We have a special podcast episode this week!
Bootstrapping a business from nothing…
Or even juggling!
And I’m going to answer as many as I can, so let’s get started!
Here at Credit Repair Cloud, we love answering questions from all of our customers because we want you to be successful and want to help you achieve your goals!
Now, we received a lot of questions, so I’m going to choose them at random.
Let’s get started…
ASK ME ANYTHING!
The first question we have here is from Scott on Facebook…He asks…
Great question, Scott…
That's a tricky question because you can spend as much or as little as you want.
There are a few must-have items, and I will get to those in a second, but Credit Repair is a lot less expensive than most businesses.
For example, if you wanted to start a little tiny subway franchise, Subway's fee for becoming a franchisee is $15,000, plus startup costs, which could be up to a quarter of a million dollars, plus rent, employees, payroll, and all that jazz. That’s a huge undertaking…
Whereas Credit Repair doesn't have any of those costs. You can save money, and you can bootstrap your business a little at a time with very low expense.
So, if you’re just starting, you don’t need all the bells and whistles. You just need to get really good at what you do and spend the minimum to be legally compliant. And then as you start to get clients, results, and referrals and you start to make a little more money, then you can reinvest that into your business and slowly start to get more bells and whistles.
I started my business from literally nothing. I slowly figured out what I was doing. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I learned from all the mistakes, and the business started to grow.
And as the customer base grew, I was able to invest more into the business.
In the beginning, I had money for advertising, so I would just stay up all night and write articles which helped me to appear in google searches.
Back then, I couldn't afford to hire a team, so I would wear all the hats and pretend to be different people. I was Phil on sales and Tammy on support. It was really hard work, but I believed in it. I had a big vision of what I wanted to be, I had a mission of wanting to help people and change lives, and very slowly, I grew it by investing a dollar at a time. If I made two dollars, I’d spend one dollar on top Ramen and reinvest the other dollar back into the business.
They say a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. And it’s the same for a business. If you just do one thing every day to move your business forward, you will always have momentum. It’s about keeping consistent.
And that’s what I’ve done every single day for the past 18 years. Now we have 104 employees in 16 countries. We provide medical benefits, 401(k)s, things that seemed nearly impossible back when I first started.
But that’s where we are now…let’s go back to the beginning…let's talk about starting with what bare essentials you need to start your business and what those might cost.
LEARN YOUR CRAFT!
That’s the most important thing, and that doesn’t have to cost you anything.
The fastest and most effective way to learn your craft is to take the Credit Hero Challenge. That costs $47. During the challenge, you’ll get live training from mentors, you’ll get certified in disputing, you’ll get your first clients, and you’ll fix your credit! I highly recommend the challenge because it speeds up the process, but if you don’t have $47 to take the challenge yet, go get my dbook for free at Credit Repair Cloud: Free Book
Let's talk about software and what that costs.
You can certainly start a credit repair business without software, but it’s going to be really time-consuming. What takes HOURS to do manually will be done with a click of a button with the software.
Tracy Arnett is a great example of why the software really saves you. On a Podcast Interview with me, he talked about how he had stacks of papers and no life because it took way too long to process each client. But when he got the software, he could do in 5 minutes what used to take him a whole day. Plus, it really foolproofs the process for you and guides you through it, so you can become an expert to your clients even if you are just starting out.
So for the costs…
Your first month of Credit Repair Cloud is FREE. And during that month, you can import reports, run audits and do everything you need to do for any client in their first month on a free trial. You can even run a business on it.
After that, it’s $179 a month, which is affordable because having just two clients should cover that, and the rest is profit.
You don’t have to have a website, you can start with just a Facebook page, but a website is great because you can get leads from it, and you can sign people up on it.
So for that, you need a domain, and that’s $10/year. You can register your domain at My Credit Repair Site or wherever you like.
Then you need to build a website. Hiring a web designer can cost thousands of dollars and take months to build. But in the beginning, you need to save money! So if you really want a site, you can get a predesigned Credit Repair Website for $20 at My Credit Repair Site, and it integrates easily with CRC. You can get a website up and running in under 15 minutes and then slowly customize it to fit your personality. Many people do this because it has all you need. And if you want a fancier, more expensive site, get it later when you have the revenue to justify the expense.
An office could cost you hundreds or thousands per month. But guess what, you don’t need an office! No one needs an office. It’s perfectly fine to work from home. The pandemic changed everything. You can do meetings and client consultations on Zoom. But for safety, you might want to get a virtual business address at the UPS store. That starts at around $25 a month.
What about other hard costs to start a business?
You’ll need to create a Business Entity. But this doesn’t have to be expensive either! You can start as a sole proprietor which costs nothing — or you can be an LLC or a corporation, but those will cost you money.
This is all up to you. But if you’re just starting, I say save money and get an LLC or corporation later when you’re making enough money to need tax benefits.
You can start as a Sole Proprietorship, and then the only requirement is to have your full name in the business name. If my business is “Credit Avengers,” then I have to file a DBA. But if I call my business “Daniel Rosen Credit Repair” or “Daniel Rosen Financial Services,” then it doesn’t cost me ANYTHING. And in most states, you can start a sole proprietorship without even registering with the State. But your state may be different, so check with your state. You can check this with a basic google search.
And if you want a business name that’s different than your name? File for a DBA with your county. Here in LA county, that costs about $30.
Once you have the business entity, you’ll need a Business Checking Account. And the good news is that many banks will give you one for free.
See, this doesn’t have to be expensive!
Next, you’ll need to find out if there are any costs to being compliant in your state. A handful of states require state registration. Those fees are usually in the range of $100. We have a link here with the credit repair laws for every state.
Depending on the city you live in, you might need a business license. Here in Los Angeles, it cost us $90 for our first year.
This is the wildcard. Some states require a bond. Some don’t. They’re all different, and the prices are all different. If your state requires a bond, don’t freak out! If you go through a bonds service like BondsExpress or Surety1, the amount you pay is just a fraction of the total bond amount. Usually 1-3% of the total bond amount. So in most states, that cost is in the range of a few hundred dollars. For a small handful of states, it might be $1000 or more, so check with a bonds service or even your local insurance agent. Also, the amount you pay is based on your credit. You’ll pay a much lower price if you have good credit, so this is all the more reason to be your own first client.
BUSINESS CARDS or FLYERS
You can get these cheap at VistaPrint for well under $20.
You don’t need anything complicated here. At Kall8 you can get a toll-free number for $5 a month that can forward to your cell phone.
If you want to take credit card payments, you’ll need a merchant account for credit repair and a payment gateway, and a payments platform. These all have fees. But you don’t need these at the beginning. If you want to save money, start by taking cash and checks and get a merchant account and all these add-ons later once you’ve got enough clients to justify the expense.
These are great, but you don't need these at the beginning. Think about this later when you have enough clients to justify this new investment. It’s not important at the start.
Again, you don’t have to have a lot of money for this business. The most important thing to have is a passion for helping people, and that’s free!
You can learn credit repair, and you can learn how to run a business, but if you don’t have a passion for helping people and changing lives, then this is not a business for you. If you just are in it for the money, sure you’ll make money, but you’re only going to get so far, and you probably won’t have a very fulfilling life. But if you truly have a passion for helping people and changing lives, that’s when you’re going to have the biggest success.
All the people who have gotten our Millionaires Club Award love helping people. That’s what grows a business, and that’s what you need the most.
Wow, that was a lot!
I hope that answers your question, Scott.
Okay, question number 2…Anna on Instagram asks…
Thanks for reaching out, Anna.
No, I don’t really balance it.
I love what I do so much, that I can’t stop thinking about it 24/7. So I'm not the most balanced person. I love helping people grow businesses. I love seeing lives change. I love seeing people make a million dollars because I know the big impact they are making in the world and all the lives that they are changing. This is what I'm really excited about, and I can’t turn it off.
But I do work less than I used to.
In the beginning, I worked round the clock, I didn't sleep, and I gained over 100 pounds. That was really unbalanced. But that was the only way I knew how to get my business started. I honestly don’t think you can get something big off the ground without going unbalanced a little bit. But the problem for me was that I lived that way for many years. It was really unhealthy, and if I hadn’t stopped, it probably would have killed me.
Now I’ve trimmed work down to about 11 or 12 hours a day. But it doesn't seem like work, because I love it so much…
Now I find time to exercise. I walk to work while I listen to business podcasts. I have date nights a few times a week with my girlfriend.
The biggest thing that gave me some balance is having an office to go to. I try to leave my work there, and when I get home, I unplug and try to not look at any of my devices until the next morning.
Sundays, I ride my Harley with another friend who also has a business, we sit and talk about our businesses and that’s a lot of fun and a break from the work.
I’m still a weirdo who works an awful lot, but I’m definitely a lot more balanced than I used to be, and it feels way healthier!
Next, we have…Mike from LinkedIn…Mike asks…
I love tacos! I'm in LA, so there are tacos everywhere! There’s a taco truck around the corner from CRC and there’s a Oaxacan restaurant across the street that has Goat tacos.
There’s a place a couple of blocks away from here where I can have fish tacos and listen to mariachis and there’s even a place a few blocks away, owned by the famous chef Roy Choi where they have amazing spicy Korean tacos!
I love those.
Thanks for asking, Mike. Great, now I’m hungry.
Another one from LinkedIn…and just as important…Deena asks…
Great question, Deena…
Credit Repair Cloud is now a big organization with over 100 employees, but I built CRC from nothing. I didn’t do it on credit. I come from nothing. I don’t have wealthy parents. I don't have a fancy degree. I didn’t even graduate high school. I left home at 13 and juggled on street corners to make money to eat. That led to a career in show business and that led me to a devastating credit issue.
I figured out how to solve my credit issue. Then I saw other people had the same issues and I wanted to help them. So I built Credit Repair Cloud by bootstrapping on a shoestring. I lived on Top Ramen for 20 cents a meal, and I learned how to save money while building a business a dollar at a time.
If I can do it, you can do it.
I imagine money’s tight for you, too. So like I said earlier, don’t try to do everything all at once. Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t get all the bells and whistles. Just get the bare essentials and work on your craft and especially work on getting really good at customer service. If you give awesome service, people will talk your business will grow.
I hope that helps, Deena.
Next up, Toni from Facebook asks…
Well, Toni, having test clients first is always good. And there's a sure-fire way to get test clients.
If you are on Facebook and you have friends, post exactly this:
You don’t have to change one word. If you post this you will get test clients.
Many people want to skip this step. But here’s why this is important: The reason for test clients is to learn your craft, get your processes down, learn to deal with people, and get results that you can show and testimonials for your site, and this will help you to grow your business faster.
But if for some reason you can't get test clients to show results, you can certainly start with yourself as your own case study. Many people do that. They start posting and sharing their own story and their own results as their own credit score increases.
Many of our credit repair Millionaires started out that way.
For example, Nicole Ashley had a credit issue and started learning how to repair her own credit. She posted on Facebook showing her score going up. Then suddenly everyone in her feed wanted help with their credit. She helped a few people, they referred their friends, she started to post their results online, and soon she had an avalanche of clients all wanting her help! Now she’s making millions of dollars.
Here’s what this means to you: if you do awesome work and really give value, those test clients will be your best advertising. And then later, whenever you have a client and you get them awesome results, you do two things:
- You get them to give you a testimonial to put on your site or on Facebook
- You offer to pay them $50-$100 for each paid client that they refer to you. They will know people who need your help and since they’re being referred by a friend who already got results from you, it’s an easy sale.
Keep working hard, Toni. I believe in you.
Okay, this one is from Zandie on Instagram…Zandie asks…
Hi, Zandie. Great question.
My friends and family all thought I was insane.
People told me it wouldn't work. They told me all kinds of negative things but I didn’t care what they thought. I saw a need. I had an idea. I wanted to help people, and I saw a way to do it.
And I just kept pushing.
Eventually, by being consistent, working at it every day, and learning from the things that went wrong, I eventually got there.
Now, if you have a dream like this of starting your own business. Your friends and your family may not understand. Maybe they care about you. Maybe they’re jealous. Or maybe they think you should be like everyone else.
They might tell you that you need investors or some fancy college degree to start a business or to be successful. They have their own reasons for wanting you to think that, but it’s not true.
Here’s what matters…
If you’ve got a passion for helping people and changing lives, and you’re willing to work hard, your persistence and success will convince them.
Thanks for the great question, Zandie.
And another one from Instagram…Sean asks…
Great question, Sean.
First, I have to say I’m not an attorney. I cannot give legal advice.
I can say that is what most people do. The agreement in CRC is a starting point, but you need to personalize it for your business.
You should run it by an attorney.
Many people set up different agreements for each state. So if a state requires a particular disclosure, you add it to your agreement. Again, we have a link where you can look up the laws for every state and know what disclosures are required at Credit Repair Cloud: All-States.
I hope that helps!
Thanks for reaching out, Sean.
The next question comes from Darron on Tik Tok…Darron asks…
Ha! Hey, Darron.
I have a lot of stuff on the wall here: Beatles stuff, a signed record from Little Richard when I used to open for him, a signed album from the Del Rubio Triplets, who I did a Golden Girls episode with, and a floppy disc signed by Steve Wozniak, creator of the apple computer.
I have a lot of robots and a whole lot of lunch boxes that I used to collect during the 30 years that I was on the road. I have stuff from my comedy act, like this electric guitar that looks like me. I have a million business books.
My favorites are these three books by Russell Brunson. All the secrets we used to grow our business are in these three books…
But my favorite toy here is my giant Bob's Big Boy. I used to be out in front of the Bobs Big Boy restaurant when I was a kid, and it’s the one thing I always said I would have if I were successful. So that kinda shows you what a weirdo I am.
Some people want a Lamborghini, I wanted a Bob’s Big Boy.
Thanks for asking, Darron.
And here’s another one from the Facebook Community…David asks…
The best solution for email marketing for credit repair is an Active Campaign.
It’s awesome software, and it integrates with Credit Repair Cloud, so it will sync your clients, leads, and affiliates with your active campaign. You can definitely use it for a newsletter!
But even better, you can set up drip email campaigns with it. For anyone who doesn't know what a Drip Campaign is (some people call it a nurture sequence), here’s what that means…
Not everyone is going to sign up the first time they visit your site. But if you have a form on your site that people can fill out to get: more information, or a free consultation, or maybe you have an ebook or a white paper that you give away. You know, like “Get My 7 Easy Steps to Improve Your Credit Score,” and you give that way free in return for someone’s email address.
Then you start sending a drip campaign to them. Which is a series of timed emails.
Now, the important thing is…these emails are NOT ads. You don’t want them to look like ads. They’re just gonna look like spam. You want them to be entertaining and full of useful info, like tips on how they can improve their credit. That will show potential customers that you’re the expert, and eventually, they’ll lose patience in trying to solve issues themselves, and you’ll reel them in.
We do this here at credit repair cloud. You download something, and we start sending you friendly, inspiring emails. It’s like having hundreds or thousands of fishing lines all reeling in at the same time. And doing this will get you way more paid clients.
And this isn’t just for leads. No. As your business grows, you may eventually want to have email nurture sequences for your clients, to keep them engaged and also to your affiliates, to keep them motivated to continue sending clients to you.
I hope that helps you, David.
Well, I think we have time for one last question…
Hayden on Youtube asks…
I changed my business a lot because it failed. It failed miserably.
I started by selling a little download to consumers. The software worked, but no one bought it, and no one cared. In a good week, I could make $40. It was a terrible business.
For years I kept trying to force it to work, but it never would. If you looked up the definition of crazy, there should be a picture of me because I kept trying the same thing again and again, expecting a different result.
But over time, I started to pay attention to what was going wrong, what people really wanted and needed. Then, slowly, I started to pivot to creating a better solution and aiming it at businesses. And even that business failed at first. But I learned how to FAIL FASTER!
I learned from each mistake.
That was the biggest secret I learned. Fail faster. And learn from each mistake.
Thomas Edison, the man who invented the lightbulb, was told by his teachers that he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive." And as an inventor, he made over 10,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. But when he was asked what it felt like to have failed so many times, he said, “I didn’t fail. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Businesses work the same way. You fail, you learn something not to do, and you pivot a little bit. It’s a million small adjustments.
Then after years of that, you’re an overnight success!
I hope that helps you, Hayden.
Wow. Those were some great questions!
That was fun, right?!
I should do this more often! Let me know if you’d like me to answer more questions.
I still kinda can’t believe that taco question came from LinkedIn…TikTok or Instagram, maybe. But not LinkedIn.
But that’s what’s great about having an awesome community. You never know what type of support you’ll get.
If you’re not fully involved in our Credit Repair Cloud Facebook Community, you’re missing out on an amazing, FREE resource!
We drop additional daily tips, facts, and other great content.
If you don’t already have a Credit Repair Cloud account, check it out. It’s the software that most credit repair businesses in America run on. Just sign up for a 30 day free trial at creditrepaircloud.com/freetrial
And If you’d like me to hold you by the hand as you launch your own credit repair business, check out our Credit Hero Challenge!
It’s an amazing program where you’ll learn the processes that have made millionaires, and it costs less than you'll spend taking your family to McDonald’s for dinner.
Until next time, remember…
Keep asking questions…
And keep changing lives!