Getting your start-up business off the ground can be tremendously exciting, but also one of the most challenging things you’ll face. Often the root of problems comes back to the chicken and egg question of financing. Sure, you secured that initial investment. But when you need to expand? You’re experiencing the most expenditure before you see the profit. It’s the catch 22 that gets a lot of small businesses. Every amount counts, so here are some clever ways to save money on your business needs:
Find Event Sponsors
If you’re planning an event to pull in new customers, consider finding a sponsor whose interests are aligned with yours. Identify larger businesses with a common interest. For instance, if you run a computer repair place, a printer manufacturer would be perfect. In return for picking up the event tab, they get advertising and exposure to your customer base. This can be a really successful move for both parties.
Save on Transportation
If you’re in a business that needs wheels, looks for commercial fleet resale opportunities. These vehicles generally have a full service history and may only be a few years old. Depending on the service, the mileage may be relative low, say if they were used for inner city deliveries. Do your homework carefully and count in the cost of re-striping the vehicles if needed, but it could save you large amounts on the cost of a brand new set of vehicles.
In the early days of setting up operations, you may find that a lack of Human Resources really hinders your plans. If you need to expand, you need people – HR experts, accountants, Marketing – to provide the all the business support services you do yourself. But the cost of hiring full time staff may be prohibitive. So look into what you can outsource. From virtual PA’s to accountancy services on your phone, most of what you need can be done remotely at a low cost over the net.
Look at Your Marketing Strategy
You don’t need to rely on traditional costly advertising to spread the word about your business. Try focusing more on inbound marketing or focus on learning about SEO techniques and content creation to boost your website rankings organically. Something as simple as creating YouTube videos from your smartphone, if they’re timely and relevant to your customers, can gain you exposure and pull in traffic.
Save the planet, and you could also save business costs. There are lots of easy ways for businesses to save energy, such as turning off power strips when not in use, setting lights on a timer and reducing printing to black and white double sided documents. If you reduce energy costs, you reduce your outgoings – plus being greener is great PR for your company.
Use Open Source Software
One major expense can be the software and programs you need to use to run your business – but there are free versions of most everything you need available. From word processing, to accounting to photo editing or project management, look online for a free open source alternative first. These may have restrictions in place but they’re generally workable for a small operation with few employees.