Starting a business is an expensive, stressful and demanding enterprise. But the good news is, if you start and run it right , you can cut your costs dramatically. Whatever the size and stage of your business, there are lots of ideas and resources that can help you stay within your minimal budget. But despite the difficult process, should you succeed, the rewards far outweigh any battles thus far fought on your way to the top.
To give small business owners the best chance of success, here are 7 ways you can save money every day.
1. Use free content marketing to your advantage.
Think marketing your business will cost a packet? Think again. There are endless ways to get your name out there without splurging on a pricey marketing campaign. One of the most cost-effective ways to market your business is through the publication of online content – the Content Marketing Institute is a great source of hints and tips. Couple a quality company blog with a savvy social media strategy and watch the site visitors rain forth.
2. It pays to invest in interns.
Interns provide small businesses with the perfect opportunity to attain talent for relatively little cost. Most often, interns are highly skilled, motivated and eager to showcase their skillset beyond the realm of university. They’re also extremely cost-effective, with many willing to work for a nominal salary or even for free. To track down top talent, try the Graduate Talent Pool.
3. Get free server space.
Times have changed since the days of the stuffy server room; now, most companies rely on cloud storage as an affordable way to manage their business. We know what you’re thinking, “that sounds expensive”, but truth is, cloud computing doesn’t have to cost the earth. Sign up to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, and you’ll get 5gb of free storage; more than enough to get your business up and running.
4. Shop around for cheap tech.
Kitting out your office with the latest technology is a sure fire way to drain your company bank account, but that doesn’t change the fact you’ll need computers, printers and other IT gizmos. If you’re interested in scrimping on tech, consider buying refurbished or second-hand computers. Alternatively, you could save a fortune on IT overheads simply by switching to compatible ink and toner, like these from Printhead. Third-party cartridges are an affordable option for new businesses that regularly use a printer.
5. Network locally.
Networking is an integral part of growing and nurturing your new business; meet the right people during a specific networking event, and you could land yourself a new client or a loyal business ally. For small business owners however, finding relevant networking events can be tricky. To find conferences and events related to your industry, try Eventbrite. With thousands of new events listed every day, Eventbrite makes it easy to discover networking opportunities in your local area.
6. Build a website on the cheap.
Any company that doesn’t have a website in this day and age is doomed from the off. Don’t make the same mistake. If you don’t yet have the capital to invest in a swanky site, it is possible to buy a domain and build a website on the cheap. Opt for a WordPress site, and you can host your very own domain for as little as £6/month. Once you’re off the ground, be sure to invest further in the online side of your business; it is the future after all.
7. Additional tools your can business can use to save money.
Crowdsource talent for specific services such as design, logos and websites using the likes of Crowdspring and 99designs. Use Dropbox or Google Drive to back up your business documents safely and access them anywhere. Don’t forget to take advantage of Skype for free calls to your customers to partners. Google Analytics can track your website traffic and key statistics to help improve your conversion rate. Use apps like HootSuite, Buffer or ManageFlitter to engage with your social audience and gather followers. Expensify now makes electronic invoicing more efficient for small businesses.