Whether you’re a start-up, entrepreneur or small business owner, saving money where possible is a very real necessity. There’s never enough budget for marketing, for hiring new people or for simply investing more to help grow your business. With some parts of your business, that won’t be possible (after all, you don’t want to compromise on the quality of service or product), but with most areas of your business, there’s almost always a solution to help you save more money.
In this blog post, I’m going to share tips and tricks to help you save more money as a business.
Do you need an office?
The first question to ask yourself is, do you really need an office? For some businesses, it might be a necessity but for many, it’s just a choice.
Because of the technology we have available, working from home (even as part of a larger team) is more convenient than ever. That’s why over 52% of UK’s registered businesses are based in their owners’ homes and in the U.S. there are over 38 million home-based businesses, while telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular by the year (at least 3.7 million employees work from home, a 115% increase since 2015).
All you’ll need is room to work from, a computer and if you sell products, some storage space.
As for your employees, they can work from their own homes too – and if you need to meet up, many cities have shared office spaces where you can pay a small fee and work there as you would in your own office.
That said, for many people working from home is a struggle – it’s the place you’re most comfortable with, so it can be difficult to turn into work-mode. Here are some tips to help with this:
- Use a specific space as your office, not your bedroom/living room/etc. – a place that you can come to associate only with your work
- Try to make your home office as comfortable as possible: a big enough desk, a comfortable chair, etc.
- Establish the exact times during which you’ll work
- Whatever you do, don’t let friends or family come visit you during work hours!
Hire the right people and outsource work where possible
One of the biggest struggles for small businesses and start-ups is hiring the right people to work for them: from affording to pay them to know what to look for when you don’t have much experience hiring people.
Here are some top tips to help you save money when it comes to hiring people to work for your business:
- Don’t hire full-time employees if you don’t have to: this might not be a possibility for many businesses but if you can handle your business just by yourself (plus some part-time employees or freelancers), it’s worth giving up full-time employees for the time being
- Hire inexperienced people: it can take some time to get the feel for hiring the right people, but you need to start somewhere anyway. If you need to hire someone full-time – or even part-time – try to look for inexperienced people but who have the knowledge and know-how to help (such as newly graduated students who are just starting out in the workplace). That said, if an employee proves themselves as highly skilled, dependable and creative – then make sure to do everything possible to keep them working for you: finding (and keeping) amazing employees is not an easy task.
- Outsource when possible: there are so many tasks that you can outsource – and it will cost you a lot less than hiring someone full time. Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages to outsourcing. On the one hand, it will return a higher ROI for your business, plus it’s so much cheaper to outsource than hire someone, but on the other hand, there are concerns about the quality of the work and delivery time. But, as you grow your own network of outsourcers and find great people to work with, the pros will definitely outweigh the cons
Save up on the phone bill with VoIP systems
If your business relies a lot on phone calls – for example, if you’re in sales – then you can potentially save a lot of money by implementing a VoIP system for your business. VoIP is a phone network system that works online, so even if you call people in the farthest corners off the earth, it won’t cost you extra.
Plus, the costs of setting up VoIP are less than a regular phone system, as you won’t even need to install a phone line – all you need is Internet access, which is a must-have anyway.
You also get the advantage of better accessibility – wherever you are in the world and whoever you’re calling, it makes no difference to a VoIP system (since it works online).
And finally, another big advantage is that you get a lot of extra features for free – unlike regular phone systems for businesses – such as voicemail (which you get directly in your email!), call forwarding and more.
To find a VoIP solution for your business, you can use something like GetVoIP to find the right provider.
Leverage free software
There is so much amazing free (or at the very least, cheap) software, that there are many cases where there simply isn’t a need to hire someone to perform certain tasks or to invest in expensive software.
Whenever you need software to do something, take the time to research your options – chances are, you’ll either find something free or at the very least, you can leverage free trials for a time.
- For marketing: there are a plethora of free content creation tools that can help you create content easily and quickly, by yourself; to give you a few examples, you can use a tool like Canva to create visual content for your blog/website and for your social media (images, infographics, presentations, etc.) – it’s super easy to use even if you’re not experienced. Likewise, you can find free email marketing tools (so long as you have under a certain number of email addresses in your list), free tools to help you manage your social media, free analytics and so on.
SEO: to improve your search engine optimization, look for SEOtools that offer free trials (or even completely free SEOtools) so that you can create an audit of your website – the tool will tell you exactly what you need to do in order to improve
- Free accounting software: getting an accountant on retainer might be necessary as your business grows, but when you’re just starting out or struggling for cash, you can always try free accounting software (like Wave, for example) to help you manage your accounting
Simply use Google to look up free software options – sometimes you might not find something great (or anything at all) – but chances are there are some free options or at least some free trials to try.
There is a lot of debate over how many businesses make it and how many fail, on average, as well as why so many fails (because if there’s one thing to agree on, a great percentage of businesses fail within the first couple of years of existence). There can be a lot of different factors that can lead to the failure of a business, but money and finances are certainly up there. Be careful with your business finances, especially when you’re just starting out, and try to save money wherever possible. That said, don’t overdo it – don’t compromise on the quality of your product or service or that can just as well be the cause of a business’s doom.