How to Build a Low-Risk Business

How hybrid entrepreneurship has changed the small business game

Eliminate or reduce every expense
The goal of business is to make money; not spend it. But it is tempting to spend too much in the beginning on things you think you need because emotionally it feels like that makes your business better. You may believe you need a fancy new website, the best business cards and business equipment that is bright, shiny and new.

Hold tight. More than anything you need paying customers, so spend only what you absolutely must spend to present yourself and your business in a professional manner to potential customers so you can start generating business income.

You can buy a website domain for $10 or less and have it forward to a free blog.  You can order business cards for free or up to $25 online and they will be decent enough to do business. (By the way, don’t explain to people when handing out your card that it’s a “starter card”—it shows a lack of confidence).  And you can set up a phone number (even a vanity number) for free and have it forward to your cell phone to establish a business phone number.

If you’re starting a product business negotiate the cost of design, manufacturing or acquiring the product and ask for payment terms that give you time to sell the product
before you have to pay.  If you’re opening a storefront buy your fixtures and equipment used.  And reinvest and save all the revenue you make for the first six to 12 months by working for your business for free.  As a hybrid entrepreneur you can do that because you’re getting a check from your day job.

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  • Aishia S

    I needed this article, it has clarified the reason why I must go back to work to grow my business. I lost my job 2 years ago and since then I’ve been working on a website that I plan to launch very soon. I have come to the realization that I need money, I need to live and because it’s a website I should be able to get things done and hold down a full-time gig. I look forward to more articles regarding the hybrid entrepreneur.

  • Jonathan

    Great insight. This article is content-deep on so many levels. Again, many thanks on your tips and this wealth f knowledge Felicia.

    -Jonathan