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Protect Your Company Finances The Commitmentphobe’s Way

The majority of business advice will tell you that business should be all about the long game. And, to some extent, that’s valid advice. If you can’t develop a five, or ten-year plan, then there seems little point in getting started. In many ways, you need to commit to your company as you do to your partner on a wedding day. If you can’t see the relationship working in the long-term, you’d be better off pulling out now.

Think about it the way you would any other coupling. Few partners would move in and get a joint bank account during the first months of their love. At this stage, you’re testing the waters. You’re still determining which paths you would like all your ideas to take, for goodness sake. The last thing you need now is a long-term financial commitment which you can’t keep. Instead, you should keep yourself free to play the field. Work out what’s out there before you settle down. Or, at least, keep a grip on your finances until they can handle a little more strain. That way, you can clear yourself of any expenses at a moment’s notice. That alone could save your company if profits don’t pick up the way you expect.

But, we know what you’re thinking; how can you conduct business without tying yourself down? Everything you try to do seems to require large contracts and commitments. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. To prove that point, consider these alternatives for a commitmentphobic company.

A website you pay for by the month

Given how vital online presence is in modern business, you’ll want to consider your website before anything. On the surface of things, you might not think this needs to cost you a penny. You would be wrong. When it comes down to it, there are a fair amount of small expenses involved in business creation. There’s your domain name, for one. You’ll also find a fee attached to many extras, such as your online shop and your email newsletter. In the majority of cases, signing up for any of these will leave you with two choices. You’ll either have the option of paying for a year upfront or paying a monthly fee which you can cancel at any time. That yearly amount always seems tempting. Each service is usually pretty affordable. Many even offer discounts for more substantial payments upfront. But, when you add the cost, this could soon set your starter budget back a fair amount. Not to mention that you would then be tied to your selections. Right now, you don’t know if you work well with that email supplier. You may want to alter your shop if things don’t sell. And, let’s be frank; you may not see success at all. In that case, you would need to cancel the whole package. If you pay upfront, that’s money down the drain. By comparison, opting for a monthly fee for at least your first year of operations frees you up. It saves on upfront cost, as well as leaving you free to switch and change according to your needs. That could be your key to success.
Freelance workers

Few company commitments are more extreme than that of employment. When you take staff on board, you have a contractual obligation to pay out a set amount to each on a monthly basis. But, jumping into a financial commitment that large is the undoing of many a company. At some stage, you will need to take the plunge. Later down the line, this can even lead to more profits in a roundabout way. But, during those early days, you would be a fool to tie yourself down here. Your up and down profits would undoubtedly struggle to cope. Instead, then, you should consider a more short-term relationship on the employment front. Lucky for you, the option of freelance work provides that. Even better, there are now plenty of people out there who offer their services in this way. When you work with a freelancer, you offer a contract on a job-to-job basis. You also agree to one set payment, rather than an ongoing salary. It may be that you find freelancers you work with time and again. Or, you may prefer to try someone new each time. Either way, you don’t need to settle down with staff quite this early. Your finances would probably rather you didn’t.

Outsourced subscriptions

Along the same vein, outsourcing services saves you from a long-term employment contract. The only downside with freelancers is that they offer specific abilities. They can help you with project development or marketing, but you’d struggle to find anyone to help with things like accounting and IT. Still, there are ways to avoid settling down with a physical employee here. All you need to do is search for outsourced services. These are now a standard option for many an entrepreneur, and they could be the ideal thing for you. Even better, the majority of outsourced companies offer services on a subscription basis. While this isn’t always the case, shopping around can see you finding a service you can pay for by the month and cancel whenever you need.

Space for rent

When it comes to large expenses in early business, commercial space is usually top of the list. A property doesn’t come cheap, after all. Many entrepreneurs have no choice but to take out huge loans or spend life savings on this. But, again, it’s early in the game to be making that kind of commitment. Should you really be getting into debt for a company which still might not be a money maker? We don’t think so. Hence why you should consider commercial space to rent, instead. Admittedly, you would still have to commit to a lease this way, but it’ll cost a whole lot less than buying upfront would. What’s more, sticking to a simple six-month lease still buys you plenty of leeway. If things don’t work out, you won’t need to fork out anything more than those six months worth of rent. Short-term commitment also allows you to test out a neighbourhood. Location matters for business premises. Buying in the wrong place can lose you a lot of business with no get-out clause. If you rent in the wrong area, however, you can move straight on when your lease is up. Equipment for rent

Equipment is, by far, second in line for most expensive commitment. Yet, like everything else on this list, no company can operate without it. But, you know what we’re going to say by now, don’t you? You could always opt to rent in those early days instead. Whether you need production machinery or construction pieces, you can bet there are rental options. You name what you need; you’ll be able to get it somewhere. Some companies provide everything from crawler crane hire, to a rental version of your whole production line. The chances are you could even find office computers for rent if you looked for them. This option will add up if you need to rent a lot of pieces, but it’ll still be a drop in the ocean compared with what you would pay. Plus, rentals give you the choice of handing the stuff back the moment your profits look a bit peaky. That’s a benefit no entrepreneur should sniff at.

Customer commitment?

Of course, through all this playing the field, there is one commitment you should aim to keep strong. That is, of course, the commitment to and from your customers. This is never a relationship you should approach with short-term goals in mind. Instead, you should aim to build loyalty with returning customers from day one. That means providing reliable service despite your commitmentphobic approach. You should also aim to build consistency wherever you can. That may seem at odds with the easy-come-easy-go methods mentioned above, but it is possible. By keeping a strong voice on social media, for instance, you can start to build a loyal following. You should also ensure that you share your vision with those freelancers so they can stay true to your brand. At the end of it all, it’ll still be you and your customers, until death does you part. A final word

Obviously, this commitmentphobic attitude is a temporary option. At some stage, you need to bite the bullet and settle down with your business. But, you free yourself to do that by playing around with options like these in the beginning. So, don’t be afraid to get stuck in and see how a lack of commitment works for your company.