How to Grow Your Business on a Small Budget

Have you ever heard, “You have to have money to make money?” I suppose it’s true. But you don’t have to have much. We started christinesbooks.net in 2003 with $500.00, haven’t incurred a single dollar of debt since, and grew it organically. How did we do it? Persistence, patience, and a lot of frugality.

In America today, patience isn’t a virtue. Getting things done now is, regardless of the risk. Unfortunately, that type of thinking has led us into the economic mess we face today.

Since the last post on our move from a home based business into a showroom/warehouse operation, we’ve made some changes.

Some things we needed to get off the ground.

  • Shelving in the warehouse
  • Equip and furnish the office
  • Get the internet operation running profitably
  • Build out the showroom.
  • Host weekend, discount liquidation sales

Warehouse shelving – $1000

Buy pallet racking – After checking some suppliers on Craigslist, we discovered the pallet racking would cost $1000s, would be too bulky, and wouldn’t be appropriate for our products (books, DVDs, CDs, and games).

Build shelves ourselves – I started down this path, but quickly discovered I didn’t have the time and the quality wasn’t high enough.

Contract someone to build custom shelves – After careful planning, we estimated this would cost us between $10-20K, and it didn’t make sense for a company our size

What we did:

I built some shelves from kits – about $300.

It took time, but we found a couple dozen commercial grade shelf units for $700 at a local private school. They decided to downsize their library.

Here’s what the warehouse looks like now:

Furnishing and equipping the offices -$570

  • Desks – Free from a out of business karate school
  • Office Chairs – Free – see above
  • Shelves – Free – see above
  • Computers – Free – We moved one from home, and I built the other from recycled parts.
  • Computer Monitor – $140
  • Powered Computer Cart – $250 – Scratch and Dent (Original price $2000)
  • Wireless Router – $70
  • Play area for the kids – $10 – Play Station, Older CRT TV, Coloring Books, Crayons

When we began, we discovered we could easily have spent tens of thousands of dollars equipping the warehouse and office, but we found a way to do it on less the 2K.

In upcoming posts we will talk about:

  • Getting the internet operation running profitably
  • Building out the showroom.
  • Hosting weekend, discount liquidation sales
  • Our new brand for the business

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I needed to prioritize some things in life – too much on the plate. But we plan to post more frequently in the coming weeks and months. Thanks for reading!