7 Steps to Starting up

Where do you start when you are looking to go self-employed?

I run workshops for those who are looking to start a business and recently I have been approached by several people regarding the steps to starting up so here they are! The below are the pre trading steps, the ones you need to get right BEFORE you can sell your goods or services

I started my company with £20, that was the total amount I had free to invest in my business idea. Looking back it was pure madness but I did it!

Below are the basics of what you need to do as the bare minimum when thinking of starting up:

  1. Identify WHAT you want to do, do you want to convert a hobby to a business? Do you have experience in the industry you want to set up in?
  2. Write a business plan detailing the service you want to provide. The business plan needs to have all of the necessary elements to enable others who read it to know EXACTLY what you do. There is a fine line between telling them what you do and giving them enough information to do it themselves however I’m a firm believer that there is something unique in every one of us that makes our business unique. I could try to replicate what you do but I wouldn’t succeed as I haven’t the same driving factor you have.
  3. Complete a personal survival budget spreadsheet so that you know exactly how much you need to survive per month for you and your family. The family expenses need to be covered before anything else.
  4. Complete a cash flow and sales forecast- you will need to have some idea on your pricing structure in order to complete this. You will need this though to enable you to see how much you could earn and how much you will need to continue to trade.
  5. Identify your start up costs, this will enable you to see if ‘realistically’ you can afford to start your company. Don’t go for the ‘flashy’ options. You can build your business on a budget, I did! You need functional rather than flashy at this stage. Don’t sign up to expert advice if it’s not free at this stage, if you don’t know what you are offering you cannot expect experts to know. No one knows your business the way you do. Include materials essential to your starting up however leave the ‘nice to haves’ until you have money
  6. If you need finance identify where you can obtain this from. If you are interested in a start up loan you will need the above documentation in order for them to know how much you want to borrow. If you already have funds that you can use be careful not to use them all at once. Stick to buying the basics until you are sure that you definitely want to start the business
  7. Talk to people about what you are doing, speak to friends and family and ask them to be honest with you. They will often give you the reality check. Take their feedback on board.

Without knowing these there is no point in starting up.

Are there any tips that you could offer those who are looking to start up in business?

The 6 Stages of the Business Cycle

The business life cycle is made up of the following stages:

  • An idea (seedling)
  • Start-up Stage
  • Growth Stage
  • Established Stage
  • Decline Stage
  • Exit


The Idea (seedling) stage

The seed stage of your business lifecycle is when your business is just a thought or an idea.

  • Research: Be honest, is there a market for what you are offering
  • Business Plan: Get your idea down on paper, fill as many of the gaps as you can and then carry out more research to fill in the rest. Unless you document the idea you won’t be able to identify any gaps
  • Business ownership structure: decide on the business ownership structure and finding professional advisors who can support you through the startup journey
  • Reality Check: Market acceptance is a difficult challenge during this phase
  • Focal Point:  Concentrate on matching your business idea with your skills and experience
  • Cash flow:  identify where you can get the cash needed to start up the business and enough to pay the overheads for 3-6 months. Be realistic in your cash projections. You will need to know your personal survival budget and the ongoing costs of the business, allowing for a slow start


Start-Up Stage

You are now a business in real terms with the legal responsibilities that are entailed in running a business.

  • Reality Check: In this phase, you may find that you have overestimated interest in your company and underestimated the finance.
  • Focal Point: Now you need to attract customers or investors if you haven’t already done so. Identify those who are willing to provide the necessary property or investment
  • Cash Flow: Grants and investors. Customers willing to take a chance on you without you having a checkable work history. Make sure that you have enough money coming in to cover your personal survival budget.

Growth Stage

Income has increased during this phase and so have your commitments regarding time and money. Profits are increasing if you are being paid on time and are charging to make a profit.

  • Reality Check: At this point, you may outgrow your original plans and will need to revisit your business plan. You may have to source more suppliers or reluctantly turn customers away. You may need to employ staff which itself brings an added strain on your finances and time. Decide where you want to obtain your resources from for staffing and materials. There is also a risk during this phase that you will be approached by unknown companies to work in ‘partnership’ with them. It’s tempting to accept these requests, however, carry out your due diligence before engaging with them as it’s your reputation on the line as well as theirs.
  • Focal Point: You will need to manage the sales and the resources for this stage to ensure that you maximise this growth phase.
  • Cash Flow: Payment from customers, preferably on time. Re-investing into the business. Paying yourself enough to cover your personal survival budget.

Established Stage

Your business is now in the stage where you have a base of loyal repeat customers and your company is thriving. There are more feasts than famines during this phase. You have earned a place in the market and sales are manageable.

  • Reality Check: It’s tempting to sit back and pat yourself on the back during this stage however once you fall into that trap it’s harder to find the momentum to get going again. The market is so competitive and your competitors will be watching for when you are sitting back. You will need to stay focused during this phase.
  • Focal Point: Being established doesn’t mean plodding along, it means you’ve earned the right to a share of the market, however, changing customer tastes, competitors and the economy can change your business income rapidly. Look at ways to improve productivity during this phase. Now might also be a good time to look at other income streams to ensure you stay relevant and in the marketplace.
  • Cash Flow: Salaries/Wages need to be considered during this phase, are you getting value for money from suppliers? Is there an opportunity to negotiate a better rate with suppliers as you’re now an established business. This will increase your working capital and put you in a stronger financial position for the next phase.

Expansion Stage

This is an exciting time if you have found other income streams that you’ve explored. Revenue will increase during this phase and investment will be necessary for that to happen. You will be in a better position to negotiate for higher value contracts with a greater profit margin.

  • Reality Check: Research needs to be carried out before you can fully enter this stage. New markets need to be explored. Partnerships can be formed to increase your possible income streams. Working with businesses that match your ethos, have a great reputation.
  • Focal Point: When carrying out research into new markets or possible income streams be mindful that you need to expand into areas that you within your capabilities. If you decide to diversify into new markets it will not only cost you more but may lead to failure.
  • Cash Flow: Approach reputable lenders who specialise in business finance. Ensure that you have an accurate cash flow document as well as a forecast for the next 12 months based on previous trading and projected figures for growth.

Decline Stage

Decline is not a natural stage of the business cycle. Some of the reasons for the decline will be beyond your control such as the economy. This stage can result in many businesses quickly failing.

  • Reality Check: There is usually some warning during this stage such as a reduction in sales and profits. This will result in a negative cash flow situation and at that point, you need to decide whether to fight on and try to recover or cease to trade. Whichever route you choose you need to make the decision sooner rather than later. Decide how long you can sustain the business that is losing money.
  • Focal Point: Start the search for new opportunities. Reducing costs and finding ways to sustain cash flow is essential during this stage
  • Cash Flow: Ensure that the business essentials are paid, ensure that your survival budget is accounted for every month to protect your family and home. Check if your customers are paying you on time, if not get tough! Negotiate better terms with the suppliers. Talk to the suppliers so they know you WANT to pay but funds are in short supply, do not bury your head. Most creditors will negotiate with you if you just talk to them. Speak to the stakeholders, they may be willing to invest more money. Above all else, if you are owed money don’t request finance until you have collected the money owed to you. If you are owed £50k and need a cash injection of £50k you won’t receive the investment!

Exit Stage

The exit can be due to retirement, ill health, boredom or no longer a viable business. It is the big opportunity for your business to cash out on all the effort and years of hard work. Or it can mean shutting down the business.

  • Reality Check: To sell the business an accurate and realistic valuation is needed. Although you have put your heart and soul into the business you are unlikely to be recompensed for this. You will need to keep emotions out of this stage. Decide where the real value lies within the business such as it’s place within the market or its exclusive client base. If you decide to close the business you will need to ensure that the key investors and priority creditors are the first to receive any cash that remains in the business. The impact of this stage is not only financial but emotional too.
  • Focal Point: Obtain a valuation and look at all aspects of the business such as operations, management and client base to make the company worth more to a potential buyer. Buyers have their own criteria when selecting what companies to buy.
  • Cash Flow: Consult with your accountant or financial advisor. Keep your eye on the finances. Find out your options regarding whether to sell or close the business if the business has assets worth selling.

Change within a business is inevitable and how you manage the change will have an impact on whether your business will be a success or a failure. Understanding the cycle for your business will help you foresee the challenges you are facing and will enable you to make the best possible decision for your business

The Power of A Positive Mindset

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in business a day, week, month or years the most important asset you have is a positive mindset, people avoid negativity if they can. You are the one who knows your company the best, you know where the idea sparked from, you knew you could make the idea work, you had the vision & power to succeed. These cannot be taken away from you however if business is slow or your confidence is knocked it’s easy to forget all of the positive reasons why you went into business or what your vision for the future looked like.

A positive mindset can be the difference between a thriving business or a dying business.

When you first thought about starting a business you were so excited and totally convinced this was it, the big one, the answer to your prayers of more family time, money and freedom. So what changed?

In the early days the enthusiasm keeps us going, keeps us motivated and busy. While we are busy we have no time to think about possible pitfalls. Once you’ve set up and are fully up and running the doubts creep in especially if you haven’t managed to secure any clients. Unfortunately the desperation you start to feel shows through and makes it harder to attract clients. You may come across as ‘needy’ rather than the solution to potential clients’ problem, this then leads to further doubt and desperation. Below are 5 tips to help you keep a positive mindset:

Write down WHY you went into business– what did you want to achieve? Keep the list in a prominent place where you can see it every day. Make it positive and relevant.

List the progress to date– you may not feel that you’ve made much progress however once you start listing the tasks you have completed so far you’ll see how much progress you’ve made in such a short time.

Create a vision board– What are your goals for your business and family? The board doesn’t need to be seen by anyone however it should be somewhere where you see it daily. It needs to reinforce why you are doing what you do and why you continue on your self-employment journey.


Keep your thoughts positive– this is easier said than done if business is slow however if you practice keeping it positive it will soon become a habit. If a negative thought enters your mind bat it away!


Join online communities that promote positivity– being a solopreneur can be lonely, if you can’t talk to your family for fear of worrying them join a community that can boost your confidence. It’s sometimes easier to talk to ‘strangers’ than to family and friends.


It may seem as if a positive mindset couldn’t make the impact you need to succeed in business however once you start to think positively you can see what you need to do in order to grow your business.

Managing the Mindset for Growth- a case study

There isn’t a single business owner that I’ve spoken to that doesn’t want to grow their income & business however no matter what some owners implement it doesn’t seem to work. I receive many calls asking why their implementations aren’t working as they’ve carried out everything growth experts advise them to.

In many of the cases their mindset does not match their goals. When we start out in business we’re so excited, we have all these plans, our business will make us rich, we will be able to have more family time & finally get paid what we are worth. After the excitement of starting a business the rush wears off, leaving us on a bit of a ‘downer’ where we lose faith in the product or service that just a few months ago was our ticket to wealth. We see our competitors making money where we are not and we envy them, some of us say ‘good for them’ however most of us think ‘Why are they making money but I’m not’.

The reality is that some of us carry doubt in our abilities, once we’ve gone through the changes we need to make and we’re all fired up again there’s often a little voice that says ‘what if this doesn’t work?’. Day by day the voice gets louder if the sales you’ve worked for do not materialise until they become your overriding thought.

One of my clients came to me as he had been in business for just under a year without a single client:

He was networking 30 hours per week. When he first started he was passionate about what he was offering, it was based on a life experience. He attended many networking events on a regular basis however he still hadn’t ‘sold’ anything. I attended the next meeting he went to so that I could observe what he was saying to his fellow networkers.

When he was talking to the contacts at the beginning of the meeting he was asked how business was and he used the word ‘dire’ and then proceeded to let them all know how his business was failing and he needed a sale fast to enable him to continue to trade. When it came to his pitch he begged and pleaded with the group for referrals and said he hadn’t had a single sale since commencing.

We sat down afterwards and I asked him if he knew how ‘needy’ he sounded, he said he was just being honest. What he didn’t realise is the only people he attracted in the room were the equally negative networkers who couldn’t afford to buy from anyone and who wouldn’t be an ‘ambassador’ for him once they left that event.

During the next 3 months we worked on changing his mindset towards his business & his life. The message he needed to give everyone was that he was an expert in his chosen field, which he is. We also worked on his outward message to the world via his presence on social media and his presence in person at events. I asked him to try different networking groups and attended them with him to offer a ‘nudge’ if he reverted to his former self!

He started enjoying the events and didn’t dread going. Once he was confident I asked him to attend the events he had previously attended to show them the ‘new’ man he had become. The results were astounding, the people who were his negative go to group were shocked that their fellow ‘complainer’ had changed so much. The people who previously avoided him spoke to him. His response when asked how he was doing was- life is good and to tell them about his business from the positive angle. He had invites for coffee after by many who wanted to know more.

His first thoughts regarding his business being a success and something others need was right however he lost focus when he listened to external influences and his inner voice. Since working together he has changed his mindset and his business is growing. He has gained clients and has received a few referrals. He also sleeps at night as he’s not focusing on the negative. He no longer worries the business wont succeed. He has cut back on attending networking events however he has a good contact base. He also reciprocates the referrals now as he sees everything as an opportunity.

Changing our mindset towards our business is often enough for us to turn it around.

Define Your Business Growth Strategy

If I were to ask you today how you would define your business growth what would you say? Would you know where you were going and what you wanted to achieve?

Your business growth plan is as unique as you are. You might all start with a template on which to plot your journey however the outcome, even if there are others in your chosen field, will be as individual as you are. Whether your business is still an idea or has been established for a while it helps to plan your goals. In order to create a Business Growth Plan you’ll need to identify your definition of growth and how you will measure success.

Below are some tips to help you identify your business growth strategy:

  • Identify what you are selling – this is vital, even if you have been trading for a while, sometimes we change course without identifying why we did so and what we’ve achieved since then. Once you are absolutely clear on what you are providing you will be able to work out the viability of your business.
  • Identify your ideal client – in the ideal world everyone would need or want your service/ product however in reality you may have a small potential client base. It makes sense to target your energies towards these.
  • Identify your ideal marketing strategy – where would you find your ideal client? You will need to identify where your ideal client ‘hangs out’. Organise your marketing strategy to consider whether your ideal client is primarily online or whether they can attend events. You will need to carry out some research to identify this however be careful that you don’t narrow your search so much that you miss opportunities to meet valuable contacts. The purpose of making the contact is to nurture and grow a mutually beneficial working relationship- go for longevity rather than a quick win.
  • Identify your marketing strategy budget – if you don’t identify this at the start you may run out of money before you have any new clients! Be realistic in your budget. You will also need to take time into account when you plan your marketing strategy, the time you are working on your strategy is non billable time and time that you won’t get back, once it’s gone it’s gone! The budget needs to include all costs.
  • Identity where do you want to be & by when – once you’ve set your budget you will know how much money you have to help you grow your business. If you have no money to spare it doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your business, there are several ways to market your business without using external or costly resources.
  • Stay positive! It’s easy to look at it all on paper and think of the seemingly overwhelming tasks ahead, if you identify your growth plan you can break it into manageable segments.
  • Keep it simple – it doesn’t need to be complex and it’s for you, no one else.
  • Set goals and a timetable for achieving them.

The Curse of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is described as an inability to acknowledge an individual as being accomplished in their own right, it manifests as a constant fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.

Imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon for business owners, especially within the first few years of trading.

A few ‘symptoms’ of imposter syndrome:

  • A fear of being ‘outed’ as a fraud for not being an expert in your own product or service
  • Afraid to speak at networking events in case others know more than you about your specialism
  • Find yourself using the words ‘only’ and ‘just’ to describe yourself or your expertise
  • Procrastinating when making contact with a potential client for fear that they will see through you
  • Failing to follow up with a recent contact as you don’t believe that you can help solve their problem, even though they’re keen to get to know more about what you offer and how you can help them
  • You feel as if you are the only one to feel this way

Many businesses fail to thrive because they don’t believe in themselves and therefore don’t believe they can help potential clients with their problems. Business owners are often guilty of using the words ‘only’ and ‘just’ to describe themselves and what they do-“I’ve ‘only’ been in business for a year” “I’ve ‘just’ set up my business”.

The issue with this is that you haven’t taken into account your experience in getting you to where you are now, did you start up your company without knowing what your product or service was? If you have spent time working in the field you have chosen why discount your experience? Here are a few tips to help you overcome your imposter syndrome:

  • Take into account your experience when talking to people. For example you could use “ I have x years experience within this field”.
  • Briefly talk about your journey to self employment “I chose to start my own company as I have x amount of years experience”. This is so important if others are to trust you enough to work with you. They want to ensure you have the necessary experience to help them.
  • Write down how much experience you have, why you chose to become self employed and why others should work with you.
  • Demonstrate that you believe in yourself and your company, use positive words to describe your experience.
  • People buy from people, let them get to know you however do not treat them as long lost friends and tell them all the gory details of your life!
  • Focus on how you can help them, not how they can help you.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to identify how we can help them during the brief time we are with them, ask them if they would be interested in a coffee to discuss how you can potentially work together.
  • Prepare a 10 second pitch, this will be easier to remember than the longer 60 second pitch, you can then ask them to tell you what they do and what they are looking for.
  • Enjoy the journey! Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about things that may never happen. You are where you are due to your expertise in your chosen field, you are what makes your company unique. That’s the greatest asset of all.

WAKE for Business Growth

Does this sound familiar?

  • You’ve been in business for over a year
  • You’ve barely made enough to cover the business costs
  • You’re still relying on one or two clients to help pay your bills
  • You’ve been networking for over a year and haven’t received a valid lead
  • You’re getting desperate
  • You’re thinking of giving up


Many business owners feel the frustration of their business failing to thrive in the first couple of years. As business owners we don’t always want to look within to find the cause of this however for your business to grow you have to face the reality that you may be the cause.

You may feel that you have no time as you’re so busy, too busy to take on new clients when you find them. We can become busy fools.

It’s time to take a good look at what you are doing or not doing for your business.

Below are 4 easy steps to WAKE for business growth:


Write it down! Plan your business. If you keep it in your head you’ll forget some of the most important aspects which will stunt your business growth. In the beginning you had wonderful ideas for creating a business but were these committed to paper? Your business plan is a work in progress.


Allow yourself time to work on the business – if you do not allow time to build the business it will not grow. No one knows your business as you do so this cannot be delegated to someone else. You can utilise external services but be clear on what you are looking for and what your goal is.


Keep it simple – don’t over complicate your business. If the simple ideas are working don’t add a more complex structure or you could waste valuable time trying to perfect it. You need to understand it to communicate it to your prospective clients.


Ensure you are clear on what you are offering and to whom.  Are you targeting the right audience? If you don’t know then your prospects wont be clear on how you can help them.


Alternatively if you’d like to discuss your business growth book in for a call with me using the link on our contact us page.

The True Cost of Networking

The True Cost of Networking

When I set up my first limited company in the SME market I wrote the following article, it’s as relevant today as it was back then. If your business model requires networking you may find this useful:

Networking is defined by Google as interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

As a small business owner I understand the need to network and I enjoy the contact with other business owners, it’s a lonely world owning a small business! I’m a cash flow specialist so I look at the monetary value along with the other factors.

In 2012 I started networking, I entered a whole new exciting world where I could chat with other like minded people. I was naive and thought everyone was equal and there for the same purpose as I was, to build my list of contacts that could lead to business. I thought everyone would want to chat and swap information this wasn’t the case and my experiences in the first few months meant that I didn’t network again for over a year and this cost me a great deal.

The first networking event was well attended, there were over 25 people there, I was nervous but confident so I threw myself in! I chatted to as many people as I could but I noticed by the end of the first event that I had taken over 20 cards and not handed any out! I had also been spoken at and had not had the opportunity to let people know what I do. I also felt battle weary when I got home. I thought I’d give it a further go so I went to several more but instead of building my confidence it knocked it. I found that people thrust their cards at me regardless of whether I wanted them to or not.

So what did I learn?


The cost of this experience:

Non financial:

  • Non billable time
  • Almost 100 business cards handed to me of which I could only remember less than 10 of the people who handed them to me
  • Cost of attending the event – quite costly as it turns out!
  • My own sanity!




  • Total cost for 3 months networking:
  • Events total £480 – this excludes the free events and the free trial events
  • Total work generated £0
  • If I had joined the associations that I had the free trials with the annual cost of networking for these events alone came to £1,560!


I made the decision that networking wasn’t for me, I decided to try the cold calling route. I had, in effect, given up on the true purpose of networking- to build contacts and relationships. I spent over a year avoiding networking events.


And now……..



Fast forward to the last 6 months- the cold calling didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, I had missed the point, people buy from people! By cold calling I had missed out the vital step- they don’t know me, they are buying a concept not a person.


About 6 months ago I joined a pay as you go networking group and it is the best decision I have made, I build mutually beneficial relationships with people who want to buy from people. They can see me and see if I am who they are looking to do business with or not. I enjoy the meet ups so much more, I do tend to spot the newbies at these events and help ease them in to the world of networking.


The lessons I have learned……………….


The cost of networking, for me, has changed and I follow a few basic rules:


  1. Set a monthly budget that you are willing to spend on Networking- there are events out there that are free and very good, there are several paid events that you don’t need to sign up and pay membership for they follow a PAYG format. I set my budget low and stick to it
  2. Go in a positive frame of mind- if you’ve had a bad day leave it at the door. People do pick up on negative energy and may avoid you
  3. Choose event start times to suit you- if you are a morning person then attend the morning events.
  4. Don’t treat it like a speed dating event, it’s better to talk to 3 people that you connect with than 20 that you don’t
  5. Follow up on the meetings with a call or email. I have many follow up coffees if I believe there is benefit to both sides
  6. Have a good time! It’s time you will never get back. It’s non billable time however it doesn’t have to be non added value time
  7. Set a budget- I have a very low monthly budget that I spend around 60% of per month, this focuses your attention


To conclude………


Networking is about building relationships not about the sell. I have clients now that I have received through taking the time to build relationships. The networking relationship is built on mutual respect.



5 Ways to Become More Productive

Procrastination can kill a business.

When faced with the enormity of the tasks ahead business owners often feel that they have no time to manage what needs to be done.

 If you are you working ON the business as well as IN it you have no choice but manage your time and tasks more effectively. Below are 5 ways to become more productive:

Stop worrying– if you can’t change it then you’re expending valuable energy on something that you can’t make a difference to. If you can change it plan it into your day.

Plan your day the night before– By planning the night before you are already ahead.  You don’t need to have a sleepless night as you know what you face the next day.

Decide what time you start your day– It may sound simple but by deciding what time you will start you are already taking ownership of the day

Make a list of all you have to do– Once you break down your tasks you may find them less daunting. If you’re overwhelmed by the enormity of the task make sub lists. Make the impossible feel possible.

Breakdown your day into 20 minute slots with a 5 minute break either side– There are tasks we all hate but are necessary, by breaking down the tasks into manageable blocks even the worst tasks feel manageable. Mix them in with other tasks.

The above may seem obvious however when you are working within your business it’s harder to identify what may help…..

Financial Habits to Improve Efficiency for Business Growth


There are many challenges facing companies today, of these the following are perceived to be the biggest:

  • Marketing – the cost of your marketing seems like a good investment however have you ensured that you and your marketing specialist are on the same page? Have you been clear about your objectives? Have you ensured that your marketer knows what you are looking to achieve?
  • Growing Sales – sales are needed for growth however if your cash flow is reduced through late payments you’ll have less working capital to utilise on further sale and marketing costs
  • Controlling Costs – finding the best possible value for money with supplies and goods as well as ensuring prompt payment
  • Managing Cash Flow– if you prefer not to call for payment, consider outsourcing if necessary, asking for payment should not jeopardise your relationship with your customer, if anything it should strengthen the relationship as they will realise you intend to make your business a success.
  • Maintaining Margins – the cost of credit should be built into the quote whilst remaining competitive, this goes back to finding the best possible value for money with suppliers and goods as well as ensuring prompt payment
  • Granting Credit– the credit account- when to offer credit to customers. Although a credit account is important it’s even more important to monitor your exposure
  • Getting Paid– probably the most important. If you ask for your payment others will take you seriously, you don’t need to ask for the payment when you call, ask them if they were happy with the service, tell them it’s a customer service call to check on the service you’ve provided. Ask them if they have received the invoice, is it in the correct format?

In this current climate it is essential to minimise the risks and maximise the cash flow to ensure business survival and growth. This will aid financial efficiency.

By breaking down these challenges it is easier to identify the specifics within the areas that need addressing. To grow sales the business needs cash, to bring cash into the business costs need to be managed and debts from previous sales need to be collected

The startling reality is that for every £1 granted on credit up to £5 is ‘lost’ until payment is received- this figure includes the raw materials purchased, rent & wages….