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Start Lean

by Jim Martin

I recently found an interesting book aimed at entrepreneurs: The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries. While most business books go to great lengths to tell you what you need, Ries focuses instead on what he feels you don’t need. For example, no start-up needs a large, over-equipped office ready for three generations of growth. Some new businesses could possibly survive with a virtual office, or most could get by quite well with far less glamorous digs. That’s only one lower expense.

He also makes interesting comments on new business product offerings. One needn’t start with an elaborate product line. Start with the core of that line. If you’re planning a single product, start with the basic, no-frills version. One can also keep things simple by marketing over a smaller geographic area, broadening that market as the cash flow permits.

His basic message, as the title implies, is to spend no more on a start-up than is absolutely necessary. Save some money for future expenses. Put less on the table than you can manage with a minimal staff. He might have also added that it’s a good idea to use every free asset available, such as a SCORE mentor.

Get it. It’s a good read.