When you start out with any idea, any project, you have very limited resources. And so, how do you decide how to allocate those resources? Your time and your money.
I learned this lesson the hard way. Back when I was running my laundry startup, we spent so much time and money looking for a magical piece of software that can help us automate our entire workflow — everything from new customer onboarding, scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs, payment processing, and automated text message reminders. We wanted an all-in-one solution, and we spent so much time on this.
What we later realized was, we could’ve handed this entire workflow to one of our employees. I mean, in those early days we didn’t have thousands of customers, and so he could’ve easily handled that.
Think about it this way: if you’re a chef that wanted to start a restaurant, opening that restaurant is an optimization. You really don’t need it on day one. What you do need is a way for you to test and validate your recipes and your dishes. Opening that restaurant will drive growth at a later stage.
So as an entrepreneur when you’re faced with a cost or an activity, ask yourself this: is this cost or is this activity taking me from zero to one? Or is this an optimization that will help me grow at a later stage? And allocate your resources accordingly.