Coming up with an idea for a business can often seem like the easiest part, and sometimes that isn’t easy! This gives us a good idea about how tricky things can get when we are starting up our own company. One of the main factors in beginning a business is money. Without it, it can be very challenging to get anywhere, especially when there are costly overheads or investments that need to be made upfront.
This requires new business owners (and even the most experienced) to be financially savvy when making decisions and maximizing what they can get and achieve for the lowest price possible.
The following piece will discuss some of the ways in which you can cut costs without compromising and keep your new business in the green (or as close to it as possible!).
Use Own Brand or Generic Brand Products
Jumping straight in with a cost-saving technique that does not have to compromise on quality, using generic branded products are often as good as branded products (always check the reviews) but can save you a fraction of the cost. When starting a business, it is worth knowing what items are worth the investment and what items you just need to work for the time being. While brand names have a status to uphold with quality, many items are made in the same factory to the same spec, just without the name to go with it, so this can be really worth looking into for saving that extra cash.
Team Up with Other Businesses
Whether these businesses are new and just starting out like yours is, or whether they are already well established and you can offer them something they cannot refuse, it is worth negotiating deals with other businesses to see how you can help each other. While a swapping of services or a bartering type of deal can lower the costs of these services, it might increase your time, so just be sure that not only everything is fair and is of equal value, but that it is something that will not cut into your business in a different way.
Long gone are the days when you were faced with few options than purchasing your own servers to host your business’s software, files, and other online business aspects. There is now the very cost-effective option to pay for servers as you use them, rather than the traditional option of paying for a server that sits there until you need it. Virtual cloud services mean you can pick them up when your business needs them during peak times and kill them when things become quieter again. Doing this can help companies to save money as they are only using what they are paying for. You can also go one extra and invest in some training such as Microsoft Azure training so that you can have more control over your cloud services. Plus, you can never have too many skills when it comes to running a business.
Keep Meetings to A Minimum
Many of us have been in a workplace that seems to thrive on calling endless amounts of meetings, sometimes enticing us with plates of stale biscuits only to spend an hour talking about something that could have been said, yes, you guessed it, in an email.
While there will be a few people who welcome face-to-face interaction for updates, you might find that the majority will see it as an inconvenience cutting into their productive work time, and if they do not – then maybe you should!
Meetings equal time and time equals money. So, if you do not need your employees to be away from their work (which can be just as frustrating for them as it is for you), make sure you think about what can just be updated in a round-robin or use something like Google Forms or threads for opinions if things are not urgent.
Look After Your Employees
Something that seems to go overlooked fairly frequently is the care taken of employees who do a job done well. It is much easier to retain and appreciate staff that has worked in a company for a long time than to keep hiring and replacing employees and having to start all over again. Having to train up new people takes up time and resources, which of course impacts on money, whereas investing in your current employees means they will only get better at the job and work around the business more efficiently and effectively, saving you time and money instead.
Do Your Own Marketing
Marketing is a pretty important aspect for all companies, whether they are just starting out, establishing their brand, or whether they want to stay the go-to brand at the top of their field. Marketing agencies can sometimes cost more than can be afforded within the budget, and even though many are worth their weight in gold, sometimes we just have to start it off ourselves.
When doing your own marketing, there are a few important things to remember. Be yourself, do not mimic other brands or styles because they appear to work for others. You want to put your own stamp on your brand and your social media to separate your business from the rest. Reach out to news channels or established companies to see if they would feature your new up-and-coming business or get creative in promoting your business.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is also a key part of marketing and content creation, so getting clued up in this field can help your marketing campaigns go much further, as they will be much easier for search engines such as Google to recognize, which can help increase your brand awareness.
Use Internet-Based Calling
This is a particularly useful tool and a no-brainer if you have clients who are abroad. These phone calls are often not featured in our minute plans on our phones, which means those bills can really rack up. Make the switch to using software such as WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom to not only make long-distance conversations much easier but also offer the option to share screens with your clients. You can give presentations, record meetings, and other useful tech tools you cannot get from a phone call – and all for free!
Get on Price Comparison Websites
It might not seem that long ago that we had to trawl the shops and write down prices of items from different companies or haggle our way through a phone call to get the best price from somewhere. Thankfully, modern-day technology now means a lot of the time-consuming actions we had to take to save money have been neatly wrapped into websites that do the scouring for you.
Price comparison websites offer an impressive number of detail-orientated filters that can help you find the cheapest price on plenty of things you are looking for within seconds, saving you both time and money.
Set Yourself A Budget
While this might seem like an obvious course of action for businesses who are trying to save money, an in-depth budget and forecast for future sales and costs can give you a much more detailed idea about what your incomings and outgoings will be either for the near future or much more further along for those who want to get really prepared.
When you are first starting out, you and your company will likely not have a bunch of money to start handing out for new roles and positions, especially if you only have a very small customer or client base. This is where outsourcing services and professionals can come in handy. When you outsource or hire a freelance professional, there is no need for paid sick days, holidays, maternity leave, pension, or other expenses. You do not need to pay a salary for someone who you might not be able to give enough work to in the early stages, and you can also pick and choose who you use. If one service or freelance professional does not suit you or your business, there is no harm done! You can simply thank them for their time and choose someone else without being tied down to contracts or other legalities.
This is often a great route to get the best quality work, too, as freelance professionals or services will want to retain your custom.
You can outsource so many different services now that the world really is your oyster, and they do not even need to be in the same country, which means you have more of a chance of finding someone who is perfect for your business.
If an office or shop seems like a little too much of an expense right now for not much need, but you are still looking for a professional space, a hot desk can be the perfect solution. There are usually excellent services included in the price, such as fast Wi-Fi and printing, which takes some other hassles out of starting up if you just want to get going!
By James Daniels