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8 Ways to build your business fast with $4 per day (the cost of a daily coffee)

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If you’ve ever looked into personal finance, you’ve probably heard some sort of advice that sounds something like this:

“If you saved $4 every day instead of spending it on your morning coffee, you’d have nearly $1,500 plus interest in your pocket at the end of the year.”

But giving up your morning coffee (or afternoon pastry, or lunch at your favorite café, or whatever) seems like a big sacrifice to only wind up with $1,500 extra dollars in your pocket at the end of an entire year.

A better use of $4

Imagine if you took those $4 every day and put them back into your creative business.

Ideally, you could use that money to not only make more than $1,500 every year, but you could also earn enough back to afford that daily coffee you don’t actually want to give up and still have money left over for savings, vacations, or time with your family.

Imagine if, at the end of the year, you didn’t just have $1,500 sitting in a bank account somewhere, but you turned what would have been $1,500 into $15,000 (well, $13,500 after you buy a coffee every morning again.)

That seems worth a shot.

8 Ways to build your business fast with $4 per day

Here are 8 ways I’ve brainstormed for using $4 daily to build your creative business.

(To get a better idea, $4 each day means almost $30 each week, $120 each month, $360 each quarter, or $1,500 each year. We’ll use these numbers to brainstorm a few ideas. Add yours in the comments.)

1. Create more content.

If your business or brand relies on content creation (facebook posts, tweets, videos, etc.), imagine all the content you could create for $30 each week.

If you’ve been shying away from video or audio (podcast anyone?) because your time gets sucked away through editing, pay someone on sites like Fiverr to do it for you. That’s six audio or video editing jobs you could do in one week.

2. Network (over food)

With 30 bucks a week, you could take someone to lunch or breakfast and build a connection that could be a huge boost to your business.

Follow the 10-10-10 strategy for identifying your dream client and then figure out who you can take to lunch, provide genuine value to, and ultimately find a working relationship that boosts your business in new ways.

3. Network (at events)

There are thousands of networking events (probably a few right in your own city) where you can listen to professionals in your field and network with other business owners.

With an extra $720 every half-year, going to your dream conference doesn’t seem so impossible anymore, does it?

4. Outsource the tasks that bog your business down

We’ve all got tasks that really bog us down as entrepreneurs. Maybe you can’t stand doing finances for your business. Maybe legal work makes you sick.

Or maybe you don’t mind that kind of work, but it takes up lots of your time each week.

Optimize your business by outsourcing a few of those tasks that slow you down. The $4 investment is well worth it since it frees you up to do the kind of work that really matters in your business, allowing you to make more money, stay creative, and enjoy your work more.

Maybe you’re thinking too much about all the wrong things. Outsourcing can help you focus on what really matters to your business.

5. Upgrade your brand (and brand material)

With over $100 every month, take a month and upgrade your branded materials. Invest in some new business cards to take to networking events, outsource those tweaks to your web site that you’ve been planning for months but can’t seem to find the time.

You could even get something made for your top clients. An unexpected gift like a coffee mug (don’t you love the irony) or a t-shirt can offer a “surprise and delight” moment that your client wasn’t expecting.

6. Buy more efficient technology

With an extra $1,500 every year, buying that new computer doesn’t seem as impossible as before, does it? What about that monthly subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud you’ve never paid for because it simply wasn’t in the budget? Maybe it’s time to reconsider.

7. Subscribe to courses, resources, or other training

Think of the amazing ways you can invest in your business for $100 every month. A cup of coffee lasts less than an hour (ok, less than 24 hours if you count the buzz you live off of while working in the morning) but some premium training can last a lifetime and grow your business in leaps and bounds.

Sites like Fizzle, Treehouse, or Lynda offer affordable options that become even more affordable when you’ve got an extra $4 every day. (I’m in love with Fizzle.)

8. Invest in you (as a person, not a business)

If you’re a one-person show, running a business can be taxing. Take $4/day and invest in yourself as a person because your business has no more important asset than you.

Save for 12 months and treat yourself to a vacation. The time off will leave you invigorated and stoked to run your business. Plus, most of the best ideas I’ve had for my business over the years come on an airplane ride or car ride back from a vacation.

If a vacation is a little too rich for you, what about investing in a monthly gym membership. Studies have shown that healthy entrepreneurs are successful entrepreneurs. If you take care of yourself, you’ll have more energy and a more sound mind to make important business decisions.

How would you spend $4/daily?

If you had an extra $4 every day, what would you spend the money on? And the real question: is it worth giving up your morning coffee?

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Written by Preston Lee

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Preston Lee is the founder of Millo where he and his team have been helping freelancers thrive for over a decade. His advice has been featured by Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes, Adobe, and many more.

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  1. DoThis4Me says:

    Interesting article. A lot can be accomplished with $4. We actually had this very thought in mind about the cup of coffee when we built our site DoThis4Me. We thought if you spent the money promoting or improving your business each day instead of at Starbucks.. you could instead own a Starbucks!

  2. Jacob Aflak says:

    Train ticket 🙂 Get out there and explore different communities & see what they’re lacking

  3. Joe Hirst says:

    Awesome post Preston.
    This is one of the many reasons I come to Millo.

    Well, I cut out my afternoon/evening Starbucks coffees. I’d been in the routine of doing this daily, and now realize that I’d actually been losing about an hour of productivity per day!

    Next thing to cut out are cigarettes! They’re no good for me and cost a fortune per month. Not to mention how much better I’d feel. Plus, I’m sure taking “smoke breaks” while I work at home is just a poor excuse to just waste mor productivity.

  4. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I plan to – budget $4/day to do some targeted Facebook advertising, either to specifically build your list or send people to your website. Just make sure your message and/or offer is created to attract the type of clients you want to work with, and who need what you provide.

  5. Nicholas Mann says:

    Thanks Preston, you’ve changed my view once again.

  6. Definitely thought provoking. Too bad I’m not that big on coffee so I can’t test this. I’d probably end up saving less than 500 a year, much less, actually. However, if I applied this to chocolate/sugar intake…. we would probably talking about much bigger numbers, yet I’m not willing to sacrifice that. Shame… Thanks for sharing!

  7. Irum Majid says:

    Great article. Making me think if need to spend the $4.00 at Starbucks today.