Being the CEO of your own business means much more than making the decisions. It also means functioning as the face of the business as you develop your venture. Whatever product or service your small business provides, as CEO, it is vital that you keep your finances in mind when pursuing new clients. Business development is a core function of a successful business; however, in the early stages, keep a bootstrapping mentality, even as you wine and dine. Here are five ways you can see yourself as a CEO without spending like one:
1. Watch your phone usage
Avoid running your small business on a consumer mobile phone plan. Instead, contact the small business arm of major carriers directly, and inquire into the plans they offer for business owners. You will still get the same deals on hardware, and you’ll save a bundle on your usage.
2. Meet clients for coffee instead of dinner
Business development doesn’t necessarily entail hundred dollar bottles of wine. Avoid the temptation to wow your prospects with your knowledge of Merlot. Rather, spend five dollars on a fancy coffee and wow them with your product or service.
3. Go for blazers instead of suits
Dress for success strategically and economically. Keep a collection of blazers to dress up a pair of pants or a skirt. You’ll save hundreds of dollars, and give yourself a lot more wardrobe options.
4. Choose public transit over parking
Driving to your client meetings gives you the advantage of arriving in style. However, parking fees – not to mention gas and parking tickets – can cut deep into your net profit. Public transit will get you to within a few blocks of your meeting, and save you hundreds of dollars per month.
5. Utilize Skype for out-of-town meetings wherever possible
Be mindful of your travel budget when organizing in-person meetings. Out of town clients can be served equally well online, which saves you the major expenses of airfare, hotel and car rental.
A few smart decisions made in the early days of the life of your business can ensure that you stay in the black while you build your customer base.
Emma Cale is on the Growth Team at Wave Accounting, a free cloud accounting application out of Toronto Ontario.
Category: Startup Advice