When first starting out, businesses often have to face a range of unavoidable costs that can be tricky to deal with while you are still building your customer base and trying to market your products. The good news is that no matter what type of business you have started or are thinking about starting in the near future, there are several options to consider if you want to keep your costs low.
From shopping around for equipment, trading services with other businesses, and using comparison sites to find the best rates for your utilities, all it takes is a little bit of research and some savvy strategies to cut your start-up costs and make starting your business easier financially. Here are some of the best ways to reduce the cost of getting your small business started.
Work from Home
Today, the good news is that thanks to the internet, starting your own business does not have to involve paying for an office or storefront. You can easily set up your own business online whether you are offering services to other businesses or selling products to customers. This has made it possible for anybody who wants to start their own small business to get started by working from home.
Setting up your business from home makes it much easier for you to cut costs as you don’t need to worry about paying rent on business premises or additional utility costs. Of course, this won’t be possible for some business types, but today, many businesses only require a website to get set up.
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Use Comparison Sites
If you do need to set your business up from an office, store, or other business premises, shopping around for your utilities can be one of the best ways to keep your costs down to a minimum. Just like at home, shopping around for the best gas and electric rates will ensure that you are never paying any more than you need to.
“Energy rates fluctuate a lot of time, so just because you got the best deal on your current tariff, does not always mean that it’s still the cheapest one right now.” – as mentioned by Chris Shaw, the CEO of Utility Bidder, in one of his recent interviews.
Regularly checking comparison sites to see if you could be taking advantage of cheaper energy prices is definitely worth the effort. And, since business water rates tend to work differently from household water rates, you can also use comparison sites to find the best business water rates for your company. Sites like these allow you to compare water rates and find the best deal for your business.
Work with Freelancers
Rather than hiring full-time or part-time employees, working with freelancers can be a much wiser financial decision when you first start out with a small business. Unlike employees who require an hourly or monthly wage, you will only be required to pay freelancers when they have completed work for you.
And, freelancers can be found all over the world, making it easier for you to find the talent that you need. You can find a freelancer to work on different aspects of your business including admin, content creation, website design, social media management, social media marketing, search engine optimization, customer service, and much more.
If you are starting a business that provides other businesses with services, it might be a good idea to arrange a trade with other companies who are interested in working with you. For example, if you are starting out as a website developer and need video content to promote your brand, you may be able to find a company willing to create a video for you in return for a website.
This can be a great way to get some of the services that you need without having to dip into your business bank account, and in the meantime, you get to work for clients and build up your portfolio.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is one of the best free tools out there for your business, so it’s definitely a good idea to make as much use of it as possible. Popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free for your business to use and are the main places online where you will be able to find the majority of your target audience. The sooner you get on social media, the easier it will be to start building your website’s online presence and connecting with your potential customers or clients.
Consider the type of business that you are starting and your target market to choose the right social platforms to use. For example, if you’re mainly targeting other businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter tend to be the ideal choices, whilst Instagram is the best choice for eCommerce businesses with products to display. Use social media for market research and finding out more about your target audience, engaging with your customers, sharing useful content, and marketing your products and services.
Know What You’re Good At
Many new small business owners make the mistake of thinking that they have to do everything themselves in order to succeed while saving money. But most of the time, this is simply untrue. In fact, if you’re trying to do something that you are not good at or do not know all that much about, you could end up losing more money in the process.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is the most important thing if you want to be wise with your finances when starting a business since it makes it easier for you to figure out what’s worth doing yourself and what you should delegate to others.
Shop Around for Equipment
If starting your business requires you to purchase equipment, don’t rush out and buy it all brand new right away. Depending on the type of business you are starting and where you plan to run it from, you might need various items to get started.
Electronics, office furniture, manufacturing equipment, and everything else can all quickly add up, so it’s worth shopping around to find deals or even second-hand bargains. You might be able to save money by looking out for offices that are closing down or refurbishing and selling their old equipment off on the cheap. Many times, you can find fully functional items that are ideal for getting started in your own office.
Buy in Bulk
Whether you need items to manufacture products to sell or general office supplies like paper, pens, and printer ink, you can often save money by purchasing things in bulk rather than buying them as and when you need them. Many suppliers offer discounts for buying more at one time, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best bulk deals on the items that you need.
Keep Track of Inventory
Using a good inventory tracking system is an ideal way to make sure that you are not spending money on holding more stock than you need. If you are selling products to customers, making sure that you are investing wisely in inventory and not buying items that are left unsold for a long time will make sure that your business is more efficient and not wasting unnecessary money.
If you’re just starting out and are not sure which products are going to be the most popular options among your customers, consider keeping a small amount of each on inventory until you have gathered more purchasing data.
Use Free Software
Today, there are hundreds of different software programs designed to help you with running your business; the best part is that many of them are very cheap or even free to use. Spending some time looking for free versions of software that you can put to use when running your business can help you save a great deal of money.
Whether you need software for designing social media graphics, manage your finances, track website visitors, or website widgets, there are various free software options to consider and you can also take advantage of free trials that are available for various business software programs.
Minimize Your Expenses
If you’re starting a new business venture, it’s best to take steps now to keep your personal expenses to a minimum. Pay off as much debt as you can and avoid getting into any further debt while you are setting your business up. Now isn’t the best time to start thinking about making big purchases like getting a new house or an expensive car.
The longer you can keep your personal expenses low, the easier things will be for your business. And, paying off debt now will improve your credit score which can make it easier for you to get a business loan or other business financing. And, apply this new lean way of living to your business; don’t take out any business expenses unless they are absolutely necessary.
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Today, starting your own small business is easier than ever thanks to the internet. But it can still be expensive for those who want to turn their dream venture into a reality. Keep these tips in mind to reduce the cost of starting your own company.