, get paid in advance (or ask for a part deposit in
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