At CEI, the third Tuesday of every month brings all our CEOs together over a lunch provided by CEI and a conversation spurred on by a topic. This month, we delved into how to track your financial pulse, predict the cost of growth (because, let’s face it, growth isn’t free), and decipher the balance sheet because that’s where the cash information is, not the P&L statement.

Our founders shared secret recipes for staying lean, mean, and financially keen. Here are a few of the favorite tips:

  1. Lease Equipment:  When acquiring equipment, take a leaf out of Farnam Street’s playbook. They’ll lease you various equipment, sparing you the agony of a massive capital outlay. If purchasing is important, consider bid sites like Bidspotter or eBay; you might find great discounts.
  2. Pricing: Consider if your product pricing is too low. Customers don’t always go for the low price as it has the reputation of cheapness. Also, statistically, low-cost product business models don’t survive.
  3. Vendors: Share the story of your business and your “why” with the vendors. Most aren’t heartless; when they’re on your side, they’ll bend backward to make your life easier. 
  4. “Be a cockroach, but live well.”: Cockroaches are amazingly resilient, unyielding, and impervious to what comes their way. This is the spirit to bring into your business – survive and thrive. Be relentless, but not reckless. Run lean, mean, and efficient. Survive the meteor showers of setbacks, yet don’t forget to take care of yourself; take a break, allow yourself time to think of nothing, sleep, and get away occasionally.

As you progress in your startup journey, pay attention to the immense value of connecting with fellow founders. Sharing successes, failures, and the unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship is a powerful reminder that the entrepreneurial path is challenging for everyone. It offers reassurance when you share a win in times of uncertainty and celebration. 

One of the key benefits of being a CEI member is having access to a community of peers. Our building is full of people going through similar experiences and are given membership because of their willingness to share their knowledge and resources. Some of the other benefits of being a member are 24/7 access and security to your suite; access to advisors 40 hours a week; investor preparation and pitching practices; introductions to key people and subject matter experts; highly discounted marketing services; individually furnished offices, wet labs, and more. Take a look at our FAQ page to learn more. 

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