In the past, I wrote about how my husband and I paid off $80,000 in debt. That was before we became business owners. It was actually one of the main reasons we both were able to quit our jobs and both focus full-time on growing our business. We didn’t have debt holding us back from making career and life decisions that we really wanted to make.
“Debt is not a tool; it is a method to make banks wealthy, not you.” – Dave Ramsey. Author of The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness
Because we are such big fans of living debt free, we knew this startup needed to get off the ground without bringing us under.
Click Here to download our insanely simple budgeting and forecasting template for small business owners.
The Top 9 Ways to Grow Your Business Without Debt
1. Cash flow your business.
Don’t add more debt. Avoid credit cards and loans at all costs. You can cash flow your business. There’s no reason why you can’t get a client now. Many of my clients think they need to plan out for 6 months before they will earn a penny. That is crazy! Especially with how you can access millions of people TODAY through social media.
2. Make a budget and stick to it.
Reviewing your budget again is one of the best debt solutions. Start building a relationship your money. Don’t ignore it and pretend it will treat you well. Practice carefully watching what comes in and goes out everyday. Get to know your money and it will start treating you better! I keep an excel spreadsheet of all the money that goes in and out of my business. The months where I track every dollar are the months of my highest revenue!
3. Prioritize and focus your debt.
We recommend Dave Ramsey’s method of the debt snowball where you start with the smallest debt first. So, even though it might not make as much “sense” to pay off the smallest debt first if it doesn’t have a high interest rate, what really matters is that you stick with it and have SMALL WINS! This is one of the best debt solutions, having small wins to celebrate is way more important than worrying about interest rates.
4. Build up your savings.
30% of profit (revenue minus expenses) should be set aside to invest back in your business, cover taxes and build up savings for emergencies. This might be hard in the beginning but if you do this as soon as possible and force yourself to set that aside and live on less, you will be very happy later.
5. Really evaluate your business expenses.
Each month, review every expense you had and ask yourself, “Was it really needed?” For future expenses, ask yourself is there a cheaper version and if it is really needed to grow your business.
6. Be creative.
When you first start your business, you might have to earn an income from things you don’t really want to do in your business long term. That’s totally OK. You don’t have to do that service or product forever, but it might be a way to cash flow while you build what you really want to do in your business. I’ve had to do a lot of things that I didn’t really want to do so that now I can get back into more of what I DO want to do. That’s how it works.
Don’t think when you first start that it will be all fun and happy. Yes, you are working towards your passion and purpose but it might take a few years to figure out exactly what that is. The most important thing is that you keep learning and you keep selling. Once you aren’t strapped for cash will be when you really realize what it is you are meant to do in your business and life. That’s when you can start leaving a legacy. It will come for you too but probably not in the first couple of years.
[RELATED: Make More Money These 10 Creative Ways]
7. Eat in…. a lot.
If you work from home, this is easy. You don’t have to spend a ton of money eating out all the time. Be careful because all of those coffee shop expenses will add up. Try to drink coffee at home and take a sandwich or make a salad to bring with you. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be a lot healthier too by eating in.
8. Stay positive.
You will do it. Just imagine yourself at the end and how great it will feel. It will be SO WORTH your hard work now so that you can have freedom to do want you want in your career and life later.
9. Make a commitment to yourself.
Write down your goal and how much you want to pay off by a certain deadline. Make sure you make it a reasonable goal and tell your friends and family about your goal. When you can’t go out to dinner with them, you don’t want them pressuring you! You need their support to make this happen.
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” – unknown
P.S. Don’t forget to download our business budgeting template to help you grow your business!
Latest posts by Anna Runyan (see all)
- How to Write a Business Plan (PODCAST) - February 22, 2018
- 8 Lessons Learned in the Last 8 Years of Running a Business (PODCAST) - February 15, 2018
- How an MBA Changed My Career Path - February 13, 2018