Awkward Cake Parties
"Mmm...this cake sure is good...." Stimulating conversation, right? If you've ever worked in a "real" office,…
Over 50% of new businesses fail within the first five years of existence. This is an astonishing statistic. How can this be true? Some may attribute it to poor planning, bad decision making, or lack of funding. While these all may be contributing factors, in many cases, excessive overhead costs are especially damaging. In this article, we’re going to look at how it’s possible to start a successful business with zero overhead. (I know because I’ve done it.)
I don’t want to get into a boring accounting discussion. However, we need to understand the basics of overhead before we can know how to avoid it. In a nutshell, overhead is any cost that doesn’t directly relate to the production of an item or delivery of a service. Here’s how Entrepreneur.com defines overhead:
Overhead refers to all non-labor expenses required to operate your business. These expenses are either fixed or variable.
Having worked for other start-ups in my career, I can attest that overhead can be a deal breaker. Rent, marketing, salaries, utilities, and technology are just a few of the necessary evils. When I started Keener Marketing Solutions, my goal was to be as “overhead-free” as possible. By minimizing overhead, I’m able to reduce my risk. In turn, a reduction of risk translates into a more viable business. Here’s how I did it….
As I mentioned, there are a few overhead categories that most businesses can’t avoid: rent, marketing, salaries, utilities, and technology.
Below are a few ways I keep my overhead as close to zero as possible. I hope you find them helpful.
If you put some thought into your business plan, you can often find free or low-cost solutions that keep overhead to a minimum (or preferably zero). It is important to stay mindful of your business needs and identify solutions that are a good fit.
Feel free to share your secrets for keeping overhead to a minimum. I’d love to hear them.