How I Made a Profit Before my Website Existed

By Katie Corbett

When I began career coaching in 2017, I didn’t know if it was something I would merely try, or something I would stick with long-term. As a result, I kept my expenses to a minimum. When I made a profit, I didn’t yet have a website, logo, or even business cards. Here’s why.

In “The $100 Start-Up,” Chris Guillebeau asserts that the only things you need to start a business are: a product or service people will pay you for, a way to get paid, and people who will pay you. I coached for free for the first six months after starting, in order to build experience and get testimonials. As I developed my career coaching program, I bought a career coaching book to guide me through the process and suggest what I should cover in my own program. This book cost about $60 because I bought a braille copy. That was all I spent on my coaching business for the first nine months. Once I decided to begin charging, I charged $25 per session. After just three sessions, I was making all profit.

I have since spent much more than that on my business. Logo creation, web design, and business card development all cost money, not to mention purchasing the books for this blog. Each and every one of these expenses came about because my clients wanted them. I didn’t just go out and buy them because I felt I needed them to be a business owner.

What is the minimum you need in order to see if your business idea could make you money? If you run a service-based business, how long will you work for free or at a discount to gain experience? How do you want to grow moving forward? Answering these questions will help you build your business strategically and make wise spending decisions.

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