In our call with one of The CEO Elite Advisors, Bruce Joseph, we were asked about resources. It is one of the key struggles for most small business owners. I hear many complaints like, “I need to purchase equipment, or inventory, publish a new book, hire someone, or print marketing material” and there doesn’t feel like any way to make it happen. If you don’t have the money, you can’t buy the products to make your business grow. If the products are required for the next step of the business and there are no resources to make it happen then it makes business growth feel unreachable and undoable.
So in our call, one of the attendees explained that she, as an artist, needs to have her new card art printed and her new album released. The total cost for the two products for inventory would be about $25,000. A huge outlay for any small business, especially in an industry that, when you are not a “ubiquitous celebrity”, selling the product requires a lot of marketing to quickly recover the costs of goods. So she wanted to know how she could invest in her business differently?
The key is to be more resourceful.
Look for Savings
As Bruce mentioned, “it’s not always resources but resourcefulness that makes the difference.” Looking for ways to save is a great way to start. Do you really need 1000 copies of your new album? It is cheaper to purchase larger quantities, but there are now so many options available that shopping around to find a great price for a smaller amount may allow you to get started. Also, there are many “fulfillment” businesses online, like Vervante, which is focused on publishing, product creation, and shipment. This will allow you to sell one product at a time, skipping the inventory completely, and shipping directly to your customer.
Consider a pre-release of your product and offer some extra value for people to pre-purchase your product or album before it is created. Using a crowdfunding website, like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter, will help you manage the sales process, but the marketing will still be up to you.
Partner up with a business that is a great fit for you and that your brand will bring credibility and visibility to them. Work out how you can add value to them by including their business in the marketing of your product. Sometimes it might mean that you can get the publication for a reduced cost or free if the partner is the publisher. Maybe they can give you something that you would need to pay for in other areas of your life, like recording studio time, office space, etc. freeing up money to pay for your inventory manufacturing. Get creative and keep asking “How can I…” instead of thinking “I can’t afford it”.
If you need more resources like money, as these examples focused on, or time, look for ways to be more resourceful.