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创业公司如何用好每一分钱?10个地方该花,10个地方不该花

Sujan Patel 2015年03月24日

初创茅庐的创业者常常花钱做一些无关紧要的事情,比如购买一身价格不菲的行头,给自己配置一间豪华办公室等等。但在一些对企业发展意义重大的事情上,他们却舍不得花钱。作为一位希望干出一番事业的创业者,你需要搞清楚两者的区别。

    

    本文为与《创业者》杂志的合作内容。原文最初发表于Entrepreneur.com。

    创业公司常常误入歧途,把钱花在一些无关紧要的事情上,这早已不是什么秘密,只是创业者会犯的众多错误之一。

    尽管有些花销纯属多余,但这并不意味着你在每项潜在成本上都要当个小气鬼。实际上,有些开销是必不可少的,做一名创业者,你必须要学会辨识。

    以下就是10件你绝对该花钱的事,以及另外10件根本不该浪费钱的事:

    十大必不可少的开销

    1、商业计划。关于在商业计划上该不该花钱坊间一直争议颇多,但在我看来,明确企业的发展目标以及实现路径,对做生意来说是不可或缺的。

    2、市场调研。在明确知道有客户打算购买前,绝不要投资生产。知道你所处的市场有什么需求,以及如何满足这种需求对成功至关重要。

    3、首席财务官或会计师。一个好的首席财务官或会计为你省的钱往往比你付给他们的薪水多得多。他们能让你在花钱时考虑周全,帮你规划投资并搞清投资回报率。

    4、请那些比你重要的人物吃午餐。这是来自李嘉诚的人生经验,也是建立人脉的秘诀。它带给你的收获要远远高于一顿饭钱。

    5、法律咨询。尽管有些服务既无必要又贵到你难以消受,但法律咨询是个例外,几乎所有创业者都需要不同程度的法律咨询。不管是基本的公司文本,还是理解各种责任条款,一开始就付费购买好的法律咨询服务,能让你避免日后为天价诉讼案买单。

    6、税务专才。自己做税会让你浪费无数本可以用来经营企业的宝贵时间。聘一位税务专业人员来获得这方面必要的建议,到报税时你就能高枕无忧了。

    7、客户服务。人们经常说,只卖东西,不提供服务,就像把钱放在一个会漏的口袋里。客户服务是你公司非常有利可图的一块业务,投资自然有回报。

    8、营销和品牌。这块支出丰俭由人。别毫无必要地浪费钱,但花钱做一些目标明确,效果可以衡量的推广活动,是非常明智的。

    9、公关外包。这类服务该不该花钱也备受争议,但请记住,我认为创业者需要有针对性地购买一些效果可衡量的公关服务。作为创始人,你的时间很宝贵,没必要浪掷在那些请别人代劳更划算的事上。

    10、技术支持。一般来说,把花在建网站和维护服务器上的时间用来服务客户,你会获得更大的价值。外聘技术支持,把自己的时间更好地用在别处吧。

    十大能免则免的开销

    1、昂贵的订阅服务。很多时候,项目管理软件和其他订阅软件服务都有更便宜或免费的替代品。平时用它们就行了,除非你确定自己需要那些只有付费软件才能提供的功能。

    2、昂贵的服饰。别为了图个面子,弄得自己破产。穿着打扮显得职业化是很重要,但如果你足够精明,穿一些不那么贵的服饰也能达到同样的效果。

    3、高档办公室。人人都想拥有一间豪华的办公室,但要想打造这样一个华丽空间就得不停地砸钱。先把精力放到做成业务上——豪华办公室这件事可以先缓缓。

    4、高档装备。和所有人一样,你可能也想买最新最好的技术装备,但这并不意味着它是有用的支出。你应该只买那些真正需要,而且价廉物美的东西。

    5、还没准备好就急着招兵买马。当个老板,看着员工团队不断壮大,是挺有意思的,但如果你的业务基础还不牢固,这么做就是在白白扔钱。可以先外包一些工作,只有在招聘员工符合成本效益原则时,再招兵买马也不迟。

    

    This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published atEntrepreneur.com.

    It’s no secret that startups often fall into the trap of spending money on things that aren’t that important — it’s just one of the many mistakes that entrepreneurs can make.

    However, the fact that some expenses are unnecessary doesn’t mean that you need to be a cheapskate whenever you encounter a potential cost. In fact, some expenses are absolutely necessary, and as an entrepreneur, it’s essential that you know the difference.

    Here’s a list of 10 things that you absolutely must spend money on, followed by 10 things you definitely shouldn’t:

    10 essential expenses

    1. A business plan. There’s a lot of controversy regarding business plans, but in my opinion, knowing where you’re going and how you’re going to get there isn’t optional in business.

    2. Market research. Never spend money on production before you know that you have customers ready to buy. Knowing what your market needs and how you can meet that need is essential for success.

    3. A CFO or accountant. A good CFO or accountant can save you more money than you’ll spend on him or her by holding you accountable for spending and helping you plan your investments and understand your return on investment.

    4. Buying lunch for those more important than you. An awesome life lesson from the richest man in Asia, this tip is all about networking. The cost of a single lunch is worth far more.

    5. Legal advice. While unnecessary services cost you money you can’t afford, nearly all startup entrepreneurs require some level of legal advice. Whether it’s basic incorporation paperwork or understanding liability issues, pay for good advice from the start so that you aren’t stuck with the big bills of legal settlements later on.

    6. Tax professionals. Doing your own taxes wastes countless hours that could be better spent on your business. Hire a tax professional, get the advice you need, and rest easy in April.

    7. Customer service. It’s been said that sales without service is like putting money into a pocket with a hole in it. Customer service is an extremely profitable portion of your company, and it pays to invest in it.

    8. Marketing and branding. Again, this business need can be done well and it can be done poorly. Don’t aste money unnecessarily, but do spend wisely on targeted, measurable campaigns.

    9. Outsourced PR. This one is controversial as well, but keep in mind that I’m advocating tailored spending on measurable results. Your time as a founder is too valuable to spend on activities that others can handle for you in a profitable way.

    10. Technical support. As a rule, the hours you’d spend doing your own website and server maintenance would be far better spent serving your customers. Hire technical support and put your time to better use elsewhere.

    10 expenses to avoid

    1. Expensive subscription-based services. Many times, project management software and other subscriptions have cheaper or free alternatives. Use them until you’re sure you need the features only a paid solution can provide.

    2. Expensive clothes. Don’t let your ego put you out of business. It’s important to look professional, but you can do so fairly cheaply if you’re smart about how you shop.

    3. A fancy office. Everyone wants a plush office, but the expenses involved in creating this business oasis can add up quickly. Focus on your business’s success first — the office can wait.

    4. Expensive equipment. Like anybody, you may want to buy the latest and greatest technology, but that doesn’t mean it’s a useful business expense. Purchase only what you truly need, and do so as economically as possible.

    5. Staffing before you’re ready. It’s fun to be an employer and to watch your startup grow, but if your business isn’t ready, you’re just wasting money. Outsource first, and only bring on employees if it makes financial sense to do so.

    

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