These entrepreneurs have been though it all, and here are the top financial tips they wish they received from the very beginning.

A. Reallocate the Budget


Multiply the advertising, public relations and marketing budget by three. You will spend more on those than you realize. – Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

A. Be Prepared to Make No Money for a Year


So many people think that their great idea will quickly turn into a great company that investors and customers will flock to. Building a company doesn’t work like that. It often takes a year or more before founders can earn a salary from their startup. Make sure that you have enough cash in the bank or a well-paying part-time job to get you through the early stages. – Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli

A. Leverage Your Customers for Funding


Although I did receive this advice, it’s still my favorite to share. In most cases, outside funding is not an absolute necessity to start your business. Get a minimum viable product developed quickly and cheaply, send it out there and improve upon it as you have some actual customer feedback and revenue coming in. Growing organically can be the best — if not the most glamorous path — for many startups. – Michael Rheaume, SnapKnot Inc.

A. Be Ready to Make Sacrifices


Those close to you will never fully appreciate the sacrifices you need to be willing to make. When you start a company, everything is subject to its demands, whether it’s your savings, your retirement or the piggy bank sitting on your dresser. Your spouse, family and friends should all understand this. Have the difficult conversation earlier rather than later. – Dale Beermann, Pacifica Labs Inc.

A. Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource


Paying a specialist more money for better results often yields far better returns than staffing a mediocre full-time employee who you can otherwise afford. – Jon Bradford, Colab

A. Hire Professionals as Soon as You Can


It is often essential, and also useful, to do everything yourself when you start a business. You learn how sales, production, marketing and accounting works. As you grow, it is easy to keep skipping the cost but having good accountants and lawyers will end up saving you more money than they cost, so hire the right ones, but get them contracted as soon as you can. – Tom Chalmers, IPR License

A. Never Go With Your First Option


A great lesson for every business is to never go with the first option. This is especially true now that the internet has made almost everything easier. Whether it’s legal advice, coaching, site design or marketing, there is always another option out there that may be more effective, lower in cost and better for yourcurrent business situation. Always take the time to consider your options. – Zac Johnson,

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.

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