Starting your first business is both an exciting time and a daunting task. With a thousand and one choices to make on a daily bases knowing that you are doing the right thing every day can be difficult. However, one thing you should be doing as early as possible in your business venture is saving money. By saving as much money as possible early on, you can reinvest it back into your business to help grow and improve it as much as possible. So where can you save money on your business and how?
To save money you have to take a good look at where you are spending it in the first place. Knowing where your costs are building up is the first step to being able to reduce them. Once you know where you are spending money you have to ask “Do I really need to spend this much or can I be saving money on this?”. When you start to realize that you may be spending unnecessarily then you can make a concentrated effort to cut down costs. So to make life easier for you, here are a few areas that you can cut down on your spending.
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If you don’t require physical premises, then don’t rent one or buy one. Many businesses can be run out of a home office very easily and with almost no discernable disruption to your day-to-day running operations. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you need to have an office in order to be successful in your business endeavour. You can get by just fine with a desk and a laptop if need be. Of course, not all businesses are the same and if you require meetings with potential clients then you may need a small office. But if you do need to meet people then try and meet them in their place of work or even at a coffee shop if need be. If you feel that you work better in an environment with others around you, then consider sharing an office with someone who also needs an office space as well. Sharing costs is a great way to cut them.
As the owner of a business, you need to be able to reach out and contact people quickly and easily. As such, your business will live and die by your phone. But phones can get expensive quickly. Long contracts that give you expensive handsets with data and call limits that don’t match your needs are wasting money. So what are your alternatives? Well SIM-only deals such as the one offered through SMARTY are a great way to save some money on your phone bills. It is unnecessary to be spending more than you need to on your phone and saving as much money as possible, especially when you are first starting out in your business venture is essential. Instead of being tied down to expensive 12/24/36 month contracts with expensive phone providers, buy a cheaper handset and go SIM-only. You can save hundreds over the course of the time you would be paying out a contract.
Cut down on your paper waste
In the day and age where it is possible to do almost everything digitally, there is almost no need to do anything on paper. Of course, always have a printer on hand with ink and some paper to print with, but avoid spending money on printing as much as possible. If you need to make copies you can do so with PDF scanning apps on your smartphone or tablet. Reducing your spending on using paper also reduces your need to store it as well. This further removes expensive filing costs as well as the space required to keep everything neat and tidy. If you need papers signed by customers then send them editable PDF documents instead of paper forms. Or send them something they can print of and send back and then scan them into your tablet or phone before disposal.
Automating the little things
Automation isn’t just reserved for the production line. Think of all of the small tasks you have to do every day. Sending invoices, paying bills and so on. Think of how much time doing these small tasks take up each and every day. No think how much more time you would have if you didn’t have to devote so much of your day to them. This is where automating the little things comes in. Invoice software that sends automatic invoices and records them when they are paid is a must for any small business. Direct and automatic payments that you don’t have to manually send shaves time off tasks that could be spent elsewhere as well. Be on the lookout to save what time you can as it all adds up over time.
If you need specific services that you know are going to take you a long period of time to do on your own, then consider outsourcing them to a professional. For example if you need graphics for a website or social media, instead of wasting your time on them purchase the services of a freelancer to make them for you. If you plan on starting a content marketing campaign but content writing isn’t your forte, then hire a professional writer to create your blog and content posts. This also stands true as your business grows as well. If you require it, consider hiring a 3rd party HR and admin services professional. Again their experience can make the difference in the areas that you are lacking within your business
Free and alternative software
There are many name brand software solutions out there for all of your business needs. From invoicing to office suites and even email hosts, money can be spent quickly when you begin to add up your licenses. But is there another way to save potentially hundreds every year? Thankfully yes. As users became disgruntled with paying arguably extortionate amounts for software each and every month or year, many started to produce their own open-licence software. Many different software suites have free alternatives and if you aren’t bothered about learning them then swap them for your paid software. For example, swapping Microsoft Office out fo Google Drive. Not only do you now have all of the Google Docs suites, but you now have a cloud-based storage solution and a free email address. Look around and you can find something that fits you for almost any situation.
Pay off business debt
Business debt, like any debt, can spiral quickly and lead to unnecessary expenditure. The sooner your business has no debt the easier it will be to run on a day-to-day basis. Not only does paying off debt quickly remove the stress of having it in the first place but it also prevents interest from building up and swamping you in the long run. Unfortunately, as businesses grow some debt is going to be accrued. That is the cost of growth. However the longer it takes your business to start accruing it the better it is for your immediate finances. If in doubt about any of your finances and want to know what your options are then you should definitely be in contact with a financial professional as soon as possible. As with the previous mention of outsourcing, keeping a financial expert on retainer may be a smarter way to go so that you always have access to someone who knows what they are talking about.
Free advertising methods
There are many ways you can advertise your business. Many are expensive, unfortunately. However, there are many ways you can advertise a business for next to nothing, if not for free. Social media, for example, is a free resource that billions of people are on at any given time. There is no excuse not to have social media accounts for your business and to be sharing it in as many places as you can reach. Take advantage of platforms that give free trials for software such as free email marketing for the first 1000 leads you have. There are so many options out there that you can go for months without spending anything on either your social media or your advertising. Don’t neglect free advertising or traffic to your business.
The early days of a business are both exciting and nerve-wracking. The excitement of starting a business is something you can very easily get wrapped up in. However, when you start to throw in the stress of finances and money worries, the joy of running your own business can quickly start to wear off. By following some of the advice laid out above you can start to look over your business expenses with a much more critical eye and begin to really see where you are able to save a little bit of money here and there. By saving everything you can early on in your business venture you are able to reinvest sooner and improve your business.