Just to make things clear – there’ll always be a need for some cash to bring plans to fruition – but don’t lean on that resource to ignite the spark of your company because its probably not as much as you think.
So let’s start exploring this wonderful concept.
When you are running (or starting) a business, something that makes you proud and happy, you’ve got this wonderful image in your head about how things WILL be.
You imagine people smiling, contacting you, asking your opinion, thanking you, etc – in other words they’ll appreciate that THING that you do.
Once you see the goal – then you have to start visualizing the road that will get you there. This “road” is paved with equipment, location, inventory, team members, marketing, and an endless amount of unknown unknowns.
Whether its a restaurant, a manufacturing company, or something that requires an office – you’ll need ‘stuff’.
With cash you can go to the store, pick everything out, slap that glossy card into the salesperson’s hand – and voila!
Now you have the stuff they sold you. The same stuff they have in the brochure. The EXACT same stuff everyone else is using.
But what happens when you don’t have enough cash to get the new oven, printer, forklift, or marketing team that’ll bring you closer to that goal we spoke about earlier?
This is the time you need to pull that imagination out of the clouds, dust it off, and plug it into your brain. You have to dig deep into all your thoughts and connect pieces that don’t necessarily fit in order to come up with solutions.
You’ve gotta turn the question of ‘what’ into ‘how’.
How are you going to reach those clients without a fat advertising budget?
How will you get that espresso machine to that new cafe?
How to get developers when everyone locally demands a salary that YOU don’t even earn?
On, and on, and on…
The creative muscle goes into overdrive and so you start to budget, outsource, up-cycle, re-purpose, juggle bills, roll up your sleeves and do whatever you gotta do to get the motor turning.
Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t – but by being creative you can almost always find a way to turn a stain into a butterfly – if you can’t:
I want to go a bit off topic here and point out the detriments of cash beyond its effect on creativity.
I’ve been running my business for a few years now, and on a couple of occasions I’ve seen people with access to (some limited) money that buried their businesses.
The mild cases were people (including myself) who, at some point, felt that it was the right time to expand. So buying new stuff and/or hiring new people without really doing the hard part of weighing the value of those choices over more creative solutions resulted into a period of pain, re positioning, and lessons learned – but things got better.
The severe cases are very similar. I’ve had clients who seemed to forget that they even had a creative muscle. Who bought, and bought, and bought more and more stuff. They thought that spending money they did or didn’t have, would fill that hole they were digging into their own business. It didn’t – in fact the hole ended up being their business’s grave.
So back to how cash kills Creativity.
When I spoke earlier about buying the stuff everyone else buys – I wanted to underline the fact that the ‘everyone’ I’m referring to is in fact your competition.
Do you really think that by being the same you’ll be able to stand apart?
So do it different!
Build your own stuff.
Make connections others haven’t.
Use something in a way its not intended.